Local News

Former pastor will defend himself in death of NCCU student

Posted September 10, 2009 10:05 a.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2009 10:28 a.m. EDT

— The man accused of killing a North Carolina Central University student and leaving her body along Interstate 540 in Raleigh has fired his defense attorney.

Robert Lee Adams Reaves is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Latrese Matral Curtis, 21. Drivers found her body along I-540 near Louisburg Road on the morning of Jan. 30, 2008. She had been stabbed nearly 40 times in the head, neck, chest and stomach.

Reaves announced his plan to defend himself Wednesday and signed a waiver dismissing attorneys George Kelly and Margaret Lunden.

Reaves’ trial is set to begin Sept. 21.

Also on Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens approved a motion by Kelly and Lunden to suppress evidence gathered in a search of Reaves’ home. Stephens agreed that Wake County sheriff's deputies had no jurisdiction to serve warrants for Reaves' computers, because Reaves at the time lived in Durham.

Wake County prosecutors have said Reaves killed Curtis in a jealous rage because she was having a romantic relationship with his roommate.

Reaves, who at the time was a minister at Cedar International Fellowship in Durham, has said he was at a church function the night Curtis was killed. Prosecutors have said police can prove he wasn't there.