Local News

Suspect in 2015 Raleigh homicide, rape deemed incompetent to stand trial

Posted February 6, 2018 2:48 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:41 p.m. EDT

— A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ruled that a Wake Forest man is mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges stemming from an August 2015 crime spree, including a shooting death and a rape.

Kendrick Keyanti Gregory, 23, is accused of fatally shooting 64-year-old Thomas Melvin Durand, owner of the Mr. Pawn check cashing shop on Capital Boulevard, raping a 15-year-old girl and shooting and robbing another man – all on Aug. 31, 2015.

He was arrested in Brooklyn two days later when New York police officers used a mobile phone app to track an SUV that had been reported stolen in Manhattan. Police said he had a .45-caliber handgun in his pocket and another gun under the driver's seat when he was arrested.

When he returned to North Carolina, he had several outbursts during a court appearance.

"Tell the illuminati I am the antichrist. I'm here to take over the world," he yelled as he entered a Wake County courtroom.

Later, he yelled, "The Empire State Building will go up in flames."

Gregory's mother has said in the past that her son suffers from schizophrenia.

Judge Paul Ridgeway based his finding of incompetency on reports filed by psychiatrists who examined Gregory in December. Defense attorney Dante Thomas also said he's had no communication with Gregory since his arrest that could be helpful in the case.

"He's unable to understand the nature of the object of these proceedings. He cannot comprehend his situation in reference to these proceedings and is unable to assist the defense in his own defense in a rational manner," Ridgeway ruled. "For those reasons, I would find that he does not have the capacity to proceed."

Gregory will be housed at Central Regional Hospital in Butner, where he will receive psychiatric treatment. If psychiatrists determine at some point in the future that his mental health has improved through treatment and medication, he could be brought back to court to face trial on the various charges.