Home Crime Rockingham Police charge robbery suspect with teen’s murder

Rockingham Police charge robbery suspect with teen’s murder

ROCKINGHAM — A man sitting in the Richmond County Jail on robbery charges was served Thursday with a warrant for murder of a teenager.

Investigators with the Rockingham Police Department have charged 20-year-old Tito Jermaine Ray with first-degree murder in the death of a child under 16.

Detective Lt. George Gillenwater previously told the RO that the victim was found dead when police arrived on the scene in the area of Rockingham Road and Palisade Circle in the early morning hours of March 26.

On Thursday, Gillenwater still declined to name the victim because of his age and also declined to reveal the manner of death.

He did say investigators received “considerable cooperation from the community” that led to charges being filed against Ray.

Jail records show Ray was booked on March 27 on charges of armed robbery, assault by pointing a gun, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Gillenwater said the robbery charges are not connected to the homicide.

Ray is being held without bond on the murder charge and combined $265,000 secured bond on the other charges. He is scheduled to appear in court April 22 on the murder charge and April 15 on the other charges.

Online court records show Ray is also charged by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office with misdemeanor charges of breaking and entering, attempted breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, injury to real property and resisting a public officer.

Records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction show Ray was given a suspended sentence in 2018 when he was convicted on five counts of felony breaking and entering.

This makes the fourth declared homicide within the city limits so far this year.

The second homicide happened in the same area as the most recent.

David Giovanni Boseman, 25, was killed Saturday, Jan. 16 around 4:30 p.m. while sitting in a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu on Palisade Circle, police say. Samantha Sabrina Issac was also injured in the shooting.

Marquis Tavon Quick, 22, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, turned himself in on Jan. 22. He is charged with one count each of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm into an occpied property.

The first homicide occurred Jan. 14 when Dominique Rashad Little, of Rockingham, was shot while sitting in a 2010 Land Rover Range Rover in a parking lot on Cauthen Drive. The report lists two other victims in the case: 54-year-old Michael Todd Montgomery of Hamlet and 37-year-old Anita Nesha Pemberton of Trinity. There is no indication from the report that either of them were injured.

The crimes under investigation are first-degree murder, discharging a weapon into an occupied property, discharging a firearm in city limits and injury to real property.


On Feb. 3, police announced that a reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest in that case. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Richmond County Crime Stoppers at 910-997-5454.

The third homicide also happened in January and involved a teenager.

Officers responded to 907 Biggs Blvd. on Jan. 20 in reference to an unresponsive teenage male, according to a statement issued Feb. 11. The victim was 15-year-old Casey Glenn Johnson, who died Jan. 23.

Police have charged Joseph Ray Carroll with first-degree murder and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. 

The victim’s mother, Michelle Johnson is also charged with an open count of murder and was scheduled to appear in court Monday, according to state records.

Police are also investigating the death of 41-year-old Deana Brock Poplin of Hamlet.

According to an incident report, an officer responded to Burger King just before 3 p.m. March 2 “in reference to a female unconscious in the roadway.” The report states that Poplin was “possibly” run over by a suspect vehicle.

Poplin died the following day.

Her death has not yet been ruled a homicide. Gillenwater said Thursday that investigators are still awaiting forensic results.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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