Local News

Evidence From Robberies Linked Suspect to Duke Student's Slaying

Posted February 6, 2008 8:16 p.m. EST

— Evidence from at least two armed robberies helped investigators link a Durham man to a Duke University graduate student’s death.

That’s according to Durham County Assistant District Attorney Tracey Cline during a probable cause hearing Wednesday for Stephen Lavance Oates, 19.

Oates was indicted earlier this week in connection with the shooting death of Abhijit Mahato, 29, who was found shot to death inside his apartment on Jan. 19.

Wednesday’s probable cause hearing was on a robbery spree in Durham not connected to Mahato’s death.

Oates faces one count of common law robbery, one count of simple assault, 17 counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, one count of attempting to receive property by false pretenses, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill causing serious bodily injury.

Oates remains in the Durham County Jail under no bond in connection with Mahato’s death.