LUMBERTON — Lawmen believe that three people they say were involved in a 13-day-old murder of a Fairmont High student are still in Robeson County and are being helped by acquaintances as they try to avoid arrest.
Anyone caught harboring any of the men could face charges, according to the District Attorney’s Office. One person has already been charged with aiding one of the fugitives in the murder of 16-year-old DaQuan Stephens.
Danny Parker, chief of Public Safety for Fairmont, said the arrest of Jerod Kutree McNeill, 16, of 154 Glardenias Drive, Lumberton; Julius Laverne Rogers, 20, of 2362 Pleasant Hope Road, Fairmont; and Bobby Deshawn Jones, 19, of 2122 Turner Place, Lumberton, is a “high priority” among lawmen from several law enforcement agencies involved in the search. They include police, sheriff’s deputies, the SBI and the District Attorney’s Office.
The three are charged with murder and conspiracy in the shooting death of Stephens on March 22. Parker said that Stephens was playing basketball at the Calvin Haggin Park when he was approached by McNeill. The two had a brief conversation before Stephens was shot to death. Police say that McNeill fired the deadly shots, but they don’t have a motive. McNeill is considered armed and dangerous.
A 21-year-old Lumberton woman , Nita Rose Burney, was charged with harboring a fugitive after she allowed Jones to sleep at her home, according to Erich Hackney, and investigator with the District Attorney’s Office. Burney and Jones have a 2-year-old child.
Parker believes others are helping the fugitives.
“We certainly do believe that there are various folks and families that know the whereabouts of these fugitives but they are not cooperating with law enforcement,” Parker said.
Shinaha Nashae Grissett, 22, of Fairmont, and 23-year-old Natasha Deshaun Owens, of Lumberton, have been arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy in Stephens’ death. Parker said that Grissett and Owens were in the car that followed Stephens to the park, where he was shot. They are both being held at the Robeson County jail without bail.
Parker said lawmen are receiving information, but so far no luck.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the community,” he said. “We’ve been receiving some tips but nobody has been able to put us on top (of) where they are. … We hope that these folks would engage more in helping us.”
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the three fugitives should call the Fairmont Police Department at 910-628-5115, the county Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-6100 or the District Attorney’s Office at 910-733-2615.