Three indicted on murder charges

Published 9:39 pm Thursday, June 25, 2015

The grand jury indicted three men on charges of first-degree murder, shoot or stab in commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Portsmouth’s Donta Williams.

Tremayne Laron Johnson, of Suffolk, and Nathaniel Charles McCoy Jr. and Kyle Purvis, both of Portsmouth, were indicted on Wednesday.

A Department of Defense employee spotted Williams’ body floating in a lake between Burbage and College drives on March 9. According to police interviews with the suspects, Williams had been attacked on Jan. 20.

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In a June 15 court hearing, suspect statements read by a police investigator showed all three men admitted to playing a role in the attack.

Johnson, according to the transcript of his interview, told police he hit Williams after the three lured him onto the bridge on Jan. 20. He also said McCoy used an instrument to choke Williams.

McCoy told police he restrained Williams with a pocket saw while Purvis struck him multiple times with a hammer.

Purvis said McCoy instructed him to use the hammer. He said he didn’t know how many times he struck Williams.

McCoy told investigators he and Purvis pushed Williams off the bridge into the lake.

The three went to Walmart for supplies before the attack, Purvis told police. They picked up three pairs of mechanic’s gloves and zip ties.

No clear motive for the attack was evident during the hearing earlier this month.