Local News

Suspect in soldier's slaying caught trying to flee to Jamaica

Posted June 8, 2009 1:25 p.m. EDT

— A known drug dealer wanted in the slaying of a soldier at a Spring Lake nightclub was caught while trying to flee to Jamaica this weekend, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Monday.

Demar J. Bryan, 22, was wanted in the March 29 shooting death of Spec. Charles Clements, 27, who was based at Fort Hood, Texas, at the Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge on North Main Street. Arthur Mwebe, 26, a Fort Bragg soldier, was also shot in the leg.

A law enforcement officer identified Bryan during a routine traffic stop in Sebring, Fla., Debbie Tanna, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said in a release.

Tanna said agents were already aware of an alias – Ladez Kwame Jones – on a North Carolina driver's license that Bryan presented to law enforcement. He was also carrying a passport under the assumed identity of Omar Jackson, she said.

Investigators believe that Bryan was trying to leave the United States and go to Jamaica. He claims to be a member of the Jamaican community in the Fayetteville area, where he has a reputation as a violent drug dealer.

Tanna said that Clements and Mwebe did not know Bryan before the shooting and were not connected to his drug activity in any way.

Clements broke up a fight between Bryan and woman outside the nightclub on the night of the shooting, investigators said. Clements went back inside, and Bryan returned with a gun and fired at Clements and Mwebe while they were in the middle of a crowded dance floor, authorities said.

Clements, a father of three, was on a 15-day leave from Afghanistan.

Bryan was in the Highland County Detention Center Monday without bond. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to determine if he will fight extradition to Cumberland County.