Local News

No death penalty sought in fatal beating of UNC professor

Posted December 17, 2014

Derick Davis II, left, Troy Arrington Jr.

— Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Wednesday that he doesn't plan to seek the death penalty against two men charged with beating a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor to death on a street near campus last summer.

Feng Liu, 59, of Durham, was taking a lunchtime walk on July 23 when he was beaten with a rock and robbed near the intersection of Ransom Street and West University Drive, police said. He died the following day at UNC Hospitals.

Derick Davis II, 23, of Scots Pine Crossing in Durham, and Troy Arrington Jr., 27, of Johnson Street in Chapel Hill, are charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the case.

Liu was a research professor in UNC's Eshelman School of Pharmacy for the last decade, working to development cancer treatments.


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  • GLFriday Dec 18, 2014

    What a tragic waste of 3 lives! I wonder how many cancer patients this man's life work would have saved?

  • teikko2000 Dec 18, 2014

    I see posters on here syaing "where's the protest" and all that but were the perpertrators of this crime Chapel Hill police? I didn't think so....now I think this is a dispicable crime and they should be puniched to the fullest extent of the law since they're not seeking the death penalty but please stop dragging your views against black people uniting in the wake of police killing black youth into every article involving a black person and homocide.

  • ok_then Dec 18, 2014

    LIGHTFOOT3 DEC 18, 9:32 A.M.

    "No death penalty sought in fatal beating of UNC professor" - article

    That's a shame and disgrace. Not only should the death penalty be sought, but it should be carried out within a few months if found guilty. These blights on society, that waste resources, destroyed a functioning, CONTRIBUTING member of society, that actually worked on stuff to help other people. And we're going to spend money and use resources to keep them caged for decades? THIS is what's wrong with our justice system.

    ... agreed 100%..

  • UNC006 Dec 18, 2014

    Love to ask Jim Woodall exactly what crime would constitute a capitol case. Nothing worse than a DA not doing his/ her job...

  • miseem Dec 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Iagree with some of your post, but I don't think a confession is necessary to sentence someone to death. But you do need clear, convincing evidence of guilt. And there are few mitigating circumstances I would consider appropriate in not arriving at a death sentence. And a bad childhood (the old standby), being drunk or on drugs, or most claims of insanity are not among the excuses. Although I'm sure there are lots of people in Orange County in favor of the death penalty, the odds of getting a jury of 12 in Orange to convict and sentence to death are impossibly high. And some jury members would vote not guilty just to prevent that sentence. So going for life without parole may be the best route to at least partial justice in this case.

  • lovebelle99 Dec 18, 2014

    Everyone should go protest "our lives matter too" then maybe the main criminal element who committs the majority of crime & their liberal supporters who keep pushing the we are the victims stance will face reality for a change!!

  • Sarah Lewis Dec 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Where are the pot bangers, UNC student protesters, Jessie, Al?

  • NCSUGrad1992 Dec 18, 2014

    I did not hear anyone reply as to the protest that will certainly be held in Durham by the NAACP. I mean the guy killed was of color, asian. So where are the protesters???????

  • Objective Scientist Dec 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    "...in Orange county, getting a capital sentence would be virtually impossible anyway...."

    I agree that a capital sentence in Orange Co. is rare... virtually non-existant! However, the notion that ALL UNC graduates, faculty, administrators, etc., and ALL residents of Orange Co. are adamently opposed to the death penalty is incorrect. I am a 3-time UNC graduate, have spent decades in Orange Co. and have had a long time, close association with UNC. I do NOT oppose the death penalty! Furthermore, I have friends, colleagues, etc. that do not oppose capital punishment! My stand on capital punishment is this: In cases in which there are eyewitnesses, video, DNA and other forensic evidence, etc. - and admission of guilt - that establishes beyond ANY doubt that the person charged with the murder is UNQUESTIONABLE guilty of the crime and there are NO mitigating circumstances... capital punishment should be carried out swiftly!

  • foodstamptrader Dec 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I don't think they are out of jail now. I think it was revealed they both had recently been released from jail prior to the murder. In fact one of the dudes was still wearing his court ordered monitoring ankle device when he killed the professor. Our justice system is so totally broken. citizens must protect themselves. The courts are failing us!