August 25, 2014

Cary homicide suspect makes first court appearance Monday

It remains unclear whether a Cary man knew the licensed practical nurse that he is accused of shooting and killing on Friday night at an apartment complex off Northeast Maynard Road. But Daniel Scott Remington made his first appearance in court on Monday, to face charges in her murder.

As the man accused of killing a home health nurse in the parking lot of an apartment complex made his first court appearance Monday, police remained mum about a possible motive for the killing.

Police charged Daniel Scott Remington, 36, with murder over the weekend, leading to his arrest in Fayetteville. Remington is accused of shooting Wendy Jean Johnson at the Hyde Park apartments, off Northeast Maynard Road, just before 11 p.m. Friday.

The town’s 911 dispatchers fielded nine calls from residents who reported hearing screams and one gunshot and then seeing a man fleeing from a mortally wounded woman in the parking lot.

Johnson, 58, died later at Duke University Medical Center.

Johnson was a private duty nurse who worked nights for Bayada, a home health care service headquartered in Winston-Salem.

The agency’s director, Robin McCarson, said Monday that Johnson was at the Hyde Park apartments to provide overnight care for a child with special needs.

“She was providing care so the parents could sleep at night,” McCarson said.

Remington lives on Gooseneck Drive, less than two miles from the site of the shooting.

McCarson said that “there is no connection with any Bayada client and this man. I do not know if there was any connection between Wendy and this man. Wendy’s daughter, Lora, believes there was no connection.”

Johnson’s daughter could not be reached for comment Monday.

Johnson was a native of Minnesota and had worked as a nurse since 1977, state records show. She started working with Bayada in 2011, McCarson said.

The agency released a statement Monday that described Johnson as a highly respected and valued professional who was loved by many of the clients she served.

“We are working closely with her family to support them through this difficult situation and cooperating fully with the police during their continuing investigation,” McCarson said in the statement.

When he appeared in court Monday, Remington appeared gaunt and was dressed in a dingy, orange and white-striped jail jumpsuit that didn’t cover his heavily tattooed arms.

Wake County District Court Judge Vince Rozier told Remington he could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Remington told the judge he wanted a court-appointed attorney.

911 calls

Nine people who live at the apartment complex began dialing 911 just before 11 p.m. Friday to report the shooting, according to 911 recordings made public by the Cary Police Department.

The callers reported hearing a single gunshot that several of them said sounded like a “pop.” Other callers described the gunshot as a loud bang.

None of the callers saw the shooter, but one female caller said she thought it sounded like the victim and her assailant may have known each other.

“It sounded like she knew the person,” the caller, whose name was not released, told the dispatcher. “I did not see who did it. I heard a girl yelling for someone to ‘get away, get away.’ Then I heard a pop.”

The caller said the screams from the woman turned into calls for help.

Three other callers told dispatchers that they also heard yelling in the parking lot, followed by a gunshot and the victim crying out, “Help me, help me,” according to the 911 recordings.

The callers said after the shooting a man ran over to the woman’s prone body, looked down and then ran off while yelling, “You shot him,” according to the 911 recording.

Remington has an extensive criminal history in Wake, Durham, Chatham, Lee and Cumberland counties, including convictions for felony breaking and entering, felony larceny and felony possession of cocaine, state records show. He was in and out of prison between 2000 and 2010.

News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.

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