First Posted: 1/15/2009
LUMBERTON - Police say a Lumberton man arrested in the March shooting death of Delano Townsend Jr. admits to being a thief, but insists he isn't a killer.
But Reginald Gerald, 38, of 945 Spruce St., was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Delano Townsend Jr. He is also charged with armed robbery.
Townsend's body was discovered slumped over in the driver's seat of his Mazda Millennia on Lee Circle near Lumbee Homes on March 27. Police made the discovery after responding to a call about gunfire shortly before midnight. Townsend lived at 524 Swan Drive in Lumberton.
Police Sgt. Howard Reaves said Gerald told authorities that he had approached Townsend to ask him if he could wash his car.
“He said he was just trying to make a little money and witnesses actually saw him wash the car,” the detective said.
After the car wash, Townsend agreed to give Gerald a ride, Reaves said.
“The victim had to go home for a minute, Gerald went with him,” Reaves said. “When they left there, they went to Lumbee Homes. That's where the robbery and shooting occurred.”
Reaves said Gerald admitted to stealing money from Townsend, but did not confess to the killing.
“I know that when the victim was shot, Reginald stole some cash out of his pockets and took a gun that the victim had,” Reaves said. “… After the victim was shot, (Gerald) went to someone's house, cleaned himself up and smoked some dope.”
Police are looking for at least two other people they believe are involved in the murder.
Gerald was jailed at the Robeson County Detention Center without bail. He has been convicted of two felony drug charges in the past 10 years, according to the state Department of Correction.
Anyone with information can call Reaves at at 671-3845.