I just received an email from Jay about the latest development in the murder of Abhijit Mahato, a DBD PhD student at Duke University:
Durham police say a late-night chase into Wake County on Tuesday led to the arrest of four people responsible for at least one recent armed robbery near the Duke University campus, one of whom is now charged with murder in connection with a previous robbery.
The arrests of William Dozia Smith, 20, Stephen Lavance Oates Jr., 19, and two juveniles, both 14, may bring investigators a step closer to solving some of the more than 70 robberies that have been committed since Jan. 1. The spate of robberies â€” many preying on Hispanics and often involving handguns â€” prompted Durham CrimeStoppers on Wednesday to increase its reward offer to $5,000 for information leading to arrests.
Smith, Oates and the two juveniles were charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony fleeing to elude. They are accused of robbing a couple at gunpoint at an apartment on Lambeth Circle late Sunday and may be suspects in other, similar armed robberies including a second incident just hours prior at the Poplar West Apartments, also near the Duke campus.
Oates was later charged with murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the Friday slaying of Abhijit Mahato at his apartment at 1600 Anderson Street, Apt. C-2, police said in a news release tonight. And he was also charged with robbery and simple assault related to a Nov. 19 armed robbery at the Bennett Pointe Grill on Hillsborough Road. [News&Observer]
After reading over 300 comments on the original thread about this tragedy, I know that many of you were especially moved by this story; we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
For those of you near Duke, a funeral service will be held this Sunday morning, at 10:30 a.m., by The Hindu Society of North Carolina. ABD, DBD, bespectacled or not, I think the one thing we can all agree to do is to keep Abhijit and his family in our thoughts and prayers.