Alleged triggerman in October slaying identified

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, February 9, 2011


COURTLAND—Murder suspect Bruce Boone during a Tuesday preliminary hearing pinned the Oct. 7 murder of Darrin Lee on Rasheed Brown, 21, of Franklin.

Boone, 18, of Suffolk testified in General District Court that Brown shot Lee in the head.

“He dropped,” Boone told the court.

The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office charged six men, including Boone and Brown, with first-degree murder in Lee’s death. The 28-year-old was allegedly shot outside his home in Southampton Meadows mobile home park after being abducted from Man Market on South Street in Franklin.

Four suspects were scheduled for preliminary hearings on Tuesday to determine if there was enough evidence for their cases to continue.

Murder charges against Dayquan Eley, 18, of Suffolk were dismissed. Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke did not want to comment on the reason.

Boone waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which means his case will go to the grand jury.

A judge also determined there was enough evidence against suspect Shahon Cumbo, 21, of Franklin for the case to continue.

The hearing for suspect Darrin L. Robinson, 20, of Suffolk was rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 22. Ernest Jones, 22, of Portsmouth and Brown will also be heard that day.

While testifying during Cumbo’s preliminary hearing, Boone testified that on the evening of Oct. 7, Brown instructed him, Jones and Cumbo to abduct Lee from Man Market. Jones and Boone approached Lee as he proceeded to his Lexus from the store. Boone testified that he was carrying a 22-pistol and Jones, a 9mm.

A seventh alleged suspect — only identified as Quad — was also said to have been present, Boone testified. Brown eventually joined the two and successfully forced Lee into his Lexus.

Brown then demanded Lee to take him to where he had his money, Boone testified. Lee responded that he had $2,000 at his mother’s house in Southampton Meadows.

Lee was forced to drive to that location while Brown, Boone and Jones rode with him, Boone testified .

Cumbo and “Quad” proceeded to follow Lee in a Toyota Camry. Robinson and Eley followed in a third car that was also a Lexus, Boone testified.

Upon arrival, Brown instructed Lee to call his brother and tell him to bring the money outside; Lee refused. Brown then commanded that Boone enter the house to obtain the money. Boone testified that he also refused.

Everyone in Lee’s car walked toward the door of the home, and arguing ensued as to who would retrieve the money from the home. At that time, the driver of a unknown car flashed his lights. Upon this action, Brown accused Lee of setting him up, Boone testified.

Before Lee could argue his case, Brown shot him in the head, Boone told the court.

Cumbo remained in his car during the shooting. His attorney moved to strike the charge of first-degree murder due to the lack of probable cause.

Cooke argued that Cumbo willingly participated in an abduction and robbery where a homicide resulted.

The judge certified the case for grand jury.

During Cumbo’s hearing, Det. Sgt. Wanda Covington also testified.

Convington testified that when she arrived at the crime scene, she saw two deputies, a body on the ground and Eley in custody.

Three cartridges were found at the scene — two from a 9mm handgun in the grass near the victim’s body and one was found by the victim’s brother near the wiper blades of a car parked nearby.