Two more teens pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in a robbery and assault in 2012 that fatally injured a man living in a tent on a Raleigh greenway.
Raheem Hall was 15 when Regynald Brown’s decomposing body was found stuffed in a city trash bin along a Raleigh Greenway trail on Dec. 8, 2012. On Wednesday, the teen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery, crimes that brought him sentences of at least 18 years in prison.
Tereise Massenburg, 17, pleaded guilty to accessory to robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy in a case that left many in the neighborhood near the Southeast Raleigh trails shaken about the path the teens took. Some were more involved in the assault than others, according to prosecutors.
Massenburg was sentenced to at least 20 months in prison with credit for the time he has been in jail awaiting trial. He is to be under supervised probation for at least two years and seven months after his release.
Their pleas were entered in Wake County Superior Court a week after Angel Sean Muniz, 17, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with assurances that he would be eligible for parole in 25 years.
Two other teens have charges pending in the case.
Tyrell Hamilton, one of them, is scheduled for a plea hearing on Monday. A teen who was only 13 at the time of the homicide will go before a judge in juvenile court, according to prosecutors.
Brown was down on his luck in 2012, picking up construction work when he could, and living with friends or in a tent that he pitched near the Walnut Creek Trail leg of the Capital Area Greenway.
Five boys who lived near the city trail were accused of robbing and bludgeoning Brown to death in December 2012, then hiding his body inside a city-issued garbage cart in a nearby tunnel.
The boys affiliated with each other under the gang name BMS, or Big Money Swag. The older teens laid out challenges for the younger ones “to earn stars” – a loose ranking system, or hierarchy grounded in robberies and attacks on the homeless in their midst.
Early on, the accused teens provided a series of inconsistent accounts of those days in December, but their overarching outline remained similar.
Sometime in late November or early December, one of the boys decided they would go as a group to the Walnut Trail, where some of Wake County’s homeless people congregated. Their intent was robbery, or “a lick,” as they called the action, according to testimony.
About 3:30 p.m. one day, Brown was coming along the trail on the bicycle he used for transportation, according to previous testimony.
Two of the boys hid behind a wooden-bridge rail, and others climbed onto another structure that screened them from plain view.
One of the boys, according to several of their stories, threw a rock that was at least the size of a baseball onto Brown’s head. They knocked him off his bike and then began beating him.
Muniz, believed to be a chief instigator, hit Brown on the head three times with a rock, according to prosecutors.
The boys left Brown badly beaten on the trail and went back either the next day or several days later to hide his body in a roll-out garbage cart, prosecutors have said.
The address on that cart led investigators to the five accused in the homicide.
Though the cases started in juvenile court, the judge decided there was enough evidence to move four of the cases into the adult system.
Though all but one of the teens are expected to plea to charges less than first-degree murder, North Carolina law dictates that the cases of anyone 13 or older charged with first-degree murder must be transferred to adult court.