Local News

Wake Teens Arrested in Killings

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

— A malfunctioning headlight led to the arrest early Saturday morning of six men in connection with recent Wake County murders and armed robberies.

Three have now been charged in the killings of three people in a Zebulon house Monday, and also face two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of larceny of a firearm. Police identified them as Tildren Sherron Hunter, 16, of Raleigh; Marcus DeCarlo Mitchell, 17, of Raleigh; and Durron Burnnun Ray, 18, of Knightdale. They are being held without bail at Wake County jail.

Two of the men were arrested on armed robbery charges. They were identified as Antonio Dea Mitchell, 20, of Zebulon and Damian Rashid Mitchell, 17, who has no known address. David Lee Crumel, 17, of Zebulon, was charged with one count of larceny of a firearm. Bail for the latter three was set at $500,000.

Wake County Sheriff John Baker Jr. said, "We've put some very dangerous individuals in jail."

Raleigh Police Lt. C.M. Murray said that five of the six are suspects in more than 20 robberies of convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and grocery stores in the past month.

Murray said that the suspects had become "increasingly brazen in their attempts," moving from one or two a week to several a night.

Police say they have not ruled out the possibility of other suspects.

The six were picked up when a police officer spotted a Nissan at Industrial and Creekside Drives in Raleigh. The car, similar to one reportedly used in the robberies, had its front headlight out. The officer realized the men fit the descriptions of the perpetrators of three more robberies earlier that night -- in Lizard Lick, Knightdale and Raleigh.

Because of the wide geographic area of the crimes, officers from a variety of Wake County cities and towns were involved in the subsequent interrogations at headquarters.

"Without the joint effort, (these arrests) would not have happened," said Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby.

The murders occurred in a house four miles from Zebulon. Three people, including a 14-year-old junior high school student, were found shot dead execution-style. The victims were identified as Damian Armstrong, 14; Robin M. Watkins, 37, of Raleigh; and Dewayne "Duke" Rogers, 36, who lived in the house.