Less than two hours after two longtime friends were gunned down in a Fuquay-Varina house in 2014, the accused killer posted a picture on social media of his hand clutching a World War II “Tommy” gun that was stolen from the victims’ home, prosecutors say.
Howard Cummings and Matt Lively, Wake County prosecutors, say Donovan Jevonte Richardson, 24, of Holly Springs, was armed with a Glock .9 mm handgun in the early morning hours of July 18, 2014 when he and Gregory A. Crawford of Fuquay-Varina busted out a basement window to enter Arthur Lee Brown’s home at 236 Howard Road in Fuquay-Varina.
A third accomplice, Kevin Bernard Britt of Holly Springs, waited outside in a Toyota truck for the burglars.
Just after 12:35 a.m., Brown, 74, a popular construction company owner, was in bed in his home’s large master bedroom. His friend and longtime employee, David Eugene McKoy, 66, was asleep in bed in another room.
Cummings and Lively have accused Richardson of shooting Brown twice in the chest and once in the right hand. Crawford grabbed a .38 caliber revolver that Brown kept on his nightstand and went where McKoy lay sleeping and shot him in the face, prosecutors said.
Richardson later told Britt, “I didn’t know two people were in the house. I saw two people dead on the news,” according to testimony Wednesday afternoon by Thomas Jones, an investigator with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.
Wednesday marked the fifth day of testimony in the capital double murder trial for Richardson. Investigators said the men conspired to rob the victims and had targeted Brown’s home after learning that he kept firearms.
Crawford last year was sentenced to life in prison. Britt has not gone to trial, but has been cooperating with investigators. Richardson could face the death penalty if he is convicted of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors think the three men were also responsible for a similar burglary a little more than two weeks before on July 3 at a nearby home on Wagstaff Avenue. A man who rented the home, Kevin Kizer, testified this week that his cousin was held at gunpoint by two armed men who took his AR-15 and AK-47 weapons and a pit bull puppy named “Polo.”
The three men were not arrested until early August. Before they were taken into custody, Richardson used Britt’s cell phone to advertise the guns for sale on Facebook Messenger, prosecutors say.
Jones, the investigator, shared several of them with the courtroom Wednesday:
▪ “I got some straps on the market, a AK and a chopper. 450 a gun,” read one.
▪ “I got a blue pit bull for sale. 1 month old,” read another.
▪ “I got a .22 and a 9,” read a third. “Lol. I’m strapped like Rambo.”
▪ “Know anybody who need a strap? I got some firepower on the market.”
Sheriff’s deputies never recovered the stolen guns.
“They were never found. They were all sold,” said Brown’s son, Kenneth L. Brown.
Kenneth Brown walked to the back of the courtroom Wednesday while a bailiff handed the jurors copies of the screen shots, including a photo of Richardson’s hand clutching his father’s Tommy gun. Tears formed in the corners of Brown’s eyes.
“It’s like I’m reliving it,” he said. “This just brings it all back.”
Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald