After 10 years, family gets justice

Gunman convicted in 1999 killing

The Shelby StarMay 18, 2009 

— Julian Roseboro was unable to speak as he lay in a hospital bed. But he knew who had put him there, who had shot him. He took a pen and notepad, and scribbled "C."

Days after the Aug. 27, 1999, shooting at Holly Oak Apartments, Roseboro died of his injuries. It was then that his family began a 10-year quest to make sure justice was served.

"We always knew who murdered our son," said Donald Roseboro, Julian's father.

On the run

Shelby Police obtained warrants on Javon "C" Capers shortly after Roseboro's death. But the suspected gunman was nowhere to be found.

Two years after the shooting, Capers was captured in New York on unrelated charges after he was profiled on "America's Most Wanted." Convicted, he served time on those charges.

When Capers was released, Shelby detectives were waiting to bring him back to North Carolina to face the murder charge.

"[The police] were instrumental in getting the ball rolling," said Elaine Roseboro, Julian's mother. "They kept our spirits going until the development of his capture."

Capers' attorney, Ted Cummings, recently entered a notice of appeal, Assistant District Attorney Bill Young said.

Speaking up

Ten years after Julian Roseboro's death, Capers was recently convicted for pulling the trigger that night. Capers will spend the rest of his life in prison, without a chance of parole.

But the conviction might not have happened had it not been for the testimony of one man.

Many witnessed Roseboro's killing, but most were too scared to tell police what they had seen, his mother said.

"How do you stop things from happening if you don't speak up?" Elaine Roseboro said. "I was totally surprised at the people who wouldn't talk. ... I don't know if they were ever threatened or what."

To their surprise, one man did speak up, and his testimony contributed to Capers' conviction, Young said.

Brandon Wilson, who drove the truck in which Capers fled that night, told the court Capers flagged him down earlier that day and asked him to give him a ride.

The testimony was substantiated by other witnesses in the case, Young said.

"That was why it was so overwhelming for me when Brandon told the truth," Elaine Roseboro said.

It was a courageous decision by Wilson, Roseboro's mother said, and others should learn from what he did.

"When bad things start happening to people, don't be quiet," she said. "We prayed that justice would be served. Julian meant so much more to us than [to give up], to let him die in vain."

'I bring you love'

Julian's mother said he was a giving person and a joy to be around. His father said he had taken the Armed Forces entrance test and scored higher than a graduate student.

"We would always [joke] and say to him, 'What did you bring us?'" Elaine recalled. "He would always say, 'I bring you love.'"

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