Gang Initiation Tied to Fayetteville Murders, Assault
Posted August 19, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — Investigators now believe a double murder and a carjacking in Cumberland County are related. They have arrested seven people, one of them a juvenile, who were allegedly involved in a Los Angeles gang initiation.
During a morning news conference, investigators told the media all seven people had been taken into custody in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The six adults have been charged with murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy. Petitions have been filed against the juvenile, reportedly a 16-year-old female. All seven suspects are Cumberland County residents and all are under the age of 21. They all lived together in a mobile home in Cumberland County.
Preliminary reports indicate blue painted bullets, indicative of the Crips gang, were used in both crimes, which appear to be random acts of violence.
Late Wednesday night, detectives found other gang paraphernalia, Cheeseborough's purse, and the license plates from two of the victims' cars in the mobile home. The cars, with stolen dealer tags, were found in Myrtle Beach. Officers had a hunch the suspects were there. The suspects were wearing gang-related blue bandanas.
"One of the cell phones from the victims ... there were some calls being made on that telephone Tuesday," said Cumberland County Chief Deputy Cuyler Windham. "[The calls] came from the beach area of South Carolina."
On Monday, investigators found the bodies of Susan Raye Moore and Tracy Rose Lambert in a field in Cumberland County. Both had been shot to death execution style. Debra Cheeseborough, a manager at the Raeford Road Bojangle's restaurant, was also found Monday after being carjacked, shot seven times and left for dead. She is recovering, and is listed in stable condition.
Michael Cheeseborough, husband of the carjacking victim, says his wife is scared, but he is angry.
"I'm mad at the teachers of these guys," he said. "Because good upbringing would not bring this about in this society."
Police have now formally charged six of the suspects in connection with the carjacking. They say Christina Walters and a juvenile have confessed to the carjacking. Detectives say the carjacking incident that left Cheeseborough wounded was the first act of the crime spree.
The suspects are jailed in Myrtle Beach, where investigators say they ran to get out of the area. The suspects should all be back in Cumberland County by Thursday night.
The suspects are believed to be members of a branch of the gang which is based in Los Angeles. Suspects John Juarbe and Darryl Tucker, Jr., who were found driving a victim's car, are said to be cooperating with investigators.
Investigators say the fact that one of the victims survived is going to be of benefit to their investigation. Fayetteville police are investigating the carjacking.
Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler says there have been many violent incidents in the county that have consisted of attacks between gang members, but during his career, he has never heard of a gang member singling out someone at random for such violent attacks.
Later this evening, WRAL's Mark Roberts will take a closer look at the history of gang violence in North Carolina. andMJ Ainsley