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Detectives: Violent drug dealer killed soldier

Posted May 1, 2009

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— The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Friday that a violent drug dealer is their prime suspect the shooting death of a soldier on a 15-day leave from Afghanistan at a Spring Lake club in late March.

Demar J. Bryan, 22, of an unknown address, faces charges in the slaying of Spec. Charles Clements, 27, who was based at Fort Hood, Texas, and the wounding of Arthur Mbwe, 26, a Fort Bragg soldier, at the Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge, 129 N. Main St., shortly after 4:00 a.m. March 29.

Detectives said Clements came outside the club while Bryan was fighting with a woman. Clements defended the woman, and the men exchanged words, but Clements went back inside the club and began dancing, detectives said.

Bryan later returned to the club and shot Clements and Mbwe while they were in the middle of a crowded dance floor, authorities said.

"Anybody on that dance floor could have been killed,” Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bobby Reyes said.

Spring Lake club shooting_Charles Clements Suspect sought in soldier's slaying

He was accompanied by another person who investigators haven't identified yet. The described the man as having dreadlocks and being slightly taller and thinner than Bryan. They believe that person might still be in the Fayetteville area.

Despite the large number of witnesses, it took nearly a month to identify the shooter, detectives said, because Bryan has a reputation as a well-known and violent drug dealer. They said he has criminal records for dealing drugs in other states but did not gives details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Debbie Tanna, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said that neither soldier knew the suspect before the shooting and were not connected to his drug activity in any way.

Clements was the father of three children, including a 3-month-old, his mother said.

Crime Stoppers has offered a reward for information leading to Bryan's arrest.

Authorities believe that Bryan has likely left the state. He is known to change his hairstyle, often wearing braids or keeping his hair short. They believe has close-cropped hair now.

Anyone who sees Bryan should not approach him. He is considered extremely violent and a threat to the community, Tanna said.

“He’s known to carry weapons. He’s very violent,” Reyes said.

Fort Bragg has since added the Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge to a list of places base officials ban their soldiers from going. The list is based on safety concerns.

Anyone with information about Bryan’s whereabouts should call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500 or Crime Stoppers at 910-484-8477. Callers to Crime Stoppers are always anonymous.

23 Comments

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  • ladydkrunkfam735 May 5, 2009

    TO KNOW CHARLES WAS HOME ON VACTION AND WAS BEING A HERO FOR DEFENDING THAT WOMANS BEING, MAKES ME SO PROUD OF HIM. HE ALWAYS HAD THAT HEART THAT CONCERNED HIM ABOUT THINGS THAT WASNT RIGHT AND ALL HE WAS DOING WAS MAKING SURE SHE WAS OK, AND THIS MONSTER TOOK HIM OUT OF SO MANY PEOPLES LIVES. BUT WHEN I GOT THE PHONE CALL ME BEING IN TEXAS ABOUT HAVING A NAME AND A FACE FOR HIS KILLER BROUGHT TEARS OF HAPPINESS TO MY EYES KNOWING SOON AS THIS MAN IS BEHIND BARS MY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS WITH RETURN TO NORMAL. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU CHARLES I LOVE AND MISS YOU!

  • itsme2002 May 1, 2009

    This Soldier should still be alive, and this criminal should be the one 6 feet below!

    ^I AGREE

    So sad this soldier was just trying to defend a female and he gets killed. And it is even worse that he leaves behind a family and 3 kids. The suspect looks ridiculous and needs to be off the streets

  • PaperReader May 1, 2009

    You've gotta wonder...What in the heck was he doing out of custody in the first place???

  • dogman1973 May 1, 2009

    When did intermittently shaving one's eyebrows become fashionable? I guess I really am out of the loop on the new gangster fashion and thankfully so!

  • sssh.. whisper May 1, 2009

    RIP soldier.. may you join the others from above to love and protect. your family and friends are in my prayers and may they find the suspect and punish him with the death penalty

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy May 1, 2009

    So...how do we know the guy was a VIOLENT drug dealer? if we KNOW this, then how is he even able to walk the streets? or walk for that matter? The liberals in this country have made our judicial system a literal JOKE! This Soldier should still be alive, and this criminal should be the one 6 feet below!

  • Glass Half Full May 1, 2009

    This discussion is going in a really good direction. How about guys like this get sent to the front lines to be used as mine sweepers? They won't last long but there's a lot of 'em out there that would be perfectly suited for the job!

  • TeresaBee May 1, 2009

    Fort Bragg has since added the Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge to a list of places base officials ban their soldiers from going. The list is based on safety concerns.

    Afganistan is safer.

  • Sleepy20_98 May 1, 2009

    Move evidence that no good deed goes unpunished, makes me sick!!

  • ncrebel May 1, 2009

    This guy is a real man........had to go get one of his "posse" to help him do his dirty work. What a loser!

    Put him in the belly of a C130 without a parachute, fly over the ocean and open the cargo doors......good ridence!

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