Suspects taken into custody

Published 8:17 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

Beaufort County men arrested in Greenville for double homicide

Two Beaufort County men were arrested Wednesday in the Greenville homicides of two other Washington natives.

Kuante Pegedro Stanley

Montrell Dishar Washington

Both Kuante Pegedro Stanley, 27, of Belhaven, and Montrell Dishar Washington, 20, of Washington, have been charged with two counts of murder, armed robbery and kidnapping in the deaths of Shakeyta Nicole Woolard, 29, and Keri Tramaal Kenlaw, 27.

Stanley turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning.

“We had made contact with him,” said Sgt. Joe Friday, public-information officer for the Greenville Police Department. “He came to the police department on his own, voluntarily.”

By Wednesday afternoon, Washington had been located at the Baymont Inn on South Memorial Drive in Greenville.

According to interim Chief Joe Bartlett of the Greenville Police Department, Washington initially refused to talk with police or leave the hotel room.

“We created a perimeter around the motel and evacuated a few rooms. Our hostage negotiator was then able to make contact with him and get him to give himself up,” Bartlett said during a press conference.

Woolard and Kenlaw were shot in their Academy Street residence on the afternoon of March 23. Four young children were present, but it is unclear whether they were inside the house at the time of the shootings, though one of them is responsible for a quick call to 911.

“A child went to the neighbor’s house, and the neighbor reported (the shootings) based on what the child had told them,” said Friday.

According to Bartlett, detectives believe Kenlaw and Woolard were targeted for a robbery because when they arrived, their house had been searched in a destructive manner. It took detectives more than a week to process the scene.

“The house was thoroughly ransacked,” said Friday. “This being a homicide case, we wanted to put our best practices into effect and use every tool we had in order to collect all available evidence. To see a home that’s ransacked, that tells you the subject went through the entire house.”

Therefore, Friday explained, the entire house had to be processed.

Greenville police have theorized the crime was drug-related.

“We don’t believe it was a random act,” Bartlett said. “But whether they were looking for drugs or money, we can’t say at this time.”

Stanley and Washington have criminal histories in Beaufort County, according to Maj. Kenneth Watson of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Stanley has previous arrests for assault, breaking and entering, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and carrying a concealed weapon. Washington has been arrested for resisting a public officer, assault on a female, felony larceny, possession of narcotics and felony breaking and entering.

Both men are being held in the Pitt County Detention Center without benefit of bond.

The investigation continues, as it will right up to trial, said Friday.

“It’s good that we were able to bring some closure to it for now,” he said. “But we’ll continue to follow any leads and information that comes up.”