Local News

Man wanted in girlfriend's death surrenders

Posted April 21, 2009 5:31 p.m. EDT
Updated April 22, 2009 1:01 p.m. EDT

— A man wanted in the shooting death of his girlfriend over the weekend surrendered to authorities Tuesday afternoon.

David Bishop, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the early-Sunday shooting of Gabrielle Reece, 19, at a house just south of Louisburg. She was shot in the head, authorities said.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Bishop and another man, putting her body in a trash bag and they had set fire to the chair she had been sitting in. Bishop fled.

Bishop was in the Franklin County jail without bond Tuesday evening. His first court appearance was set for May 5.

According to the North Carolina Department of Correction, Bishop is on probation in Wake County for a March 16 conviction on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a weapon in assembly – both Class I misdemeanors. He was placed on 12 months' probation.

DOC spokesman Keith Acree said Bishop had met with his probation officer on April 1 at the probation office. The officer also tried to visit Bishop at his home two days later but no one was there.

The probation officer was notified after Bishop was arrested April 11 that he was staying at a different address.

The April 11 arrest stemmed from charges of injury to personal property for allegedly using a knife to damage two cars, resisting arrest, intoxication and disruptive behavior.

According to court records, a Wake County magistrate set his bond at $2,000, and a judge later reduced that amount to $1,200.

The Wake County magistrate's office said Tuesday afternoon that it was not immediately clear if it was known that Bishop was on probation when bond was set in the case and that checking on probation statuses is not standard protocol.

The magistrate, however, set the bond at $2,000 because Bishop had a prior conviction. The magistrate's office also added that knowing a suspect's probation status could not solely change a bond amount.

Authorities have not said what led to the shooting or a possible motive, but Jennifer Franco, a lifelong friend of Reece, said Tuesday that Bishop "seemed angry" and that "there was definitely a chance that he would become violent."

"I don't think they should have lessened the bond," Franco said. "I think they should have raised it.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green agrees.

"They can't use excessive bonds or put excessive bonds on defendants, but I just think the bond situation should be revamped," Green said.

Reece's family have planned a memorial for her Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Chapel of Bright Funeral Home, 405 S. Main St. in Wake Forest. Visitation will immediately follow the memorial.