Local News

Retrial set in slaying of Durham deacon

Posted March 10, 2011 4:24 p.m. EST

— Prosecutors have decided to try a Durham man for a second time in the fatal stabbing of a church deacon more than three years ago.

Tori Neal, 21, is charged with first-degree murder, larceny of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering and larceny in the Sept. 26, 2007, slaying of Charles Forest Davis.

Jurors deadlocked last month during Neal's first trial, and a mistrial was declared.

Davis, 89, was stabbed 47 times and left to die in his home on Nellowood Street in Durham's Braggtown neighborhood, authorities said. Investigators said the home had been ransacked and Davis' car had been stolen.

Neal bragged to a friend about the killing to gain gang credibility, prosecutors said, and he was seen driving Davis' car the night of the crime.

Defense attorneys maintain that the state didn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Neal was involved in the crime, questioning tests done on evidence and the credibility of prosecution witnesses.

A new trial will likely begin in late July.