Sixth charged in slaying

Published 2:07 pm Friday, February 3, 2012

COURTLAND—Another suspect has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 7, 2010, shooting death of Darrin Lee.

Quadrick Ashburn, 21, of the 25000 block of Oak Trail, Courtland, also has been charged with three counts of using a gun while committing a felony, robbery, and abduction and kidnapping, Southampton County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Major Gene Drewery, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said Ashburn is an alleged accomplice, but he wasn’t really clear about his role in the 28-year-old’s kidnapping and murder.

“Quadrick’s name has always been in the investigation,” said Sgt. Wanda Covington, who investigated the murder at Southampton Meadows Trailer Park on Highway 258 between Franklin and the North Carolina line. “His participation was developed through the investigation and statements taken from other people.”

Covington said she couldn’t release more specifics.

Quadrick was charged by indictment through the Commonwealth Attorney’s office.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Cooke did not want to comment.

Ashburn is the sixth to be charged.

Bruce Boone, 19, of Suffolk in September admitted to second-degree murder for Lee’s death and faces eight to 18 years in prison. He avoided the possibility of life in prison by making the deal.

Ernest Jones, 23, of Portsmouth admitted to second-degree murder for Lee’s death and faces 13 to 23 years in prison.

Sentencing has yet to be scheduled for both men.

Shahon Cumbo, 23, of Franklin is scheduled for a jury trial on Monday, Feb. 6, for first-degree murder.

Rasheed Brown, 22, of Franklin, who was named by Boone under oath as the triggerman, is also charged with first-degree murder and has a jury trial scheduled for Tuesday, March 6.

Darrin Robinson, 22, of Suffolk was scheduled for trial this past Monday, but it was continued until April 26 at the request of his attorney, who cited new evidence, problems locating a witness and ongoing negotiations with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Lee — a well-known drug dealer, according to prosecutors — was abducted by the suspects from Man Market on South Street in Franklin and taken to his home. Lee was reluctant to let them inside because he had family there. During the incident, a car pulled up and flashed its lights. That’s when the shooting occurred.

Investigators have said robbery was the motive.