Three murder suspects indicted

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Three people accused in the Sept. 22 murder of a local businessman were indicted on a variety of charges by a Suffolk grand jury on Wednesday.



Leon Jerome Hayes, 34, Naomi Nichelle Lambert, 22, and Katron Shawndell Walker, 32, all face the numerous felony charges associated with the death of 82-year-old Donald Carter, the owner of Carter’s Quality Furniture on East Washington Street.

Each has been indicted on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

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Walker and Hayes also face charges of possessing a gun while a convicted felon.

After a 911 call about 1:12 a.m. that day, Carter was found near his business, suffering from a gunshot wound to the lower torso. He died shortly after arriving at Sentara Obici Hospital by ambulance.

At a preliminary hearing last week, a prosecution witness who was with Lambert that night testified the fatal robbery was set up using Carter’s office phone minutes before he was killed.



According to the witness, A’unique White, Carter stopped his car alongside her, Lambert and another female friend as they walked in a downtown neighborhood.

Carter offered Lambert liquor, White said, and Lambert climbed into the passenger seat, while the other two friends sat in the back.

They drove to Taco Bell, where Carter bought everybody food, and Lambert told White they were going to “hit a lick” — street slang for robbery, according to White’s testimony.

They left the eatery, dropped the third friend off at a house, then Carter drove White and Lambert to his furniture store.

After using the phone inside the store, Lambert told White, “Leon’s outside.”

According to interview transcripts, Lambert told police Carter offered to pay for sex. They declined the offer and a further offer of a ride home.



As they left the store, White said, she saw Hayes and Walker emerge from nearby bushes and advance toward Carter. She soon heard someone ask for money, followed by two gunshots.

Meeting back at the St. James Avenue house where they had been headed when they encountered Carter, Hayes asked Walker why he shot Carter, according to White.

Walker and Lambert are set for arraignment on Dec. 29. Hayes’ arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 20.