Police: Murder suspects admit beating

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Two of three men charged with murdering a 20-year-old Portsmouth man whose body was found in a North Suffolk lake told police they and a third person beat him, court documents show.

Portsmouth’s Kyle Lamar Purvis, 21, and Suffolk’s Tremayne L. Johnson, 25, told investigators in separate interviews they and two others conspired to attack Donta L. Williams in Suffolk on Jan. 20.

All three allegedly involved in the attack struck Williams “multiple times,” causing blunt-force trauma, according to interview summaries. No motive is indicated.


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Purvis, Johnson and Portsmouth’s Nathaniel C. McCoy Jr., 21, are each charged with first-degree murder; shoot, stab, cut or wound; and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Purvis, listed in court documents as unemployed and homeless, is scheduled to appear in Suffolk General District Court for an arraignment hearing Friday.

An arraignment hearing for Johnson, who is listed as working in home health care, is set for April 27.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the clerk’s office had not received any paperwork for the case against McCoy, who was to be extradited from Michigan, where he was arrested, according to a city of Suffolk news release.

Detectives with Portsmouth Police Department’s special victims unit issued an appeal for information on Williams’ disappearance on Jan. 20.

Family members told detectives the disappearance was unusual for someone who contacted his family daily, according to a news release from Portsmouth police.

An employee at the Department of Defense complex at Lake View Technology Park, located off College Drive near Interstate 664, spotted Williams’ body in the lake between Burbage and College drives on March 9.

Nine days later, Suffolk Police announced the body’s identity and Purvis’ arrest. Johnson’s arrest was announced later that same day.

McCoy’s arrest in Michigan was announced Saturday. All three were being held without bond.

In a jailhouse interview with WAVY TV before McCoy was arrested, Purvis claimed neither he nor Johnson committed the murder.

“Yes I was there when it happened, but I did not commit the murder,” Purvis told the reporter. “I tried to help Donta, but it was too late by the time I tried to help him.”

Williams’ fiancée told The Virginian-Pilot that McCoy’s family had introduced Williams to his Norfolk church, New Abundant Life Christian Center.

She last saw Williams when they rode a church van home together after Bible study the night he went missing, according to the report.

“He (Williams) was considered a grandson to some, a son and a nephew to many and truly a friend to all,” reads a post on the church’s Facebook page.

“We thank God for the impact his young life has had on our ministry and on the lives of so many others.”