F.T. Norton, Star News Online, December 17, 2012
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.
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 Quintel Grady, 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.
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.”
[Editor’s Note: According to this story, Mr. Cromartie said “I figured if I robbed a white person in a good neighborhood, they’re bound to have money lying around.”]