Local News

Plea Deals Reached in Ambush Slaying

Posted October 2, 2007 6:17 p.m. EDT
Updated October 3, 2007 10:05 a.m. EDT

— Two people charged in what authorities call an ambush slaying of a 20-year-old Durham man entered a plea in court Tuesday, and one other person was expected to do so Wednesday.

Janeen Webb, 17, and Stephen Kyle Knight, 20, who were each charged with accessory after the fact to murder, pleaded guilty to a felony obstruction of justice charge in connection with the Aug. 8, 2006, shooting of Adam Christopher Lutz.

A third person, Nicole L. Smith, 18, who is charged with first-degree murder in the case, was expected to enter a plea Wednesday.

Authorities said Smith lured Lutz to a wooded area in Durham County, where two other men – Michael Harrison Hunt Jr. and Tyrone Lamont Baker, both 20 – were apparently waiting to shoot him. Webb and Knight, authorities said, drove a getaway car.

Lutz died from a single bullet to the back of the head, Durham District Attorney David Saacks said in court Tuesday.

Webb, Smith and Knight will be sentenced after they testify in Hunt's and Baker's murder trials, which likely won't start until the spring.

Webb and Knight could each face a maximum of 30 months in jail, the judge said.

Lutz's family agreed to the plea deal, but they said after court Tuesday that the process of grieving hasn't been any easier.

"He was my only grandson," said Ann Dobies. "I just want justice done. I want people to know we care about Adam."

Lutz would have been 22 on Wednesday.