Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Arrest of double homicide suspect made within five hours of murders

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It reportedly took law enforcement just five hours to arrest a suspect in a double homicide case that shattered the serenity of a small rural community in northeastern Alamance County over the weekend.

During a news conference on Monday afternoon, Alamance County’s sheriff Terry Johnson announced that Alfonzo McDuffie was arrested in Sampson County on Sunday evening – mere hours after he allegedly shot two women dead in a domestic altercation at 3949-C Cates Loop Road in the unincorporated community of Pleasant Grove.

Sheriff Terry Johnson during Monday afternoon press conference.

“This is a prime example of somebody who shouldn’t be out of jail.  We have two people who never would have been killed if the criminal justice system had done its job.”

– Alamance County sheriff Terry Johnson

Johnson said that the 45-year-old black male had been living at this address with one of the victims, whom he went on to identify as 48-year-old Delfonia Tanyette Wright.

McDuffie reportedly used a 45-caliber handgun to shoot Wright along with a visiting cousin – 45-year-old Tameka Toshil Wright-Spaulding. Meanwhile, another female visitor, who the sheriff declined to identify during the news conference, survived the ordeal unscathed and subsequently contacted the authorities.

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Johnson acknowledged that McDuffie was long gone by the time that deputies arrived at the scene roughly nine minutes after they received word of the shooting.  He added that the suspected shooter was initially identified to his deputies only by the nickname “Jihad.”

Johnson nevertheless chalked up McDuffie’s eventual capture to a combination of fast work by his own deputies and the timely assistance of other law enforcement agencies.

“Our people did an outstanding job,” the sheriff recalled, “and once our officers found the true identity of the suspect, arrest warrants were issued by the office of the district attorney Sean Boone.”

Johnson conceded that his agency’s efforts to apprehend McDuffie were greatly assisted by the suspect’s alleged use of Wright’s Volkswagen Passat to escape from the scene of the shooting. The sheriff’s office ultimately tracked this vehicle to Sampson County, where McDuffie was soon intercepted by local law enforcement officers there.

According to Jeffrey Denton, a sergeant under Alamance County’s sheriff, a mere five hours elapsed from the moment that the double homicide was reported until McDuffie was taken into custody. McDuffie has since been extradited to Alamance County to face two felony counts of first-degree murder and a separate charge for the alleged larceny of a motor vehicle.

Johnson recalled that McDuffie was no stranger to the criminal justice system prior to his arrest in this weekend’s double homicide.

“This is a prime example of somebody who shouldn’t be out of jail,” the sheriff went on to assert during the news conference. “We have two people who never would have been killed if the criminal justice system had done its job.”

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, McDuffie has served several stints behind bars, including a 6-year-8-month sentence for assault with a deadly weapon that ended in 2003.

Sunday’s fatal shootings in Pleasant Grove mark the fifth and sixth homicides that the sheriff’s office has investigated so far this year – as well as the agency’s second double homicide case during this period.

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