Local News

Murder Suspect Slipped Through Cracks at...

Posted September 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Six days before two North Carolina lawmen were gunned down, police stopped the younger of the two brothers accused in the killings at Fayetteville's Greyhound Bus station. Kevin Golphin was no stranger to Fayetteville or Fayetteville police. He was almost arrested one week ago.

Wednesday, September 17, Fayetteville narcotics officers were conducting one of that city's now routine checks of Greyhound bus passengers. The searches are conducted in an attempt to crack down on drug traffic that frequently flows through the station. City officers became suspicious of Kevin Golphin, one of the passengers traveling to South Carolina.

Sergeant Edwin Burns recalls making contact with Golphin and talking to him for a few minutes. Burns says suspicions were raised about Golphin, how he was traveling, and the answers he gave to officers' questions. Officers suspected Golphin was carrying a controlled substance.

Police didn't arrest him because Golphin didn't consent to let officers search his bag. Officers seized the bag, but had to let Golphin travel on.

After receiving a search warrant from the magistrate, officers searched the bag and subsequently turned up 80 grams of marijuana. A warrant was issued for Kevin Golphin's arrest, but since he was already, by that time, in South Carolina and since the amount of drugs recovered was so small, police could not bring him in.

Six days later, Golphin and his brother were charged with gunning down two of the narcotics officers' colleagues. It's a reality they say is tough to stomach.

Sgt. Burns admits the first thing that probably went through most officers' minds was the fact that two officers were lost and something might have been done to prevent it. But, after looking at state laws and regulations, Burns believes that there is nothing that could have been done.

Burns regrets there was no canine team on hand during the Greyhound bus search. If there had been, he says, Kevin Golphin might have been pulled off the bus and arrested at that time.