Local News

Murder Victim Knew Suspect

Posted January 9, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Police arrested 60-year-old Leman Evans Wednesday in connection with the January 17, 1997 death of DeWanna Burt. Authorities are giving out little information, but a relative of Burt says the victim knew the suspect.

Burt's family members say they are relieved that police have made an arrest in connection with the first of six Raleigh murders involving African-American women in their 30's. Burt's aunt, Phyllis Burt, says the arrest was a long time coming.

Phyllis Burt says she knows her niece was acquainted with Evans, but she does not know the nature of their relationship

The suspect's brother and sister, Lemuel and Lucy Evans, told WRAL TV5's Wisdom Martin that their brother is a quiet man and that they do not believe he committed the crime of which he is accused.

Police say they can now turn their attention toward the remaining five unsolved murders from 1996. They will not say if Evans is a suspect in those crimes.

Delores White, who lives in the neighborhood where some of the bodies were found, says she feels much more at ease now that an arrest has been made.

Police did say that Evans has been a suspect for several months. He has a record of prior crimes including assault by pointing a gun and carrying a concealed weapon.