Local News

Man acquitted of murder arrested on firearms charge

Posted April 24, 2009 12:07 p.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2009 7:08 p.m. EDT

— A 17-year-old who was found not guilty in the slaying of a Raleigh deacon faces new charges.

Latrell Cyrell Latham was arrested Friday morning on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was in the Wake County jail under a $250,000 secured bond.



In February, a Wake County jury found Latham not guilty of murder in connection with the Oct. 23, 2007, shooting death of Richard Gus Brown.

Brown, 74, had returned from a church meeting and was checking his mail outside his Wallingford Drive apartment when he was shot, Raleigh police said.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said police received information about a month ago that Latham, a known gang member, was in possession of a handgun. Detectives followed up and through "diligent work," they were able to obtain a warrant for his arrest.

Latham was in jail on an armed robbery charge when he was charged in November 2007 with Brown's death. While awaiting trial in Brown's case, he pleaded guilty to the robbery charge and served his sentence.

Since his acquittal, Latham has been arrested twice on charges of second-degree trespassing and possession of marijuana.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings, who prosecuted Latham on the murder charge, said Friday he was not surprised by the recent arrest.

"He continued to participate in the activities with the same group of people he had been with before-engaging in those activities," Cummings said. "I felt like it was only going to be a matter of time."

Latham, who had the gang nickname "Murder," claimed to be with friends at the time Brown was shot. Cummings had argued during trial that investigators found his palm print and fingerprints at the crime scene.

"I felt like he was responsible for the murder," he said Friday. "The problem is the state's witnesses were apparently not credible."