Local News

Woman shot in Durham home invasion dies

Posted April 13

— A Durham woman shot during a home invasion last month has died, police said Thursday.

Esther Mae Leak, 79, was shot March 19 when a man forced his way into her home in the 300 block of Burnette Street, police said. Leak's 51-year-old son also was shot but has since recovered.

The gunman stole the son's 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, and police spotted the car the following day and arrested the driver, Jemar Sherray Beulah Jr., after a chase that ended when the car crashed into a tree off Dearborn Drive and burst into flames.

Beulah, 20, of Durham, was charged Thursday with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He has been in jail since his March arrest on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one count each of robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a stolen vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle, felony fleeing to elude law enforcement officials, aggressive driving and reckless driving.

Leak's son, who was also shot during this home invasion, is out of the hospital. He said he is still healing and is heartbroken because his mother was his best friend.


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  • Wendy Runyon Apr 14, 7:30 a.m.
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    I agree, why was he even out of jail to begin with? Bet if they had shot him they would still be in jail.

  • Norman Lewis Apr 14, 12:05 a.m.
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    What do you want to bet Beulah should have still been in jail on earlier charges but a sympathetic Judge let him out? Way to go Durham legal system. What if Esther or her son had a gun with them? Oh, I forgot, the overly restrictive gun laws in the City of Durham are supposed to have protected them from that type of problem. We would be reading a different type of story if this "man" forced his way into my home. Gangs run most of Durham, apparently, they run the legal system as well.