Local News

Raleigh murder suspect was in jail with first victim

Posted November 26, 2008 11:48 a.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2008 3:14 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh man charged in two homicides and a string of armed robberies knew the first homicide victim from jail, according to search warrants disclosed Wednesday.

Armond Devega, 27, was arrested Oct. 24 at his parents' home, at 6037 Big Sandy Drive in Raleigh, on two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and nine counts of robbery for crimes dating to January.

The supporting paperwork for the warrants shows that police believe Devega shot Anthony Dwayne Scarborough, 32, during a home invasion robbery at 508 Tartan Circle on the night of Feb. 13. Evidence showed Scarborough was killed with a revolver.

Devega had become acquainted with Scarborough while the two were in imprisoned with the North Carolina Department of Correction, an anonymous tipster told police.

Devega was convicted of committing two armed robberies in New Hanover County during the week of Christmas in 1999, according to NCDOC records. He was released from prison in 2005 after serving five years.

Devega and Scarborough were both housed at the Johnston Correctional Institution between March 15 and May 3, 2005, NCDOC officials confirmed.

The tipster alleged Devega had developed a grudge against Scarborough and had threatened revenge, the warrant stated.

The tipster also described a speech impediment from which Devega suffers. The same speech impediment was audible in surveillance video from the homicide of Stephanie Powell Anderson, 39, at a Wilco-Hess gas station at 1741 Trawick Road on April 10.

Devega is charged in Anderson's death. Affidavits submitted to get the warrants stated that Anderson was ambushed as she arrived at the station. When she was unable to open the store’s safe, she was shot and killed.

Ballistic evidence showed the bullet that killed Anderson came from the same weapon used in Scarborough’s death, the affidavits stated.

The Wilco-Hess is less than two miles from Devega's employer, Pike Electric, 1050 N. New Hope Road. Devega has been employed there since 2006, according to employment records.

The attempted murder charge stems from the shooting of a clerk, Modesta Fernandez-Lucas, 25, at the Mexico Lindo check-cashing business Sept. 10. Fernandez-Lucas was shot multiple times but survived.

Further ballistic evidence showed the bullets fired at Fernandez came from a gun used in both in the Anderson and Scarborough homicides and a robbery of a Subway restaurant on May 7.

Devega faces charges in nine robberies:

  • Jan. 23 robbery of Subway store, 10450 Durant Road
  • Feb. 1 robbery of Wilco-Hess, 7413 Louisburg Road
  • Feb. 13 robbery of Wilco-Hess, 7413 Louisburg Road
  • Feb. 13 murder of Anthony Dwayne Scarborough at 508 Tartan Circle
  • April 5 robbery of Subway, 6320 Capital Blvd.
  • April 10 robbery of Wilco-Hess, 1741 Trawick Road, and murder of Stephanie Powell Anderson
  • May 7 robbery of Subway store, 5410 Six Forks Road, with shots fired
  • May 24 robbery of Capital Food Mart, 2929 Capital Blvd.
  • June 6 robbery of Bojangles', 10610 Durant Road
  • Sept. 10 robbery of Mexico Lindo, 4010 Wake Forest Road and attempted murder of Modesta Fernandez-Lucas

Analysis of several of the robbery scenes showed the suspect wore Vasque brand hiking boots and blue latex work gloves.

Investigators found Devega lived in close proximity to many of the robberies.

Neighbors said that Devega lived in a house owned by his parents. During a search of that home, investigators seized clothing, Vasque boots and shoes, cell phones, blue and white colored Power Grab gloves,  a laptop and a .38-caliber revolver.