Local News

Woman accused of stealing from dying teen

Posted May 8, 2008 11:09 a.m. EDT
Updated May 8, 2008 6:33 p.m. EDT

— A Spring Lake woman has been charged with stealing from the dying teenage victim of a street shooting, police said Thursday.

Lakesha S. Lilly, 26, of 1306-B King St., was charged Tuesday with felony larceny after shoes and a cell phone were taken from James Porter as he lay dying, police said.

Porter, 17, of 608 Devoe Ave., had been shot in the head on Jan. 20 and was found behind D&K Tires, at the intersection of Cliffdale and Pritchett roads. Paramedics took him to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators said they believe Lilly approached Porter at least twice while he lay unconscious. She didn't render aid or attempt to call for help, they said.

"He was still alive at that time. He didn't pass away until after he had been taken to the hospital," said Jamie Smith, spokeswoman for the Fayetteville Police Department. "She just took his stuff and left him there."

Porter's mother said she was stunned by the charge.

"It's breathtaking and heartrending from the simple fact that someone could come upon a helpless body, and the first thing they could think of was to steal and rob instead of get help," Phyllis Porter said. "The first instinct of anybody was to help."

James Porter, a student at 71st High School, would never have acted so callously, his mother said.

"He would take the shoes off his feet (and) give them to you. That's the type of person he was," she said.

The teen was out with friends the night he was shot, and his mother said it wasn't like him to stay out past his curfew or not return her cell phone calls.

"I was sitting in my bed doing homework and praying and just saying, 'God, please take care of him. I don't know where my son is. Just take care of him,'" Phyllis Porter said.

She said she hopes Lilly will help police find her son's killer.

"You don't just come across a body," she said. "You've got to know more than what you're saying."

Lilly hasn't been charged in the shooting. Investigators said they have identified several persons of interest in Porter's death, and they said they believe other people were with Lilly when the thefts occurred.

Anyone with information about Porter's shooting is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.