Family says slain Raleigh woman and suspect weren't dating

‘She didn’t even like the guy,’ cousin says of man charged in death

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comJanuary 22, 2013 


Wedjunald Gemeille, charged by police Sunday with the murder_of a 29-year-old woman.


— Angel Irby had been living in Raleigh for less than a year after moving to the area from a suburb in Chicago. Irby, 29, dreamed of one day owning her own day care and was taking online business classes.

On Sunday, police charged Wedjunald Gemeille, 21, with first-degree murder after finding Irby’s body in her North Raleigh apartment on Loft Lane.

D.T. Montague, a retired Raleigh police detective and a member at The Fountain of Raleigh Fellowship, called 911 Sunday to report a young man came to the church’s morning service and confessed to assaulting his girlfriend.

Montague told a 911 dispatcher that the victim “could possibly be 103,” the police code indicating someone has been killed, according to the 911 recording made public Monday.

Police arrived at Irby’s apartment at the Arden Woods Apartment Homes and found her body inside.

Even though Gemeille told Montague that Irby was his girlfriend, Irby’s family members on Tuesday said she was instead dating one of Gemeille’s friends.

“She didn’t even like the guy,” said Irby’s cousin Paul Jones, an English instructor at Wake Technical Community College. “He’s delusional. She was dating a guy that’s friends with him.”

Jones said he regularly checked on his younger cousin to see how she was doing. He described her as “self-sufficient, nurturing, warm and caring.”

“Sometimes you can care too much,” he said. “That can be a gift and a curse.”

A violent history

Authorities also charged Gemeille on Tuesday morning with assault on a law enforcement officer while in custody, according to Phyllis Stephens, a spokeswoman for the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. She declined to say if he has been transferred to a segregated unit for security reasons.

Prior to his arrest Sunday, Gemeille was awaiting trial on charges of assault on a female, assault inflicting serious injury, following too closely and reckless driving, wanton disregard, state records show. Police say the charges stem from a road-rage incident.

Majdoleen Mohammed, 25, of Raleigh, said in a Monday interview that Gemeille and her brother got into a fight at a North Raleigh intersection and Gemeille severely beat her brother, causing internal bleeding in one of his eyes that required surgery.

Gemeille also assaulted her before leaving the scene, Mohammed said.

In July 2010, Gemeille and three others were charged with the beating death of a 28-year-old man at a North Raleigh apartment complex, but Gemeille was not convicted, according to state records.

A quiet, private person

Jones said Irby’s mother, Elsie Rogers, has operated a day care center in the Chicago area for more than a decade. Irby often helped out at the day care and decided she wanted to open one of her own.

When she decided to follow her cousin to North Carolina, she secured the apartment on Loft Lane and found work as a telemarketer. Jones said he encouraged her to focus on earning a college degree.

“That way, if she found that owning a day care was not the path she wanted to follow she would still have a degree in business administration,” he said.

Jones said his cousin, the middle child among three sisters, was a very private person who went out on occasion because she loved music.

“She did not like rude, hot-headed people,” he said. “You can choose your boyfriend, but you can’t choose who your boyfriend chooses to hang around.”

Gemeille is being held without bail.

News researcher Brooke Cain contributed to this report.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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