Midtown Raleigh News

St. Aug’s reassigns convicted killers from summer camp

After parents with children in a summer camp at St. Augustine’s University complained that two women tied to the program were convicted killers, the president of the private university isolated the women to their administrative roles Friday.

Doris Bullock, who works as an assistant vice president at the university, was convicted of second-degree murder in Halifax County in 1981. Her assistant, Deidra Gary, was convicted of manslaughter in 2003 after investigators said she shot and killed her husband, Carolina Panthers player Fred Lane, at their Mecklenburg County home.

The women served their sentences, according to court and prison records.

But their ties to the “Kiddie Kollege Summer Camp” at St. Augustine’s in Southeast Raleigh troubled some who had children in the program for 5- to 9-year-olds.

“Doris and Deidra are exemplary and professional employees,” St. Augustine’s President Dianne Boardley Suber said Friday in a statement. “They are productive citizens who make positive contributions to the community. Their work is highly regarded and parents have expressed support for the children’s program.”

The president stated further that campus safety is a primary focus and that she was proud of the university’s performance in that regard.

“While I remain confident in their ability, I have decided to reassign both employees to their administrative roles at the University,” Suber said in the statement. “It is paramount to maintain a positive learning environment for the children. We will continue to maintain diversity within our staff and evaluate employees on their merit.”

In a statement issued Thursday, St. Augustine’s administrators said the university performs background checks on all employees.

“At our summer Kiddie Kollege camp, counselors and instructors provide enrichment activities for children ages 5 to 11,” said Shelley Willingham-Hinton, associate vice president. “Doris Bullock and Deidra Gary serve in administrative roles and provide valuable support to the camp counseling and recreation staff. They are exemplary employees and productive members of the community.”