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Ex-pastor's roommate testifies in murder trial

Posted October 1, 2009

— The roommate of Robert Reaves, a former pastor on trial for murder, said he went out and got a gun after Reaves made sexual advances toward him and offered him a free place to live in exchange for oral sex.

"If I would do that, (rent) would be free of charge," Steven Randolph testified Thursday, detailing a conversation he and Reaves had in which Reaves asked him about his sexual habits.

Roommate: Ex-pastor made sexual advances Roommate: Ex-pastor made sexual advances

"He asked me if I was a freak, as far as kinky things," Randolph said.

Randolph said he eventually avoided going home because he was uncomfortable by Reaves' conduct and borrowed a gun from his cousin to show Reaves how serious he was about not engaging in gay sex.

"A guy that says he was a man of God, then does that – who knows what he's capable of?" Randolph said. "I don't know. I have a gun to protect myself."

Prosecutors say Reaves killed North Carolina Central University student Latrese Curtis in a jealous rage because he considered her an obstacle to his sexual advances toward Randolph. Randolph testified Thursday that he and Curtis were friends who had sex together.

Drivers discovered the 21-year-old Curtis' body the morning of Jan. 30, 2008, along Interstate 540 near Louisburg Road in Raleigh. She was stabbed nearly 40 times in the head, neck, chest and stomach.

During the trial's third day of testimony, jurors also heard from several other witnesses with whom Randolph had a sexual relationship. They testified being harassed, and one detailed how her car tires were slashed.

Defense attorneys argued there was no evidence that Reaves was involved, but a friend of Randolph's, Warren Roberson testified that he recognized the voice on a voicemail message claiming responsibility for the tire slashing to sound like that of Reaves'.

Testifying under a subpoena, Reaves' sister and second roommate, Willa Mae "Poochie" Thorpe, said she saw Curtis at her brother's home the night before Curtis was found dead.

Earlier Thursday, Kimberly Parker, a friend of Curtis, testified about a call she received from Curtis' cell phone in the early hours of Jan. 30.

"I heard a lot of wind, footsteps. It sounded like it was on gravel," Parker said. "I said, 'Latrese,' when I figured out who it was. I kept on saying, 'Latrese,' and 'hello.' Then, I was quiet after that."

"It was very odd for her to call that late at night," Parker added.

Prosecutors have argued that Reaves followed Curtis from his home the night of Jan. 29 and stabbed her before leaving her body along I-540.

A minister at the time at Cedar International Fellowship in Durham, Reaves has claimed he was attending a church function that night.

But Reaves had no explanation for investigators when questioned why his car on I-540 at the time, prosecutors said.

State trooper Isaac Cooper testified Wednesday that he saw Reaves' Chrysler Pacifica parked along I-540 that morning with keys in the ignition, hazard lights on and the driver-side window rolled down.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Lindow said during opening arguments that Reaves had no explanation as to why his car was out on I-540, said he wasn't familiar with the area and said no one had his car on Jan. 29 or Jan. 30.

The trial is expected to resume Friday morning with expert witnesses taking the stand.

Prosecutors have said their case will likely run until Wednesday and that the full trial could take at least two weeks.

42 Comments

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  • Real Oct 2, 12:49 p.m.

    I don't get Randolph. Why not get a job and pay for your own rent. Why have all these women. That's nasty. his laziness has got him caught in a bind. He needs to man up. I would be ashamed of myself. And why continue to stay. And then you let him touch you. And you stayed. Something isn't right.........

  • jaguar3 Oct 2, 9:18 a.m.

    If the roommate was so not wanting to be involved with this preacher in that manner, why didn't he find another apartment to live in. Maybe he was playing the minister and the young lady. Not that it is right for anyone to die over such stupidity, but why if this roommate knew there was dissention from this minister about the sexuality thing, why would he continue to room with him. None of this makes sense to me. The girl married, the roommate avoiding advances from the minister, something else appears to have been going on. Where is the husband of this woman and what is he saying in all of this.

  • nandud Oct 1, 6:17 p.m.

    "I hate it when someone of the Christian faith commits a crime, then everyone wants to call all the preachers or Christians bad people. Then they start to distrust going to church and the christian faith because of a few bad apples. Its sickening. Some will not allow God to show Himself to them in a personal relationship with Him because of this mentality. Its God we look towards, not the sinful flesh of a man. You should do the same." Ms. Fabulous

    Amen to that. You are so right. Look to God.

    "The man was wrong all the way around. I will not up hold for any minister that do wrongful things and stand in the pulpit and preach. That would be a hipocrite,sweetie. I don't support such. Sorry that you do."

    Where does Ms. Fabulous say she supports him? You are reading something entirely different, "Professor." I'll pray for you sweetie. ;-)

  • grayboomerang Oct 1, 5:41 p.m.

    Some of you have been watching too many Crime TV shows...desperate for a twist. Good grief, they found a hidden knife, screwdriver and a Patrolman saw his car at the scene...but then again the Patrolman might be in on it too, right (yes, that's sarcasm)

  • oldrebel Oct 1, 5:32 p.m.

    re: " Atheists are 8-16% of the population and only 0.21% in prison....Christians are 75% of U.S. population, but according to this Federal Bureau of Prison statistic, they’re 84% the prison population"....I venture that in the closed society it's much wasier to "find" religion and claim some sort of affiliation with Chrisitanity, whereas those who claim to be atheists in that same closed segment of society are looked at as freaks and subject to being shunned by all. Just because someone claims to be a 'christian" or an "atheist" really doesn't mean squat...It just means they verbalized that distinction.

  • PepperPoo Oct 1, 5:20 p.m.

    Did her husband know she was having an affair? He could be another suspect, but I assume the police already thought of that.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 1, 5:04 p.m.

    Mrs. Fabulous, you might want to stop "hating" Christians who "go bad" as you say. Or, just get used to it.

    Because Christians are 75% of U.S. population, but according to this Federal Bureau of Prison statistic, they’re 84% the prison population. Conversely, Atheists are 8-16% of the population and only 0.21% in prison.

    http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm

  • tiger50 Oct 1, 3:48 p.m.

    TRUE men of God give BACK to the church abundantly. This man has given GOD and christianity a black mark...shame on him for standing behind the sacred desk and living like the devil. He will get what he deserves. My heart go's out to this girls family... another sad event.

  • hollylama Oct 1, 3:40 p.m.

    Chole...my thoughts exactly! No mention of her spouse and how he was initially a suspect.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 1, 3:38 p.m.

    Mrs Fabulous, why would someone who believes things on faith suddenly be interested in facts, data & evidence?

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