Local News

Police charge suspect in Durham woman's slaying

Posted July 25, 2013

— Police investigating the death of a woman found Tuesday in her Durham apartment have charged a Fayetteville man with murder in the case.

Durham police served John Franklin Alexander, 34, arrest warrants Thursday morning on charges of murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of stolen property in the death of Ella Davis.

Davis, 58, was found dead inside her home at Greens of Pine Glen apartments on Glen Hollow Lane.

Police said Thursday that she was stabbed and that the crime was not a random act.

At the time of his arrest in the case, Alexander, of 4402 Ruby Road, Fayetteville, was already in jail in Harnett County following a wreck he had there Monday morning in Davis's car.

He faces at least 15 unrelated charges in Harnett County, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm, trafficking controlled substances and assault on a law enforcement officer.

According to court records, Alexander pleaded guilty in 1998 in Cumberland County to assault on a child under 12 years old.

In 2001, he also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 13 to 16 years in prison for the June 21, 1998, stabbing death of 29-year-old Kerry Mortenson.

As in Davis's case, authorities said the crime was not random and that Alexander stabbed Mortenson at his home and stole his car.

Alexander was released from prison last March and was on parole until December.


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  • gswalker51 Jul 26, 2013

    Al Sharpton and the news media have already forgotten about Ella Davis, Shaquille Hargrove and Shaniya Davis. Those stories just don't fit their agenda/narrative.

  • executiveconsultinggroup50 Jul 26, 2013

    This is such a sad travesty. This woman lost her life over petty theft. But, God allowed this perpetrator to have an auto accident, in her car; which is what led to his arrest. Sadly, though, he murdered someone else in the same manner; and, was out on parole--which he could not even last the 9 months that he was on it. Within four months, he committed the same crime that landed him in prison. Somewhere, within the prison system, there need to be reform rather than release after so many years incarcerated. Whatever happened to rehabilitating these criminals while they are incarcerated; and, definitely make sure there is a change prior to their release? It appears that he did not learn anything by being incarcerated the first time. And, why was he released prior to completing the remainder of his first sentence? I am curious to know whether Ms. Davis was a relative of his; or, what? What relationship did they have that he would have even been in Durham County; and, at her apartment?

  • itsyoureternalsoul Jul 26, 2013

    There seems to be a life pattern emerging

  • dadsgoose98 Jul 26, 2013

    Why should tax payers even waste money on a trial for this guy?

  • Ven Jul 26, 2013

    his guy has done it TWICE!!! by the age of 34. TWO HUMAN LIVES taken by him. Sorry for him? Sorry, NOPE, not even a little bit. Sadly, I bet he's not sorry either.

    No one, at least not ME, is sorry for him! at some point, regardless of how the cards are stacked against you or me, we have to make choices and this clown surely made bad ones. But the litany of options you rattled off wouldn't be open to him - community colleges wouldn't take him in this day and age b/c if he flipped, they would be sued for a non-thorough background check. Maybe a farmer would consider him, maybe but not a sure thing and to be fair, we all would think twice with a history like that. My point is broader than race and more about the attitudes/behaviors of our society wrt those that are 'outside the norm'.

  • Ven Jul 26, 2013

    Ven: The national tragedy is the murder rate per 100,000 of the youth population, as of 2010 for example: 2.1 for non-hispanic whites and 51.5 for non-hispanic blacks. The real trajedy is the enormous percentage of black perpetrators.

    i wish the gen pop had common math sense. normalize the data and what you'll find is this: races kill at the same rate, usually their own but 'poorer' people kill more often, and usually ones that look like them. period. i would then explain to you why this is but surely would be blocked.

  • Tackman792000 Jul 26, 2013

    Sometimes prison is just not the answer, but it's best alternative we have. Compare this: Someone convicted of murder like this Alexander guy; compare him to yourselves. He gets 3 meals a day, like you. He get TV privileges, like you (but maybe limited channels), possibly basic cable. He can workout in the yard while you can go to the gym or spa. He gets a job in prison (like laundry), gets money to buy things like tooth paste and deodorant. You work on a daily basis. The only thing missing from his routine is the freedom to walk the streets. My point: Sometimes prison is too easy! Like Justic4all said, "Prisons should deter people from being a prisoner." It's just like anything else, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

  • 68_dodge_polara Jul 26, 2013

    "In 2001, he also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 13 to 16 years in prison"

    It's up to you to protect your self and you family these days as no level of government is able or even willing to do so.

  • Jack Flash Jul 25, 2013

    "There will be zero national media on this one. Wonder why?"

    B/c there is nothing controversial about this. Someone allegedly killed someone else, apparently motivated by good old fashioned greed, and the suspect has been arrested. I won't use a question mark in assessing why you asked: You want to pretend this is just like the Trayvon Martin's death. I bet you were also one of those people claiming that case had nothing to do w/ race, yet you're insinuating here that the media ought to be involved for that very reason.

  • beachboater Jul 25, 2013

    ""Death penalty for ANY murder would have prevented this issue'. NC Red Shirt"

    I wish this as well. It will stop all the senseless murders in this world."

    For the ones concerned about any mention of race...... I whole heartedly agree with the death penalty as mentioned above. That applies whether the bad guy is red, green, purple, blue, orange, yellow, majenta, WHITE OR BLACK.

    As comedian Ron White says about Texas......"If you kill someone in Texas and there are several credible witnesses, we will kill you back."

    NOBODY should ever be convicted of two separate murders. Someone convicted of murder, should never be convicted of anything ever again. They should never have the opportunity.

    Building more prisons is not the answer. We should not be paying for cable t.v. for people that will never see the light of day again.

    How many of you remember when we had 3 channels and after midnight you only saw the test pattern?