Local News

Murder suspect's family says he's innocent

Posted October 27, 2008 3:56 p.m. EDT
Updated October 28, 2008 1:19 a.m. EDT

Armond Devega

— A judge denied bond Monday for a Raleigh man charged in two homicides and a string of armed robberies. Meanwhile, his family says he is innocent.

Armond Devega, 27, was arrested Friday at his parents' home, at 6037 Big Sandy Drive in Raleigh, on two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and nine counts of robbery for crimes dating to January.

Investigators say Devega shot and killed Anthony Dwayne Scarborough, 32, on Feb. 13 and Stephanie Powell Anderson, 39, at a Wilco-Hess gas station on April 10.

Devega also is charged with nine robberies that began Jan. 23 and ended Sept. 10. A clerk at the last robbery location was shot several times, but survived.

But Devega's aunt, Coquita Porter, said Monday she suspects a former girlfriend turned him in to police for reward money, because she knew he was getting married to someone else.

"I'd be totally shocked (if he did it)," Porter said, adding that she does not believe he looks like the assailant in surveillance video from some of the crimes.

"It's like, 'Oh my gosh, he's done this?'" she continued. "I've looked at the pictures of the people who have committed the murders. They don't look like Armond, at all."

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue would not comment on the claim Monday afternoon.

Family members of both murder victims were also at Devega's first court appearance. They said they were relieved to know a suspect has been charged.

"It makes me feel a whole lot better knowing he can't hurt anyone else," Scarborough's father, James Ray, said. "It makes me feel a whole lot better.

"He was a coward," Anderson's brother, Orlando Powell, said. "He can't harm anyone else again. It's a relief. "I hate that we had to go through this to get him off the streets, but he needs to pay for what he's done."