Marcus Mitchell was sentenced to death by the State of North Carolina for the murders of Dameon Armstrong, Dewayne Rogers, and Robin Watkins. According to court documents Marcus Mitchell was on a crime spree that consisted of multiple armed robberies that ended with the murders of Dameon Armstrong, Dewayne Rogers, and Robin Watkins. Marcus Williams was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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The State’s evidence tended to show that defendant, along with Antonio Mitchell, Durron Ray, and Tildren Hunter, drove to Rogers’ home in Zebulon, North Carolina, on the night of 3 March 1997 to steal firearms. Defendant, Mitchell, Ray, and Hunter were each dressed in black and wearing ski masks and gloves. Defendant had a .45-caliber handgun in his possession, while Hunter carried a .40-caliber handgun, and Ray carried a .380-caliber handgun.
Once the group arrived near Rogers’ home, Mitchell remained in the car while defendant, Ray, and Hunter approached the house. Defendant knocked on the door, and Ray and Hunter hid from view. When Armstrong, a fourteen-year-old boy, answered the door, defendant pulled him onto the porch. Ray and Hunter came out from their hiding places, and defendant directed Hunter to kick in the door of the house. Defendant and Hunter then entered the house, and Ray stayed on the porch with Armstrong.
Defendant discovered Rogers and Watkins in a bathroom as he and Hunter were searching the house for firearms. Defendant forced Rogers and Watkins to lie on the floor in the living room. Defendant and Hunter then forced Armstrong to assist them in searching for firearms. At the conclusion of the search, Armstrong was brought into the living room and forced to lie on the floor with Rogers and Watkins.
After taking the keys to Watkins’ car, defendant indicated to Ray and Hunter that they should kill the victims. Ray took Armstrong to the back of the house while defendant stayed in the living room and shot Rogers and Watkins. Immediately after defendant shot Rogers and Watkins, Ray shot Armstrong five times. Defendant, Ray, and Hunter then took Watkins’ car and drove to the location where Mitchell was waiting with the getaway car. Defendant, Ray, and Hunter got into the car with Mitchell. After taking Mitchell home, defendant, Ray, and Hunter drove to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Meanwhile, Armstrong’s uncle, Gabriel Miles, heard the gunshots from his nearby home and went to investigate. Once inside Rogers’ house, Miles discovered the bodies of Rogers, Watkins, and Armstrong. Miles then called 911 from a neighbor’s home.
On 8 March 1997 Raleigh police officers searched a hotel room occupied by defendant. The officers discovered a money bag, two walkie-talkies, several “hoodies” or items that may be worn over the top of the head and pulled down over the face, several gloves, a .380-caliber Lorcin handgun, and a .45-caliber Ruger handgun. Officers found a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun in another room in the same hotel. The State’s ballistics expert later matched the bullets that killed Watkins and Rogers and the shell casings in the living room to the .45-caliber Ruger handgun found in defendant’s hotel room. The ballistics expert also matched the bullets that killed Armstrong and the shell casings in the back bedroom to the .380-caliber Lorcin handgun found in defendant’s hotel room. Investigators from the Wake County Sheriff’s Department questioned defendant later that day, and defendant confessed to shooting Rogers and Watkins.
The pathologist who performed the autopsies on the victims determined that Watkins and Rogers each died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. The pathologist found that Armstrong suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, head, buttocks, back, and right knee. The bullet wound to Armstrong’s chest penetrated his lung and caused massive hemorrhaging that would have caused the victim to lose consciousness in two to five minutes. The chest wound caused Armstrong’s death within two to ten minutes.