Local News

Teen pleads guilty to killing homeless Raleigh man

Posted August 13
Updated August 14

— One of five teens charged with killing a homeless man in 2012 and dumping his body in a trash can along Raleigh's Walnut Creek Trail pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder.

Angel Sean Muniz, 17, was sentenced to life in prison, but he will be eligible for parole in 25 years.

Friends found the body of Regynald Jose Brown, 37, on Dec. 8, 2012, in a trash can inside a drainage tunnel along the trail near Hammond Road. He hadn't been seen in more than a month and was reported missing two weeks earlier.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Latour said a group of teens calling themselves "Big Money Sway" robbed homeless men on Raleigh greenways to raise their street credibility among gang members. They targeted Brown and started throwing rocks at him when he tried to fight back and hit one of the teens in the face, Latour said.

Brown was kicked and punched until he was unconscious, and the teens tossed his body into the woods nearby, Latour said. Three of them stayed behind, and Muniz picked up a large rock and hit Brown on the head with it three times, according to the prosecutor.

The teens showed Brown's body to others in subsequent days before deciding to conceal it, Latour said. They grabbed a trash can from someone's yard and a shovel, put the body into the can and tried to bury it, but they were unable to dig deep enough to hide the can, Latour said, so they hid the can as much as possible.

After Brown's body was found, investigators traced an address painted on it back to the suspects.

Raheem Hall and Tereise Massenburg also face first-degree murder charges in the case, while Tyrell Hamilton was charged with second-degree murder. Their cases are still pending, but prosecutors said Thursday that all three cases will likely be resolved before going to trial.

The fifth teen, who was 13 at the time of the crime, agreed to testify for the state as part of an agreement that would keep him in the juvenile court system.

Defense attorney Charles Christopher said Muniz has mental health issues but has been receiving treatment while in jail. The teen wants to better his life, Christopher said.

Brown's parents and girlfriend, Jacklyn Adams, attended the court hearing, and Wake County Assistant District Attorney Katy Pomeroy said they wanted him remembered as a smart man with a tender heart, not as a man who was down on his luck and then brutally murdered.

"He would do anything for anyone. He was a jack-of-all-trades. He was an all-around good man,” Pomeroy said. "He was a wonderful man and died in a way he never should have died."

Sabrina Muniz wept in court as her son was led away by deputies to be transferred to state prison.

"I just want to really apologize to the other family that we met on these terms, but now their pain is now my pain, she said. "Unfortunately, it had to end this way."

26 Comments

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  • torchhappysean Aug 14, 10:49 a.m.

    Yeah, sure. People are lining up to take vacations at these wonderful "resort" prisons. Prison is a pretty horrible place to be by any reasonable measure.....bill0..... No you are wrong there..... Prisoners get treated better and have better medical care than most elderly in nursing homes or veterans nowadays. The only thing that prisons don't do for convicts is let them go home at night... Yet.... Otherwise it is more or less a taxpayer funded college for criminals. The days of prison being an undesireable place to be are long gone..

  • zile1porkey Aug 14, 10:42 a.m.

    You no as a person I am so tired of our court systems making excuses for our children there is something wrong with his mind he is mean. If you can kill and hid and coverup you think you are smart and thought you could get away with it I wanted to see him get life without parole this man to wanted too someday change his life and just so readers no we in the black communites are tired of our youth killing it is just senseless and they should be held accountable for their actions.

  • computer trainer Aug 14, 10:27 a.m.

    Sabrina Muniz wept in court as her son was led away by deputies to be transferred to state prison.

    "I just want to really apologize to the other family that we met on these terms, but now their pain is now my pain, she said. "Unfortunately, it had to end this way."

    No, you can see your son. Their son is dead and is never coming back. You should have raised a better son. Did you even know where your son was and what he was doing?

  • bill0 Aug 14, 9:39 a.m.

    "because prisons nowadays are not much more than resorts for criminals."

    Yeah, sure. People are lining up to take vacations at these wonderful "resort" prisons. Prison is a pretty horrible place to be by any reasonable measure.

    The problem is that harsher punishments don't really deter crime. If someone thinks its OK to beat a man to death, brag about it, and show off the corpse, then they obviously aren't concerned with the consequences. There is WAY more going on in that person's head than a simple punishment and reward calculation.

    And of course the kids have mental issues and bad upbringings. Normal kids in normal houses understand right from wrong and wouldn't dream of doing this to a fellow human being. None of that is considered when talking about guilt or innocence though.

  • scubagirl2 Aug 14, 9:10 a.m.

    That poor poor man. Prayers for his loved ones.
    Blessed this teen did the right thing and... View More

    — Posted by "Screen Name-8/20"

    this teen did NOT do the right thing, he assisted in the killing-there is nothing right about that. The right thing would have been to try to stop it.

  • torchhappysean Aug 14, 8:47 a.m.

    Defense attorney Charles Christopher said Muniz has mental health issues but has been receiving treatment while in jail. The teen wants to better his life, Christopher said...... Why is it just about every time a teen murders someone they try to convince everyone that they have "mental problems" or blame their childhood for the crime they commit? This isn't a mental problem or bad childhood but instead just a sheer lack of respect for others.. I feel that in cases like this the perpetrators need to recieve a much more severe punishment than 25yrs of watching cable tv, working out in a fully stocked weight room, playing sports, free meals and medical, etc., because prisons nowadays are not much more than resorts for criminals. Bring back the chain gangs where prisoners built roads, worked farms to grow their own food, or clear trails for the park service. Make them have to pay their own way instead of us the taxpayers.

  • bdu4dals2 Aug 14, 8:19 a.m.

    The other 4 simply need the same sentence, lets quit wasting taxpayer dollars on their trials. And no, I don't think they are good boys that just made a bad decision.

  • wlbbjb Aug 13, 6:26 p.m.

    Blessed this teen did the right thing and accepted responsibility for his actions, showing courage many far older than him never have
    posted by: WHAT'S-IT-MATTER!?!
    Too bad this teen didn't show courage and do the right thing while he was in the process of committing this crime. If the victim were your relative would you be so generous with praise in you comments. I think not.

  • MOSFET Aug 13, 6:01 p.m.

    One must be devoid of humanity to commit such an act. Teen or not, he/they should removed from society until they are no longer physically able to harm anyone.

  • A person Aug 13, 5:23 p.m.

    So the kid will be 42 when he gets out. It is a shame that he will still be young enough to enjoy a few years before he is an old man

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