Raleigh man charged with murder was on probation

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comMay 27, 2014 

— Police say they had already been searching for Rashand Nicholas Fitts for violating the conditions of his probation when he turned himself in Monday to face a charge of first-degree murder.

State corrections officials had been searching for Fitts before the fatal shooting Saturday of Travis Rhodes, 24, of 700 Cumberland St. Rhodes was found behind the wheel of a car in the 3400 block of Capital Boulevard, near Old Buffaloe Road, shortly before midnight.

Police charged Fitts with the murder of Rhodes and are holding him at the Wake County jail without benefit of bail, a jail spokesman said Tuesday.

In addition to the murder charge, police charged Fitts with a misdemeanor probation violation and two counts of failure to appear in court. Last year, on May 8, Fitts was convicted of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in Wake County and sentenced to probation and community service, state records show. The N.C. Department of Public Safety website describes him as an absconder from probation.

Police have not said how Fitts and Rhodes knew each other, but police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Saturday’s shooting was not a random act.

Rhodes was driving a rented 2014 Ford with a 23-year-old man as a passenger Saturday night when someone fired a gunshot that struck Rhodes in the torso.

The Ford veered out of control on the northbound lanes of Capital Boulevard, crossed in front of a Chrysler, crashing into the front panel on the passenger side, according to a police accident report. The Ford then crossed the median and traveled 400 feet, before it came to a rest along the southbound lanes of Capital in a landscaped area near a parking lot, according to the report.

Police have not disclosed whether the shooting took place on Capital Boulevard or at another location.

“The shooting is believed to have occurred in close proximity to the wreck scene,” Sughrue said.

Sughrue declined to answer questions about other details because the police investigation of the shooting continues.

The Chrysler that collided with the Ford was driven by Michael Robert Brockley, 46, of Raleigh. Brockley, three 14-year-old passengers and the 23-year-old in the rented car were not injured, according to the accident report.

News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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