Local News

Teenage son charged in Durham businessman's death

Posted February 22, 2019 4:02 p.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2019 4:22 p.m. EST

— A Durham teen was arrested Friday and charged with his father's death last April, police said.

Alexander Bishop, 16, was indicted on a murder charge this week by a grand jury, police said.

Bill Bishop, 59, a prominent developer in the Tampa area was found unconscious in his Durham home on Dover Road on April 18. He died in a local hospital two days later.

An autopsy report states "ligature strangulation" as the cause of death, noting that led to a heart attack that deprived Bishop's brain of oxygen.

Alexander Bishop had been the focus of the police investigation into Bill Bishop's death for months.

The teen said he found his father unconscious in the theater room of the family home near Hope Valley Country Club with a dog leash wrapped around his neck and the dog still on the leash, according to an application for a search warrant in the case. The leash wasn't on Bill Bishop when paramedics arrived at the house, the application states.

Details of the teen's story changed, investigators said, and he told first responders that his father emotionally abused him and that he wouldn't be upset if he died, according to the warrant application.

Police searched the laptop computer that Durham Academy had assigned to Alexander Bishop and also found suspicious information on the teen's cellphone, such as searches for calculating the value of an estate, transferring bank accounts after a death and the prices of gold, according to search warrants.

Police also seized a hypodermic needle and an unidentified clear liquid from the teen's room.

According to an application for a warrant to search Bill Bishop's safe deposit box at a PNC Bank branch in Durham, police were looking for about $50,000 worth of gold bars, as well as financial records and other valuables.