Final suspect nabbed in Jan. 25 murder

Published 5:30 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

JACKSON – The last remaining suspect in a homicide from earlier this year is behind bars here at the Northampton County Jail.

Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith reported that 29-year-old Willis Maurice Robinson of Roanoke Rapids was served with outstanding arrest warrants on Monday in Lee County.

Those warrants – one count each of first degree murder, felony inciting a riot, possession of a firearm by a felon, and attempted first degree murder – were filed in June. That came after the Jan. 25 murder of 53-year-old Dexter Robinson (no relation to W. Robinson) of Roanoke Rapids and the injury of four others at a birthday party held at the E.E. Odom Civic Center in Gaston.

Robinson is being held under no bond and made his initial court appearance on Thursday.

Willis M. Robinson

“The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all the agencies that helped with this investigation,” stated Sheriff Smith. “This is a very unfortunate situation that occurred and our agency takes cases of this magnitude very serious. I would like to thank our Detectives along with the agents from the State Bureau of Investigations for their continued efforts and dedication investigating this incident.”

The arrest of W. Robinson brings the number to eight individuals charged with crimes related to the Jan. 25 party and the shooting that night.

On April 26, Jacques Jefferson, age 29, of Roanoke Rapids was arrested and served outstanding warrants for first degree murder, felony inciting a riot, attempted first degree murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Those arrested soon after the incident include:

29-year-old Kemesha Squire of Gaston was served outstanding warrants for one count each of felony inciting a riot, felony obstruction of justice, and felony accessory after the fact. She was jailed under a $100,000 secured bond.

23-year-old Donovan Edwards of Roanoke Rapids was served outstanding warrants for one count of accessory after the fact to first degree murder, and two counts of accessory after the fact to assault with deadly weapon intent to inflict serious injury. He received a $290,000 secured bond.

25-year-old Richard Squire of Gaston turned himself in at Halifax County Sheriff’s Office where he was served outstanding warrants for one count each of felony discharging a firearm into occupied property, felony inciting a riot, and going armed to the terror of people. He received a $60,000 secured bond.

North Carolina ALE officers made three arrests for violating state laws regarding the illegal sale of alcohol at the same birthday party. Those charged by the ALE were 45-year-old Tracy Lynn Davis, her 28-year-old daughter Jessica Janee Davis, both of Gaston, and 22-year-old Keyshun Boswell of Littleton. They were each charged with selling alcoholic beverages without an ABC permit.

The investigation in the aftermath of the shooting led ALE officers to discover that Tracy and Jessica Davis had rented out the E.E. Odom Civic Center for a friend’s birthday party on the night of Jan. 25. It was further discovered during the course of the ALE investigation that the party included an illegal bar with a cover charge at the door and alcoholic beverages for sale.

Boswell, the ALE officers said, purchased the alcohol sold during the party – a direct violation of NC Alcoholic Beverage Control laws.

Also, none of the three took appropriate security measures to ensure weapons were not brought into the party.

Boswell, who was already in custody on unrelated charges for probation violation as of Jan. 26, was also charged by local lawmen with for one count of felony inciting a riot, one count of going armed to terror of people, three counts of felony assault on law enforcement officers with a firearm, felony discharge a weapon into occupied property, and two counts of felony assault with deadly weapon intent to kill inflicting serious bodily injury. He was jailed under a $100,000 secured bond.

The mother and daughter (Tracy and Jessica Davis) were placed under $1,000 and $1,500 secured bonds respectively. J. Davis was also charged with possess / consume fortified wine, liquor, mixed beverages on unauthorized premises.

Sheriff Smith said just before midnight on Jan. 25, deputies with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and Gaston Police officers were flagged down by concerned citizens and witnessed dozens of people gathered at the E.E. Odom Civic Center, a building owned by the Town of Gaston at 221 Craige Street.

Smith said the investigation by his officers revealed that several fights broke out involving some individuals, both inside and outside the building, followed by gunshots being fired.


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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