Local News

Suspect Arrested in Durham Man's Slaying

Posted November 19, 2007 7:44 p.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2007 1:14 p.m. EST

— A suspect in the slaying of an 89-year-old Bragtown man surrendered on Monday evening, Durham County Sheriff Worth L. Hill announced.

Last Friday, the sheriff's office swore out warrants against Tory Jarel Nelson, 18, of 5121 Stanley Road, in the stabbing death of Charles Forest Davis. Davis was found dead in his home at 2913 Nellowood St. on Sept. 26.

Nelson surrendered to Barry Jones, of Barry Bail Bonds Inc., at 6 p.m. Monday. He was then taken to the Durham County magistrate's office, where detectives met him.

Nelson is charged with first-degree murder, breaking and entering larceny and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Authorities said other arrests in the case were pending.

Detectives said Nelson had been a focus of the investigation from the start, but they did not release a picture of him and call him a person of interest until two weeks ago. They officially named him a suspect and began actively searching for him after getting the warrants.

Investigators said that Davis was stabbed to death and his home had been ransacked.

Earlier, detectives said they thought Davis' death might have been connected to a series of break-ins in the Bragtown neighborhood. In 10 days surrounding the killing, police investigated at least eight break-ins in the area.

On Sept. 28, investigators searched Nelson's house and seized a pair of jeans, but the search produced no arrests.

A day after Davis's body was found, a deputy spotted his car and gave chase, but the people inside jumped out, ran and escaped. A confidential informant told investigators that Nelson was driving the stolen car, authorities said.

According to a search warrant, blood stains on and inside the Buick Century indicated a transfer of evidence from Davis' home to the car and to the occupants of the car.

Davis served as a deacon at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, where he was a member for more than 50 years.