Local News

Suspects indicted in Cary teen's hit-and-run death

Posted July 8, 2015 10:34 a.m. EDT

— Four suspects accused in the hit-and-run death of a Cary teenager have been indicted on charges of first-degree murder.

Jourdan Chanquion Mack, 20; Beth Strange, 18; Abijah James Masse, 17; and Joshua Odell Simmons, 17, all of Morrisville were indicted Tuesday in Wake County Superior Court.

Investigators said the suspects met the victim, 16-year-old Katherine "Katie" Burdick-Crow, at Walnut Street Park the night of June 26 for a drug deal.

According to a search warrant, Burdick-Crow chased two of the suspects after they stole marijuana from her that she planned to sell to them. They got into a truck, and she jumped onto the step rail near the driver, according to the warrant.

The driver, Simmons, then started driving faster and punched Burdick-Crow in the face and head several times until she fell from the moving truck, according to the search warrant. She died early the next day at WakeMed.

In an emotional court hearing last week, an attorney for Masse said Burdick-Crow's death was an accident.

"These are not bad kids that you're dealing with," attorney Julian Hall said. "We're not looking at this thing like your typical murder. It seems like an accident."

Two of the four suspects were students at Green Hope High School, the same school Burdick-Crow attended. Cary officials said Masse is a student at Green Hope, and Mack graduated from there in 2013. Simmons is a student at Panther Creek High School, and Strange graduated from there in May.