Local News

Guilt, anger flare when alleged killer has day in court

Posted November 5, 2015 3:23 p.m. EST
Updated November 5, 2015 6:41 p.m. EST

— Emotions ran high – from anger to guilt – among those in the gallery for the first court appearance of a man accused of rape, assault and murder in an August crime spree.

Kendrick Gregory, 21, was under heavy guard Thursday in a Wake County courtroom.

"All I know is a very good friend of mine was killed. That's all I care about," said Stephen McNair.

McNair was present because he was friends with Tom Durand, owner of Mr. Pawn on Raleigh's Capital Boulevard, whom authorities say Gregory shot and killed.

"I don't care about what happens to him," McNair said of Gregory.

A young woman who met Gregory weeks before his alleged crime spree expressed a different emotion.

"I felt a little twinge of guilt," Aaliyah Blaylock said. "He was in my presence, and maybe there was something I could have done more that day to help him."

Blaylock said Gregory told her that he was dealing with mental illness but could not afford treatment.

"Even the way he was walking and carrying himself, I knew something was wrong with him," she said.

"He asked me to pray for him, and I prayed for him."

Blaylock said she urged Gregory to go to the hospital and later learned of his arrest when she saw his mug shot on the news.

Gregory fled North Carolina and was arrested in New York in September after a massive manhunt. He was charged there with stealing a car and having a loaded weapon in that car.