Suspect in Durham grandmother's death told police he wanted the death penalty

Alicia Elder
Alicia Elder

A Durham man accused of fatally stabbing a woman he was romantically involved with told investigators that he hoped he would receive the death penalty.

Recently released court documents shed new light on the investigation into the Jan. 30 death of Alicia Elder, an alumn of N.C. Central University and grandmother of three.

Two days after her death, police charged Michael Anthony Person, 55, with first-degree murder.

Durham police responded to a 911 call at about 9 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Hillside Park on Roxboro Street. Elder had sustained multiple stab wounds to her back, neck and head, according to a search warrant.

“The victim was lying in a large pool of blood,” police investigator T.S. Huelsman wrote in a search warrant.

Elder was found near a 2016 Dodge Journey SE, and investigators found “a large amount of blood” in the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Officers tracked a trail of blood away from the scene to a separate parking lot, warrants say.

“This blood trail is believed to belong to a suspect,” Huelsman wrote. “From my training and experience the suspect is likely to cut themselves during an aggravated stabbing.”

Elder's family told detectives about her romance with Person. The day after Elder died, detectives found Person at his mother's house on Roxboro Street, next to Hillside Park.

Person had "a freshly bandaged right hand," the warrant says.

Michael Anthony Person Courtesy of the Durham Police Department

During questioning at the police station, Person said he did not want to talk until he had a law, the warrant says.

But, the warrant says, Person "stated that he wanted to get the death penalty."

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks
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