Accused shooter’s case continued

Feb. 14, 2013 @ 06:24 PM

William H. Hunter received a continuance Wednesday when he appeared in court on a first-degree murder charge.

Judge Daniel F. Finch ruled a continuance on questions of finding a court-appointed attorney for the 24-year-old defendant. Finch determined Hunter, of 511 Spring Court in Henderson, was unable to finance an attorney for himself.

Hunter is charged in connection to the Jan. 1 shooting death of 41-year-old Royvitt Lawedy Fortson in Warren County. Hunter is in jail without bond, pending a District Court hearing Feb. 27.

Corey Nashaun Daye-Henderson, 21, of 3006 Derby Run Road, Jacksonville, is facing charges in the case as an accessory after a felony. He is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday. His bond has reduced from $350,000 to $50,000.

The late Lenita Fortson, the victim’s wife, had been arrested Jan. 2. While incarcerated, increasing medical conditions led to her release from custody and entry into WakeMed Hospital, where she died five days after release on Jan. 31. Court documents described conditions related to obesity and hypertension.

Court documents detailing the investigation describe a plan for Hunter to kill Fortson when the victim met his wife to collect some belongings. Two silver-colored shell casings found in the yard at 511 Spring Court are an integral tie to evidence found at the scene of the shooting.

The casings were found Feb. 6 by Ashley M. Woodlief, a special agent with the State Bureau of Investigation, using a search warrant signed by Superior Court Judge Henry W. Hight.

According to Woodlief, investigators spoke with witnesses Cynthia Parish and Larry Townes, who drove the victim to the BP station at 927 Oine Road, just off Interstate 85’s exit 229. There, they saw the victim’s wife in the driver’s seat of a dark sport utility vehicle.

According to Woodlief through questioning of Daye-Henderson, Hunter was the shooter and along with Daye-Henderson helped position Lenita Fortson at the scene looking as though she had driven the SUV there.

Lenita Fortson had asked Daye-Henderson to accompany her and Hunter to the BP station. Hunter drove. When at the scene, Hunter moved to the back seat, Lenita Fortson to the driver’s seat and Daye-Henderson to the front passenger seat.

Hunter took a firearm from the rear seat area that Daye-Henderson described to Woodlief as looking like a rifle with a magazine attachment. Hunter left the vehicle and took a position at the rear of the station.

According to Woodlief, Parish and Townes watched Royvitt Fortson walk to the driver’s side of the SUV, then around the back out of view toward the passenger side. Gunshots were heard, and Royvitt Fortson stumbled to the front of that vehicle.

An unnamed couple helped Townes assist Royvitt Fortson to the vehicle belonging to Parish, and they left for the hospital. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to Woodlief, after Parish’s vehicle left the scene, Lenita Fortson searched for Hunter along Oine Road. When meeting up later at a home location, Hunter said the police would not have evidence, and if everyone kept quiet, officers would not have anything on anyone.

Daye-Henderson told investigators that Hunter came from Virginia in mid-December, and he fired the rifle’s 40-caliber rounds several times in the yard at 511 Spring Court. He said it was the same firearm as he saw at the BP scene of the shooting death on Jan. 1.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.