Durham County

Durham police seeking 4th suspect in convenience store armed robbery

Durham police are looking for information about this man, who they say is a fourth suspect in the Nov. 26, 2017, armed robbery of a convenience store on West Trinity Avenue.
Durham police are looking for information about this man, who they say is a fourth suspect in the Nov. 26, 2017, armed robbery of a convenience store on West Trinity Avenue. Contributed

Police now are looking for a fourth suspect in the Nov. 26 robbery of a convenience store on West Trinity Avenue.

Three people have been arrested in the case, including Shawn Leroy Butler, a 19-year-old Durham man who was released from Durham County jail on Sept. 19 after murder and other charges were dismissed against him just before a jury was seated for his trial.

Butler, who has an intellectual disability, was charged with killing 18-year-old Rakwon Smith in 2014. Assistant District Attorney Jim Dornfried, who requested the dismissal, said at the time that new evidence raises doubts about Butler’s guilt. No new information has been released about the case.

The latest suspect in the Nov. 26 robbery is described as a black man, possibly in his early twenties, with a slim build and a short beard, police said. He was seen around the time of the robbery wearing an earring in his left ear, a silver or gold ring on his left hand, and a black sweatshirt with a large “O” on the front and designs and letters on the sleeves, they said.

Joyce Beavers, 35, of Durham, who police said was driving a stolen car, and Kevin Deshawn Powell, 26, of Durham also have been charged in the robbery at the Triangle D Food Mart, located at 403 W. Trinity Ave.

A witness told police two men armed with guns and wearing black bandanas over their faces entered the store around 9 p.m. Nov. 26. One fired a shot into the floor of the store during the robbery, but no one was injured, police said.

The suspects fled in a gray car with New York tags, which police spotted about 45 minutes later on North Duke Street. The front passenger jumped and ran when police stopped the car in the parking lot of the Hardee’s restaurant at 3912 N. Duke St. The driver and another passenger stayed in the car.

Police found a stolen gun inside the car.

Beavers and Powell were charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Beavers also was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and Powell was charged with failure to appear in court on an earlier hit-and-run charge, police said.

Butler was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

All three are being held in the Durham County Jail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Riley at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29303 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges

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