Crime

New suspect faces murder charge in 2009 Raleigh killing

Ivan McFarland
Ivan McFarland

Police have charged a second man with the shooting death of a 32-year-old man found mortally wounded in the parking lot of a Northwest Raleigh apartment complex in 2009.

The arrest of Ivan McFarland, 40, of 1903 Williams Circle in Chapel Hill, was the second in 48 hours in the shooting death of James Carol DeBerry, who was found dead in a parking lot at Shadetree Lane on Oct. 31, 2009.

Tuesday evening, police arrested James Harold Courtney III, 49, who had been charged with murder a few days after the killing but who went free after a trial ended in a hung jury and prosecutors did not ask for a new trial.

Police filed new charges against Courtney this week after they uncovered additional evidence that they think links him to DeBerry’s death.

Raleigh police targeted McFarland after his fingerprint was found on DeBerry’s car, police said in a 2014 search warrant application. Investigators obtained the warrant to compare a sample of McFarland’s DNA with evidence they had collected from the crime scene.

The police also used the search warrant to extract data from cellphones owned by Courtney and David Eric Moses, 51, of Raleigh in 2009. Police arrested Courtney and Moses days after the homicide, but charges against Moses were dismissed about a week after he testified against Courtney in December 2010, court records show.

In asking for the search warrants last year, Detective Z.A. Morse told a magistrate that McFarland told police during an interview that he did not know DeBerry and had never been in Raleigh.

After Courtney’s trial ended with a hung jury, he asked Wake County court authorities to expunge the murder charge from his record and was denied twice, on Sept. 5, 2013, and Aug. 15, 2014, because of a prior felony conviction, court records show.

In 1993, a Durham County judge sentenced Courtney to three years in prison after he was convicted of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, according to records filed at the Wake County Clerk of Superior Courts Office.

Courtney also has a pending court date after Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner charged him with felony harassment of a juror on March 6 of last year during the trial of Jason Young, a Cary man who was charged and convicted of the murder of his wife, court records show.

Courtney, a native of New York, also served time in several maximum-security prisons in New York after he was convicted of robbery, the felony sale of drugs, felony assault, criminal possession of a loaded firearm and possession of stolen property, court records show.

Courtney was arrested and sentenced under a different name, “Hyrum Rodriguez,” and racial identity while in New York. State records in New York listed him as “Hispanic” or “Latino,” court records show.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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