College student’s murder yields $10
Daniel Edward Henry (clockwise from top left), Quintel Grady, Jasmine Dottin and Christopher Cromartie Jr.
Buy Photo Photos by Paul Stephen
Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8:50 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8:50 a.m.
Note: This is a corrected version. The original incorrectly reported one suspect’s relationship with the Wilmington Coastal Boxing gym.
Four people were arrested late Sunday and early Monday morning in the downtown shooting death Thursday night of a Cape Fear Community College student robbed of a sandwich, cellphone and two $5 bills.
Christopher Daniel Cromartie Jr., 23, Quintel Raheem Grady, 22, Jasmine Nikole Dottin, 19, and Daniel Edward Henry, 17, are each charged with felony first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Cromartie, Henry and Dottin are each additionally charged with attempted burglary.
Though Cromartie called himself the manager of the Wilmington Coastal Boxing gym on Anderson Street, the president of the non-profit club for at-risk youth said Tuesday that wasn’t true.
During their first appearances in court Monday, District Attorney Ben David said that on the night of the killing, Cromartie, Henry and Dottin attempted to break into a home on South Churchill Road but ran off after alerting the home owners.
With that plan thwarted, the trio met up with Grady.
“The four of them hatched a plot to go downtown to find a victim or victims to rob. (Cromartie), together with Daniel Henry and QuintelGrady, got out of a car being operated by Jasmine Dottin and stalked and followed a woman in the downtown area. She understood she was being stalked, went into her gated yard and began to call 911, but did not. They left her. This was about 20 minutes before Joshua Proutey was shot and killed,” David said.
“They then find Mr. Proutey…. It’s alleged at that time Mr. Quintel Grady approached him demanding his wallet and anything of value. Mr. Proutey produced what was in his wallet, which was $10, and asked if he could keep his ID because it would be hard to replace. At that point he was ordered back into his car and he froze. And it’s alleged that Mr. Grady shot him in the head and killed him.”
The group then fled, taking Proutey’s cash, cellphone and sandwich.
As passers-by found Proutey’s lifeless body in the parking lot next to the Hannah Block Community Arts Center at Second and Orange streets – his car keys still clutched in his hand and the ice in his fountain soda still frozen – a Market Street gas station surveillance camera captured Dottin, Cromartie, Henry and Grady pulling in.
Wilmington Police Department Chief Ralph Evangelous said they put Proutey’s $10 in the tank of their car.
Because first-degree murder is punishable by death, Judge Rebecca Blackmore granted David’s request to hold Cromartie, Grady and Dottin without bail. Henry’s youth prevents the state from seeking death against him, and Blackmore set his bond at $2 million.
“This was completely random. There is no piece that you can connect Joshua to these people with. He didn’t hang out downtown, he didn’t have any seedy friends,” said his grief-stricken mother Patricia Proutey. “He was everybody’s kid. This could have been anybody’s kid.”
Evangelous said at a news conference Monday that a tip led investigators to the four. Two were arrested in Leland, one person surrendered, and Cromartie was arrested on Anderson Street. During the search for Grady on Rankin Street Sunday night, officers encountered an aggressive dog and it was shot, Evangelous said. Two men at the home were arrested on unrelated warrants.
Evangelous said he is proud of his investigators for quickly solving a case that was so random in nature. And as the father of an 18-year-old son, he said, he can only imagine the grief the Proutey family must feel.
“How can you address the inhumane ways people treat one another?,” Evangelous said. “It could have been any one of us.”
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