Bill Burroughs' wife had returned from church on July 12 when she found him dead inside their home on Red Cedar Circle. Police hadn't previously released a cause of death.
Cheo Burroughs, 35, of Buffalo, N.Y., was arrested Saturday after his father's funeral and was charged with murder in the slaying. Officers waited for the service to end before taking him into custody, said Kammie Michaels, spokeswoman for the Durham Police Department.
During a brief court hearing Monday morning, District Judge Ann McKown ordered Cheo Burroughs held without bond and appointed a public defender to represent him.
A grand jury also indicted him on the murder charge Monday, according to the Durham County District Attorney's Office.
Family members declined to comment after the hearing, calling the case a "double tragedy."
Police haven't released information on a possible motive in the stabbing.
Neighbors in the Treyburn community in Durham said they didn't know the Burroughses well but still were surprised by what investigators say happened in his home.
Bill Burroughs, 64, played basketball at St. Augustine's College in the mid-1960s. He later served as national president of the college's alumni association and as alumni representative to the college's board of trustees.
He spent his career as a youth counselor in the Northeast before retiring to Durham. He ran the campaigns of two elected officials in Durham – City Councilwoman Cora-Cole McFadden and Board of Education Chairwoman Minnie Forte-Brown.
George Williams, who attended St. Aug's with Bill Burroughs and was a long-time friend, said everyone who knew Burroughs is stunned by his death.
"I would have never thought that someone would have ruled it as a homicide because of the fact that he didn't have a mean bone in his body. He was always smiling, always a nice guy," Williams said.