Local News

Hit-and-Run Suspect Charged With Second-Degree Murder

Posted March 3, 2008 1:30 p.m. EST
Updated March 4, 2008 2:44 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh man, who police said was eluding an officer early Saturday when he hit another car and killed a man, was arrested and charged Monday afternoon with second-degree murder, police said.

Kenya Teveris Alston, 31, of 237 Big Oak St., surrendered to police around 5:30 p.m.. to face additional charges in the weekend collision that killed Matthew Paul Kraft, 21.

In addition to murder, Alston also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and felony hit-and-run, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

According to a police report, Kraft was waiting to turn left on Proctor Road about 2 a.m. when Alston lost control of the car he was driving and crashed into the driver-side door of Kraft's car.

"He looked over at me and gave me like that cheesy middle school smile, and I just smiled back at him," said Kraft's girlfriend, Michelle Dixon, of moments before the collision. "And we were just like looking at each other for a couple of minutes, and then I looked away."

After the collision, Kraft's car traveled approximately 61 feet before coming to rest near Cross Link Road.

"I said, 'Oh my God. Matt, are you OK?' And he wasn't answering me, and he was kind of leaning on me,” Dixon said.

He died at WakeMed Sunday. Dixon wasn't seriously injured.

After hitting Kraft, Alston's car continued south on Rock Quarry Road for 238 feet before stopping upside-down. Sughrue said Alston had been pulled over earlier for a headlight violation on New Bern Avenue and that he was trying to elude police.

Police were looking for Alston at the time of the collision, but he was not being pursued Sughrue said. Alston tried to run from the scene, but police caught him, according to the police report.

He initially had been charged with driving while impaired and speeding and eluding arrest. He was out of jail on a $30,000 bond on those charges when he surrendered to police.

Kraft, who was originally from Pennsylvania, moved to Raleigh three years ago and was living with his brother.

He worked for nearly two years at Chili's restaurant on Kildaire Farm Road in Cary, where he trained waiters. He was known as a friendly and hard-working employee who wanted to become a manager.

Kraft's friends planned to hold a vigil for him there Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., but because of weather, it has been moved to Kirk of Kildaire church on High Meadow Drive. More than 50 people are expected to attend.

"How he made me feel, how he changed me as a person, (it) kind of turned my whole life around,” Dixon said of Kraft.