Two homicide mysteries within a day for Durham police

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 06:33 PM

Police are investigating two Durham homicides in 18 hours – one where a man was gunned down in a parking lot on Fayetteville Street and another slaying on Guess Road.

No arrests have been made.

The first death was reported about 6:31 p.m. Monday. Police arrived at strip mall on Fayetteville Street near Burlington Avenue and found Maurice Frank Streeter, 27, of Durham lying in a parking lot. He had been shot “several times,” Durham police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said.

Streeter was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

George Covington, who owns a nearby “soul food” diner, said he heard the shots.

“I was sitting here talking to a friend when we heard maybe four or five shots ring out,” he said. “Then I locked my door to keep everything on the outside on the outside.”

Covington said he didn’t see the shooting, but heard the victim’s cousin mention Streeter’s name.

“I’ve been in this location for 13 years, and this is the first time an incident like this has happened here,” Covington said. “It’s kind of sad how people just shoot another man down, and show no remorse. It’s pretty sad.”

The body of a second man was found in a house at 1811 Guess Road, about a block from Northgate Mall, shortly after midnight Tuesday. He was identified as Kevin Ramon Leathers, 41. Sources said the modest, one-story residence was a boardinghouse. A cause of death had not been determined as of late Tuesday, police said.

Rodney Riley, who lives on nearby Hillcrest Drive, was walking by the crime scene Tuesday with a friend. He recalled the December shooting death of the owner of Kabab Curry House, a nearby restaurant on Guess Road.

“Everything’s happening so close to home, you know,” Riley said. “You need to stay in your house, and sometimes it ain’t safe in your own house, with burglaries and everything.”

His friend, Paul Newman, said: “I think it’s just bad how people are dying over simple stuff. There ain’t no use to murder somebody, you know. Just fight or do something – don’t murder. That’s crazy.”

Both victims had criminal records.

Streeter was charged in 2006 with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and was found not guilty in 2007. In 2011, he was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing to elude and hit and run. Those charges were dismissed.

He faced additional charges, including burglary, conspiracy, and common law robbery, in a case set to be heard June 3 in Durham County Superior Court.

Leathers was charged in April with possession of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and was released from jail on a $10,000 bond pending trial.

He received a suspended sentence and probation in 2006 for misdemeanor possession of a Schedule VI drug, and, in 1994, also got a suspended sentence and probation for carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a Schedule II drug, a felony.

Anyone with information about Streeter’s death is asked to call Investigator Cristaldi at 919-560-4440, ext. 29322, or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

To provide information about Leathers’ death, call Investigator Richards at 919-560-4440, ext. 29337, or Crimestoppers.

CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases. Callers never have to identify themselves.


Reporter Beth Velliquette contributed to this story.