Durham police offer reward in cold-case slayings

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comJanuary 7, 2013 

— One year ago Tuesday, someone shot into a home just south of downtown Durham, killing two men, and police still don’t know who pulled the trigger.

Police are trying to draw attention to the shooting, in hopes of getting a break in the case. On Monday, they announced a reward of as much as $1,500 for information leading to an arrest.

On Jan. 8, 2012, someone fired several gunshots into a weathered, blue-gray home at 1212 Dawkins St. near the W.D. Hill Recreation Center. At least one bullet struck Timothy Deangelo McGhee, 24, in the head, and another hit Paul Anthony Noel Jr., 22, in the heart, according to Noel’s aunt, Towanda Jackson.

McGhee died instantly. Noel took off running through the small, two-story home before falling to the floor of the kitchen, Jackson said. Emergency workers took him to Duke Hospital, where he later died.

McGhee lived in the home. His mother, Stella Louise McGhee, 45, of Roxboro said Monday that she last spoke with her son about two days before the shooting. Timothy McGhee told his mother that he had been wrongly accused of pistol-whipping and raping a 15-year-old girl.

“He told me somebody was trying to set him up, and he knew who it was,” Stella McGhee said.

Timothy McGhee was the father of a 3-year-old son, Hassan King, and 3-month-old Timothy Jr., who was not yet born when the shootings occurred.

“Hassan will say, ‘I want my daddy,’ ” Stella McGhee said. “I tell him, ‘He’s up there. Talk to the sky.’ ”

Noel’s paternal grandmother adopted him and raised him in Durham at the family home on Lynn Road. His father died in 1997, followed by the death of his grandmother in 2000.

Jackson, who lived with Noel on Lynn Road, described her relationship with her nephew as “extremely close.”

“I was like a mother figure to him,” she said. “He was like my first child.”

Noel was 10 when he moved to his mother’s home in Chapel Hill in 2000.

“He wanted to get to know her,” Jackson said. “I understand that he wanted to be with his mother, but things changed. It became very tumultuous.”

Noel dropped out of school when he was 16, and his aunt said she often counseled him about making good choices.

“He was naive and very easily influenced,” she said.

Noel was trying to earn his G.E.D. by taking classes online, and found work at a Bojangles’ on N.C. 55 and a gas station on Hillsborough Street. Sometimes he drove a cab. He is the second-cousin of former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball standout David Noel. He had a six-year-old son.

“He loved his son,” Jackson said. “He said that his son was probably the greatest accomplishment of his short-lived life.”

McGhee was an aspiring rapper who had recorded several CDs.

“He did a song called ‘The Rhythms of Life,’ ” his mother said. “He was trying to get it promoted.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call investigators at 919-560-4440, ext. 29320, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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