Local News

Durham Man Charged in Avalon Nightclub Slaying

Posted August 10, 2007 12:03 a.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2007 8:18 a.m. EDT

— A Durham man faces a murder charge in a shooting outside a Chapel Hill nightclub last year, though authorities believe someone else pulled the trigger, police said Thursday.

Chapel Hill police said they had picked up Willie James Mayo, Jr., 28, of 910 Cartman St. in Durham, with help from the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

They charged Mayo with first-degree murder and accessory after the fact in the shooting of Kedrain Monta Swann of Chapel Hill. Mayo was being held without bail in the Orange County Jail.

Swann was shot 12 times with a high-powered rifle outside Club Avalon on July 29, 2006, after an altercation inside the club, police said. He died at a local hospital.

Town officials later forced the nightclub to close, citing a "grave safety risk" to nearby residents. Officials noted the club had been the site of previous assaults and gunfire.

Investigators said they think Mayo was the driver of a getaway car and that the shooter was a man named Christopher Shipley. The arrest warrant for Mayo named Shipley but didn't give any other information about him.