Local News

Suspect in Durham man's slaying apprehended

Posted January 16, 2009 3:10 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2009 10:19 a.m. EST

— A 28-year-old Durham man wanted in last month's slaying of a Sunday school teacher was arrested Friday near Hickory, police said.

Jameel Rasaun Thornton, of Liberty Street, is charged with murder in the Dec. 26 death of Trevor Spain. Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested Thornton in Newton.

Thornton was denied bond for the murder charges and was being held in the Durham County Jail. He was granted a $15,000 bond for larceny and probation charges. His first court appearance was set for Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Spain, 41, was found face-down in a pool of blood in the basement of his family home, at 1301 Shepherd St. Family members said there was no sign of forced entry, but several items were taken, including two TVs, cash and a DVD player.

He and Thornton were acquaintances, police said.

Police haven't released information on how Spain died or a why they think he was killed. Family members said Spain was stabbed to death.

Thornton was placed on probation in September after receiving a suspended sentence on charges of drug possession, driving with a revoked license and wanton injury to real property, according to court records.

Durham probation officials said he never reported to them. They checked his listed addresses, job records and hospital records and talked to relatives in trying to find him, said Tony Taylor, an assistant manager of the Durham probation office.

Thornton was convicted of second-degree burglary in 1998 and of possession of drug paraphernalia in 2002, according to state Department of Correction records. He received probation for both convictions, but served six months for violating his probation for burglary.