District's murder caseload heaviest in Vance County

Aug. 10, 2013 @ 03:08 PM

Vance County courts are loaded with 23 defendants facing 25 murder charges in the deaths of 17 persons since 2009, according to a report this week to Judge Robert Hobgood with the Ninth Circuit Superior Court.

Vance eclipses the three nearby counties of Warren, Granville and Franklin that total up a caseload of six defendants in five murder-charged deaths.

District Attorney Sam Currin, who provided the report, said the urban area of Henderson accounts for most of the murder incidents in the four-county area.

According to case files, all but four of the Vance County murder cases are from incidents in the city limits or near the border of Henderson.

“The state used to send us those statistics, but they don’t anymore,” Currin said.

Instead, he runs his own internal review to keep judges of the court abreast of the caseloads.

Currin reported there are four defendants in murder cases, “where we had three homicide victims,” he said. “In Warren County, our smallest in population, we have two charged with murder in two cases.”

The population statistics stack against Vance, pointing to a critically high murder rate compared to the other three counties.

“We just don’t have that many murders in Warren, Granville or Franklin counties,” Currin said.

There are no pending cases in Franklin County.

The population for Vance County, according to U.S. Census reports in 2010, is about 45,000. Franklin, Granville and Warren counties total a population of 142,000.

Henderson, with a population of about 15,000, takes the caseload of 13 homicides, more than half of the 22 total cases pending court action.

“Vance County always has a lot of murder cases,” Currin said, “a lot of shootings and a lot of homicides. There is an urban population, high unemployment, high teen-pregnancy. There are many contributing factors.”

Currin reported that pending hearings for the remainder of this year include:

• Aug. 26:

Robert M. Brodie Jr. is charged in the Oct. 20, 2009, shooting death of David Perry at Joker’s Bar and Lounge on U.S. 1.

Juan Miles is charged in the Sept. 24, 2010, shooting death of Jamario Neal on East Andrews Avenue.

Quindarius Rainey is charged in the June 11, 2011, shooting death of Torry Kersey at the East Andrews Avenue BP station.

• Oct. 7:

Jaquareus Holden faces charges in the June 14, 2011, shooting death of his mother Letitia R. Hammond at their South Carolina Avenue home.

Cavin White and Timothy Mokey Neal face charges in the Dec. 15, 2011 shooting death of Lonnie Yancey at an intersection stop on Vanco Mill Road.

LaMichael Grant faces charges in the March 12, 2012, shooting death of Avon Fouche on Rock Springs Street near Party Pickup.

Steven G. Talley faces charges in the April 15, 2012, ax weapon death of his uncle, Robert E. Talley, on Abbott Road.

• Dec. 9:

Marcus T. Richardson-Brown, Xavier Sellers and Rasheed T. Kearney are charged in the Jan. 5, 2012, shooting death of Alfred Henderson at his Oak Tree Lane home.

Darius Benson faces charges in the Aug. 4, 2012, shooting death of Curtis Morton at his Hamilton Street home.

LaJohn Champion with Darnell Macon face charges in the Oct. 20 shooting death of Gregory Welfare near Springwood Apartments on Young Avenue.

• Others:

Incidents that claimed the lives of Deonte Judkins, Kenya Hodges, Michael Kearney, Jaquon Seward, Ladarrius Talley and Jerry O. Wright await trial hearings in 2014, according to Currin’s report.

The second-degree murder by vehicle charge against Vincent Gregory for the Jan. 27 death of young Jayden Stokes is scheduled for a Feb. 11, 2014, trial hearing date, according to Currin’s report.

In Warren County, Harold Plummer faces a second-degree murder charge for the death of Corey Robinson. And William H. Hunter of Henderson faces a first-degree murder charge for the shooting death of Royvitt Fortson.

In Granville County, Jacobi Walker and Shauna Parker face a first-degree murder charge each for the death of Thomas Forte, Jr. Edwin Terry is charged with murder in the death of Elijah Washington. And Scott Edwards faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Needham Sloan.


Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.