Driver charged in Domino's manager's beating death
Three men, including a former Domino's Pizza driver, have been arrested and charged in the January beating death of Kenneth Ring, an assistant manager at the Knightdale pizza store.Posted — Updated
Travis Melton Sherman, 21, and Nicho D'Angelo Bowers, 20, both of 1916 Indianwood Court in Raleigh, were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of Kenneth Edward "Kenny" Ring.
A third suspect, Christopher Thomas, 35, of Wilmington, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with murder.
Ring, 24, was attacked during a Jan. 9 robbery at the Domino's Pizza store on Widewaters Parkway in Knightdale, where he worked. He died two days later.
"I can't thank both the district attorney's office and the Knightdale police for their, basically, tireless efforts on this," Ring's father, Dan Ring, said Wednesday. "It's been some tough times, but none of us have given up (hope that an arrest would be made)."
According to January search warrants in the case, Bowers, who worked briefly at the store, told police he called 911 after he found Ring on the floor in the manager's office when he returned from a delivery shortly after 12:30 a.m.
Shawn Brown, chief of Knightdale Public Safety, said Wednesday that Ring had been in the store by himself at the time and had been hit multiple times in the head with a baseball bat.
Arrest warrants also indicate that $1,502 had been stolen from the store.
"We had a few different theories of how things may have happened, motives and things along that line," Brown said. "The one that we concluded with—the robbery that went wrong – is the one that we ended up with."
Sherman, Bowers and Thomas were also each charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Sherman also faces a charge of obstructing justice.
They were in the Wake County jail Wednesday.
"(It's a) relief, just complete elation that they have finally started the process of bringing closure to this," said Pat O'Leary, who owns the Domino's store. "It's been a nightmare. I think about it every day. It's been eight and a half months."
In the days and weeks following the crime, the store put police fliers on pizza boxes, and Ring's family members pleaded with the public in efforts to help solve the crime, emphasizing that no tip was insignificant.
Both Bowers and Sherman were mentioned in a Jan. 22 search warrant for investigators to get cell phone records from Sherman's ex-girlfriend, Anna Painter.
Investigators said there were inconsistencies in Sherman and Painter's stories about communication the two had in the days following the crime.
Painter told investigators that Sherman had called her, asking her to tell police that he was with her the night of Jan. 8, the warrant says.
The two continued texting in the following days, leading police to believe they were communicating about the crime.
Brown said Wednesday that investigators haven't ruled out more arrests.
"There may be some other warrants that we go for, as far as obstruction of justice warrants, but we're going to work with the district attorney and find out what our best route for those will be," he said.
According to state Department of Correction records, Bowers was convicted in January 2007 of possession of a weapon on a school campus. Sherman was sentenced to probation in January for underage drinking and driving offenses.
"These are bad people to begin with," Dan Ring said. "Not only for Kenny's sake, but just everybody else in the community – to have people like this off the street is a good thing."