Crime

DNA obtained from suspects in slaying of ECU football player outside Bahama Breeze

Ashanti Rahdee Bennett
Ashanti Rahdee Bennett CCBI

Police last week obtained DNA samples from two people charged in the revenge slaying of former East Carolina University football player Anthony Domonique Lennon, who police say lost a shipment of drugs headed to Raleigh from the West Coast.

Detectives got DNA samples from Jamar Vick Allen, 35, of Raleigh, and Ashanti Rahdee Bennett, 33, of Greenville. Bennett, who owns a tattoo parlor in Greenville, is charged with murder. Allen is charged with felony conspiracy to commit murder, a spokesman at the Wake County jail reported Monday.

Investigators think that Allen – who goes by the nickname “Mar” – and Bennett financed a large shipment of drugs from Seattle to Raleigh in May of last year. Police say Lennon had hired a woman to transport the drugs. The drugs were intercepted by police in Chicago.

Bennett and Allen blamed Lennon for the loss of the drugs and set up his fatal shooting last year, according to search warrants made public Friday at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.

Lennon was shot to death on June 23 in the parking lot of Raleigh’s Bahama Breeze, a popular Caribbean restaurant, on June 23. That was about a month after the drugs were seized by Chicago police.

Police did not disclose in the warrants what drug or drugs were involved in the deal or how the woman was traveling when she was stopped in Chicago. A Raleigh detective said Chicago authorities confirmed the story about her arrest, according to earlier search warrants filed in the case.

Investigators say Bennett and Lennon were together in the Bahama Breeze parking lot on Wake Forest Road, standing by Lennon’s black Range Rover, when two armed men walked up to the pair and shot Lennon several times.

Although there were many people in the parking lot, Lennon was the clear target of 10 or more gunshots. He was pronounced dead in the parking lot, police reported.

Investigators later recovered 19 spent shell casings in the parking lot.

Two other men – Wantavius Burney Jackson, 25, of Kinston, and Clifton Jason Spellman III, 25, of Greenville – were arrested in late October and charged with felony conspiracy to commit murder, according to records filed with the City County Bureau of Identification.

Raleigh Detective J.L. Zellmer told Superior Court Judge W. Donald Stephens, who granted some of the search warrants in August, that cell-tower data showed phones owned by Bennett, Jackson, Spellman and Allen were all in the area of the tattoo parlor a few hours before Lennon was killed.

The data also showed that the four phones moved to Raleigh and were connecting with a cell tower near the Bahama Breeze at the time of the homicide.

Jackson’s, Spellman’s and Allen’s phones then moved back to Greenville, police wrote. Bennett stayed at the restaurant, where he was questioned by police.

Lennon was a defensive back for the ECU Pirates from 2011 to 2015. Lennon, known as “Domo” to his teammates, earned three letters while playing for the Pirates.

He had moved to the Raleigh area from Suffolk, Va., where his family lives and where he was buried.

Bennett is being held without benefit of bail at the Wake County jail, a jail spokesman reported Monday.

Allen and Spellman are housed at the jail under $1 million bails each. Jackson’s bail is $500,000, a jail spokesman said.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald

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