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Suspect in convenience store killing arrested weeks before

Demarius Antoine Benson, 19, had been arrested on weapons charges weeks before.

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HENDERSON, N.C. — A Vance County man arrested in connection with last week’s shooting of a store clerk had also been arrested weeks before on weapons charges, police records show.

Demarius Antoine Benson, 19, of Eastway Drive, was arrested Sunday in connection with the death of Sadeq Ali Mohommed Alashmali, 31, of Henderson, during a robbery of the Williamsboro Grocery at a Shell gas station, 7690 N.C. Highway 39 North, on Friday. Sheriff Peter White said that Benson also shot at another person in the store. That person was not injured.

Friends of Alashmali feel the justice system failed their friend and plan to take their concerns on Thursday to the Vance County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney.

“It’s another one that slipped through the cracks pretty much,” neighbor Tonya Hanks said.

Another suspect in the convenience store shooting death, Saadi T. Williams, 20, of Henderson, was arrested Tuesday.

Benson and Williams have both served time in prison for common-law robberies committed in Vance County, according to state Department of Correction records.

Benson was released on March 22 after serving 13 months for robberies in June 2005 and January 2006.

Between 2006 and 2007, Williams served 8½ months in prison for a robbery in April 2006.

Both are charged with first-degree murder.


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