Local News

Jurors seated in ex-pastor's murder trial

Posted September 28, 2009 1:50 p.m. EDT
Updated September 30, 2009 10:26 a.m. EDT

— Opening arguments are expected Tuesday in the trial of a former pastor accused of stabbing a North Carolina Central University student to death and then dumping her body along Interstate 540 in Raleigh last year.

Robert Lee Adams Reaves is charged with first-degree murder in the January stabbing death of Latrese Matral Curtis, 21.

Prosecutors have said in previous court hearings that Reaves killed Curtis in a jealous rage because she was having an affair with his male roommate, with whom Reaves had wanted to have a sexual relationship.

Both the state and the defense spent Monday selecting jurors for the case. Seven men and five women – two black, 10 white – were seated.

Reaves, who at the time was a minister at Cedar International Fellowship in Durham, followed Curtis from his apartment, forced her to pull over and killed her, prosecutors have said.

Motorists driving along I-540 near Louisburg Road discovered her body the morning of Jan. 30, 2008. She was stabbed nearly 40 times in the head, neck, chest and stomach.

Reaves has said he was attending a church function the night Curtis was killed, but prosecutors have said they can prove he was not there.

If convicted, Reaves could face life in prison.

According to court records, Reaves has twice been charged with sexual misconduct with young boys. He was convicted of the charges in South Carolina in 1988, but charges in New York in 2002 did not result in a conviction.