Death penalty will be sought

Dec. 02, 2013 @ 07:50 PM

OXFORD — Prosecutors will pursue the death penalty in two unrelated Granville County homicides, including a convenience store clerk killed by a shotgun blast in September.

Rodriquez Teshawn Thomas faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Musleh Mohamed Saleh Qayed. Thomas appeared in Superior Court Monday in front of Judge Robert Hobgood in connection to the Sept. 25 incident at the Family Market Store just outside Oxford.

Also appearing before Hobgood on Monday was Davey Codell Allen, who is charged with the Oct. 5 stabbing death of 60-year-old Susie Ann Hester. Prosecutors said little other than the case against Allen, like that against Thomas, fits the state requirements for declaring a capital case, which includes more than a half dozen thresholds. (See story, Page A3).

There were no further motions or matters heard in the case during the brief hearing.

“You have to have one of the statutorily enumerated thresholds for a capital case,” said Sam Currin, the district attorney. “You have to have an aggravating factor.”

Currin said past cases of convenience store robbery met one or more thresholds because of an innocent store clerk being gunned down during an armed confrontation over an assailant’s demand for money.

“This is pending litigation, so I can not comment further,” Currin said.

Case files confirmed that the capital defender’s office had been notified previously about the case. Under state law, Thomas must receive representation by a second attorney to defend the capital case.

So far, Attorney David Waters has been appointed to defend Thomas, of 203 Elm St., Oxford. Thomas remains jailed without bond in the case.

Three teenagers are charged with helping the robbery plot, and each is charged with armed robbery and accessory to murder counts.

According to Granville County investigators, Thomas was the gunman in the plot to rob the Family Market Store at 4195 U.S. 15 South as three teenage girls waited in a getaway car outside.

Larisa Nicosha Comer, Rodicka E’nyia Rivers and Tonielle Shydea Curtis face hearings in Granville County Superior Court in March. Each was jailed after being arrested, with bond set at $150,000 each.

A date for Thomas to appear for further pre-trial hearings was not available at press time.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.