11/16/05 — City man gets prison time for 2002 murder

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City man gets prison time for 2002 murder

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on November 16, 2005 1:50 PM

A Goldsboro man who eluded authorities for three months after a 2002 shooting death has pleaded guilty in Wayne County Superior Court to second-degree murder and has been sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison.

Kevin Devon Graham, 29, of Miller's Chapel Road was accused of shooting Monta Terrell Jones, 25, of North Taylor Street Nov. 3, 2002, in a now-closed Goldsboro night club.

Graham was not arrested until Feb. 6, 2003, when he was found in Atlanta. He was turned over to Goldsboro police and charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He had been held without bond since he was captured.

Graham was charged with shooting Jones several times at about 2:30 a.m. in the C&L Lounge at 614 N. John St. Police said the club was filled with customers and several eyewitnesses were interviewed.

One eyewitness was sitting next to Graham and saw the shooting, said the lead police investigator, Anthony Carmon. Several other witnesses saw Graham running from the club to a car. Carmon said Graham never said why he committed the crime.

During the sentencing hearing, Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge presented a summary of the case.

Graham was sentenced by Judge Jerry Braswell of Goldsboro to 176 to 221 months in prison on the murder charge. Graham also was sentenced to an additional 16 to 20 months on the firearms charge. The term was suspended on condition that Graham complete 36 months of supervised probation, including 12 months of intensive probation, reimburse his court-appointed lawyer, Randy Hughes of Wilson, and pay a $2,500 fine and court costs.

The murder was the second at the club in less than a year. Early Jan. 1, 2002, another man, Oswald Birt, 31, of Hazelwood Drive, Dudley, was shot in the head outside of the club. He was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he died a few days later. No one has been charged in the case, but police continue to investigate it.

After the two shootings and other problems, the District Attorney's Office brought a civil nuisance lawsuit against the night club and asked the state's Alcohol Law Enforcement officers to investigate it.

As a result of the state investigation and Goldsboro police research into the murders and other violent criminal behavior at the lounge, Judge Braswell ordered the owners to surrender their liquor license and that the club be closed.