Murder suspect arrested

Dec. 03, 2012 @ 10:55 PM

Henderson police arrested LaJohn Laquan Champion Jr. Monday, charging him with first-degree murder in the death of Gregory Welfare.

Welfare, a 25-year-old from Raleigh, was killed Oct. 20 near Springwood Apartments. Last week, police arrested 23-year-old Darnell Thomas Macon in connection to the homicide investigation.
Champion, 22, was apprehended on Paige Street without incident, according to Lt. Christopher Ball. He is being held without bond and has a Dec. 10 court date.
Macon, of 3299 Epsom Rocky Ford Road, is also being held without bond and facing a Dec. 10 court date.
Champion, of Henderson, was already scheduled to be in court today for charges related to a driving infraction and carrying a concealed firearm.
Police attempted to arrest Macon and Champion a week earlier after a traffic stop near Young and Chestnut streets. Both men fled on foot, and Macon was caught. Police also charged him with possession of a firearm by a felon.
In the Oct. 20 incident, dispatchers were told of numerous gunshots being fired in an area where children were playing. Welfare and Champion were each shot, and Welfare later died at Maria Parham Medical Center.
Champion was treated and released from a hospital for a gunshot wound.
Champion was involved in a 2010 shooting that killed 17-year-old Hassan Terry. Patrick Lavraska McLeod was charged with second-degree murder in Terry’s death but no conviction shows in court or state incarceration records related to Terry’s case. In fact, McLeod is due in Wake County District Court today on a speeding infraction.
Champion has a 2009 assault conviction and a 2007 larceny conviction on his record.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.