BCI inmate charged in June 10 homicide

Published 10:19 am Thursday, July 7, 2016

WINDSOR – A former inmate here at Bertie Correctional Institution (BCI) has formally been charged in the June 10 slaying of another BCI prisoner.

Yesterday (Wednesday) warrants were served on 28-year-old Marques D. Grays, according to Windsor Police Chief Todd Lane. Grays made his initial court appearance on Wednesday on the charges of first degree murder and possession of a weapon by a prisoner.

As earlier reported by this newspaper, five inmates were involved in a fight that broke out around 10:30 p.m. at BCI on June 10. Correctional staff broke up the fight and called EMS. Two inmates involved in the fracas were first taken to Vidant Bertie Hospital in Windsor for stab wounds.

Joleski Floyd, 24, died at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville the following day (June 11). Floyd was serving a 10-to-13 year sentence for second degree murder. He had been incarcerated since January 2010 after being convicted in connection with the July 2008 shooting death of Derrick Barden in Warsaw in Duplin County.

Marques Grays

Marques Grays

After a thorough investigation by the Windsor Police and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS), warrants were issued for Grays.

Grays was serving an eight-year sentence for first degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon in a 2011 crime committed in Guilford County.

During his current period behind bars and prior to committing the murder, Grays has 16 infractions, to include weapon possession, and assaulting a staff member with a weapon, both of which occurred in April of this year. He also had infractions in 2014 and 2012 where he threatened to injure prison staff.

Following the murder, Grays was moved from BCI to Pasquotank Correctional Institution and then transferred to Central Prison in Raleigh.

After Grays assaulted Floyd on June 10, Grays became the victim of an assault and was stabbed with a homemade shank. Grays was transported to Bertie Vidant Hospital for treatment of his injuries. For the attack on Grays, warrants were served Wednesday on BCI inmate Tyquon Devoeta Meggett, age 23, charging him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and possession of a weapon by prisoner.

Meggett was serving a 24-year sentence after being found guilty in Wake County in 2012 on the charge of attempted first degree murder.

Chief Lane added that another BCI inmate, 26-year-old Elliot Browning, stands charged with simple assault out of the same incident.

On June 11 at approximately 6 a.m., another stabbing occurred at BCI. As inmates were preparing to leave their cell blocks for breakfast, Anthony Smyre, age 24, was stabbed multiple times in the chest and back. Smyre was transported to Bertie Vidant Hospital then flown to Vidant Medical Center for treatment.

In that stabbing, Lane said warrants were served Wednesday on Cardarris Thomas, age 29, charging him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Thomas was behind bars, found guilty in Davidson County in 2008 on the charge of second degree murder. He received a 21-year sentence for that crime.

Like Grays, the others charged on Wednesday – Meggett, Browning, and Thomas – all made their initial appearance July 6 in Bertie County Criminal District Court.

Windsor Police Detective Sergeant Justin Jackson is the lead officer in this investigation and is being assisted by agents from the state Bureau of Investigation.

“Detective Jackson has done an excellent job investigating these incidences,” said Chief Lane. “Now that warrants have been issued, Detective Jackson will still have many hours of work left to insure theses cases are prepared for court.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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