Homicide investigators think Curtis Levon Jackson murdered his friend in an abandoned home in Southeast Raleigh, then drove to a nearby gas station to purchase $2 worth of gas that he used to set fire to the home where his friend died.
Police also determined that Jackson, 28, used the victim’s debit card to withdraw $700 in $10 bills, according to a series of search warrants made public Wednesday.
Jackson of 308 Norwood Street in Raleigh has been in the Wake County jail since April 9, when police charged him with the first-degree murder of Curtis Lamont Mitchell, 32, of Raleigh.
On April 1, firefighters pulled Mitchell’s badly burned body from an abandoned brick home at 2801 Poole Road. Investigators said Mitchell’s body was found in a hallway underneath a mattress and that blood had pooled under his head, according to the search warrants.
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Prior to Jackson’s arrest, Mitchell’s family members thought he had been targeted for a robbery.
Mitchell’s mother, Angela Mitchell, said her son had more than $700 loaded onto his Social Security debit card the night he left home in search of an ATM. The balance was just $7 after his body was found the next day, she said.
Curtis Mitchell was last seen alive at about 12:30 a.m. on April 1 when he left home with a friend to make a debit card withdrawal from a nearby store. According to the search warrants, family members told police that before he left, Mitchell phoned someone and told that person that he “was on his way.”
Investigators obtained search warrants for Jackson’s phones and learned that he was the person Mitchell had called.
Police were able to obtain surveillance video from a Valero store at 1830 New Bern Avenue, just around the corner from the apartment Mitchell shared with his mother on Hawkins Street. Investigators reviewed the video and saw a man who appeared to be Jackson purchasing gasoline in a one-gallon plastic jug at 4:55 a.m., a half hour before firefighters were called about the fire in the abandoned home where Mitchell’s body was found.
Investigators also learned that someone used an ATM machine at 1910 Poole Road to make three cash withdrawals from Mitchell’s bank account. Two withdrawals were for $200 each and a third for $300, according to the search warrants.
The ATM on Poole Road dispenses only $10 bills. Jackson, after the slaying and fire, traveled to his girlfriend’s home in Virginia and gave her $200, including $100 in $10 bills, according to the search warrants.