Local News

Family, police seek justice in 2005 quadruple homicide

Posted November 19, 2010 6:45 a.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2010 8:26 a.m. EST

— Five years since since four men were shot to death execution-style inside a Durham townhouse, police are still looking for suspects, and family members are awaiting justice.

Juan Coleman, 27, Jamel Holloway, 27, Lennis Harris Jr., 24, and Jonathan Skinner, 26, were each shot in the head and killed in a second-floor bedroom at 2222 Alpine Road on Nov. 19, 2005. Two other men were injured.

Harris was cousins with Skinner and roommates with Coleman.

Harris' mother, Marsha, said that five years has tempered her grief, but she hasn't gotten past the pain.

"There are times it's just like it's happened," she said. "I can see a young man on the street, dressed in something my son would have worn, and for that instant, it'll make me cry."

Rodrick Vernard Duncan, 31, was indicted in October 2006 on four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of attempted robbery in the case. He is awaiting trial.

Police, however, are still seeking leads. Witnesses saw three men running from the area after they heard gunshots.

One was described as a black man with a light complexion, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He was wearing dark jeans and a black and white jacket.

The second man was described as black, with a stocky build, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds. He was wearing a burgundy flight jacket and jeans. The third man was described as black, with a medium complexion, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing a black flight jacket and blue jeans.

"If the right people came forward, we could probably close this case tomorrow," Police Chief Jose Lopez said.

Investigators have said the slayings took place during a drug-related robbery. Lopez said that although fear and intimidation can prevent people from coming forward, they should feel able to trust the police.

"Eventually, individuals are going to realize that there is no need for them to be tossing and turning at night," Lopez said. "They're going to step up and do the right thing."

Family members have disputed their sons' involvement with drugs. They worry that the mention of drugs has led to apathy about the crime in the community.

Relatives of the victims will hold a silent march at Durham police headquarters Friday night.

Until all the suspects are arrested, relatives said, the community should be as anxious as they are.

"When I go to the gas station, I don't know if the killer is pumping gas beside me," Marsha Harris said.