Grand jury indicts four in Granville County
OXFORD — A Granville County Superior Court grand jury has indicted four defendants in the Sept. 25 shooting death of Musleh Mohamed Saleh Qayed.
Qayed was killed at the Family Market on U.S. 15 South near Oxford.
According to court documents, the indictments were certified as true bills against Rodriquez Teshawn Thomas for armed robbery and first-degree murder and Larissa Nicosha Comer, Rodicka E’nyia Rivers and Tonielle Shydea Curtis on armed robbery and accessory felonies.
The indictments moved the cases to Superior Court on the same day as preliminary District Court hearings that set Oct. 30 for probable cause hearings. Court officials confirmed that the District Court will no longer hear the cases.
The Superior Court’s case management system is the next step. The soonest likely date for a hearing is Nov. 20. Court officials with the court clerk’s office said that it is too late to add the cases to the routine docket for already scheduled case management system hearings on Monday.
However, the routine docket does not restrict attorneys and prosecutors from acting on cases during the case management week as a matter of special arrangement.
According to police reports that are now part of the case files, Thomas was in a vehicle with the three other defendants, and he took a sawed-off Remington 870 Express Magnum shotgun into the Family Mart at 4195 U.S. 15 South at about 8:50 the night of Sept. 25.
Det. Bryant Strother of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office wrote in search warrant documents that deputies arrived at about 9 to find Qayed, 49, dead and laying behind the counter “with blood on and around him.”
According to Strother, a medical examiner later determined that Qayed died of a shotgun wound, and investigators located witnesses who said that they saw Thomas in possession of a shotgun and money “immediately after the robbery and murder.”
Strother added Det. Craig Williams took statements from Thomas that included confessions to the robbery and murder and further information on where Thomas hid the shotgun: under a house at the intersection of Hunt and Gill streets.
After a search of 101 Gill Street in Oxford, the shotgun was found.
Cindy Bostic, an assistant district attorney, filed a motion to schedule a Rule 24 hearing as soon as possible on the question of whether a death penalty will be sought by prosecutors.
In a motion document, Bostic wrote, “The defendant has been indicted for the offense of first degree murder, which is a crime punishable by death.”
Bostic asked that a pre-trial conference be scheduled within 45 days of the Oct. 15 filing of her motion, filed the day after the grand jury certified its indictments.
Thomas, 25, has been ordered held without bond pending trial. He is noted as residing at 203 Elm St., Oxford, but claimed 4188-AA U.S. 15 South, Oxford, as his home address when claiming no assets and in need of a court-appointed attorney. The court appointed David Waters for his defense.
Comer, Rivers and Curtis each have $150,000 bond set for their cases. Comer’s attorney Michael Burnette filed a motion to reduce bond, stating Comer, 18, rode along in the car, barely involved with what happened, “totally or mostly passive” in her actions.
Burnette wrote in the motion statement, “this defendant had very limited involvement in the alleged crimes, consisting of riding with other persons and being present in a vehicle at the time of the crimes, when another person allegedly robbed and shot the alleged victim inside the store.”
According to Burnette, Comer has strong family ties in Granville and Vance counties, attended J.F. Webb High School and graduated from the Kittrell Job Corps certified as a medical administrative assistant.
He asked for bond set at $10,000. The bond motion will be heard at a routine scheduled case management hearing if not earlier by special arrangement, according to officials with the court clerk’s office.
The grand jury indictments on accessory counts against Comer and the other two teens state they knew Thomas had committed the robbery and murder, accepted money from him and helped him escape and avoid detection.
The indictment against Comer states further that she assisted Thomas by allowing him to live at Comer’s 203 Elm St. location and assisted him by not reporting to detectives that she knew about the murder.
Rivers, 19, is noted as residing at 2107 Longwood Drive, Creedmoor. She was appointed attorney Stella Jones for her defense at first, then she received leave from the case by Judge Henry Banks who appointed attorney Quon Bridges for her defense.
Curtis, 18, is noted as residing at 102-B Griffin St., Oxford. She was appointed attorney Chance Wilkerson for her defense.
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