Suspected teen killer could be tried as adult

Published 11:08 am Wednesday, December 5, 2012

COURTLAND—The Southampton County Commonwealth Attorney’s office has filed a request to try a suspected 17-year-old killer as an adult.

A Franklin Juvenile Court judge will rule on the request concerning the Emporia teen, who was charged for the Nov. 8 murder of Eric “E.T.” Smith outside his mother’s Franklin home.

Police also issued a warrant for the arrest Sol “Dukey” Damacus Burke, 25, of Suffolk. As of Wednesday morning, Burke remained on the run.

The teen and Burke face first-degree murder charges. If convicted, they could spend life in prison.

Police also charged Rowan D. Bruff, 29, of 31000 block of Carter Street, Franklin, for allegedly driving the vehicle used that night and having a gun.

Smith at about 8:30 heard a knock at the door while visiting his mother and was shot when he opened the door, police reported. The father of four went to his cousin’s upstairs apartment for help and was taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital. Smith, 30, was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The rumored motive, which police have not confirmed, was revenge for Burke being beat up. The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office investigated an assault against Burke on Sept. 29. He allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators.

Burke is described as a 6-foot-4, 230-pound black man and has a tattoo of “Dukey” on his right forearm and bicep.