03/17/11 — After tip from television show, man accused of shooting 3-year-old captured

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After tip from television show, man accused of shooting 3-year-old captured

By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 17, 2011 1:46 PM

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Derrick Best looks up through the barbed wire fence surrounding the Wayne County Jail with Goldsboro Police Department Investigator Chris Melvin standing guard early today. Best was arrested for the murder of 3-year-old Princess King. He was found hiding in Greenville.

Derrick Raymont Best, wanted for the murder of a 3-year-old girl, was arrested Wednesday night in Greenville, ending a nearly three-week-long search.

Best, 29, was discovered in the attic of an apartment after a tip led U.S. marshals to his whereabouts. The tip apparently came as a result of Best being shown Saturday on the television show "America's Most Wanted."

He was being sought in connection with the shooting death of Princess Shelby King on Feb. 27. The child was shot while she was playing near her home on Day Circle. Best was involved in an altercation with another man and police say the child was caught in the middle and was hit by a stray bullet.

U.S. marshals, assisted by Greenville police, activated an Emergency Response Team about 6:30 p.m., Greenville police Chief William Anderson said today.

At that point, a stand-off ensued between Best and lawmen that would last until almost 9 p.m.

"The biggest thing was trying to make contact with the suspect," Anderson said. "We tried several different methods to make contact."

Anderson said team members called Best's cell phone, used voice commands and knocked on the door to persuade Best to come out.

"Eventually, we had to enter the residence with a robotic device," Anderson said.

After the robotic device revealed that the home appeared to be empty, the Emergency Response Team entered the home, Anderson said.

Upon entering, the lawmen found evidence Best was in the attic. Tear gas was finally used to force the suspect from the attic, Anderson said.

Goldsboro police were on the scene in Greenville and took custody of Best around 9:30 p.m.

Best was taken from Greenville to the Wayne County Jail by Sgt. Dwayne Dean and Investigator Chris Melvin.

After the police vehicle stopped outside the jail entrance at about 1:30 a.m., Best stepped out of the police vehicle, shouting.

"Spread the truth," Best yelled. "Everything I have said is true."

Best also shouted a message to his girlfriend, Keshona Baker.

"Tell my girl I love her," he called out.

When asked if he had a message for the family of Princess King, Best replied, "I didn't mean to do it."

Best was jailed without bond.

In addition to the murder charge, Best was also served with several outstanding warrants, including kidnapping, assault by strangulation, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, two counts of assault on a female, three of counts communicating threats, misdemeanor larceny, misdemeanor breaking or entering, injury to real property and harassing phone calls.

Best received a $262,000 secured bond for those charges.

He was scheduled to appear in a Wayne County District Court for a first appearance today at 1:30 p.m.

"We are very pleased with his arrest and that no one else was hurt while he was taken into custody," Dean said. "Hopefully, this will bring some closure to the family."