Crime & Courts

Grandson charged in Durham newspaper carrier’s death

Dominick Jackson
Dominick Jackson

A Durham 16-year-old has been charged with murder in the death of his grandfather, a longtime newspaper carrier and dispatcher for the city’s bus service.

William Evans, 65, of Durham, was found dead Thursday morning in the parking lot of the Red Cross Center at 4737 University Drive, Durham police said.

On Thursday afternoon, police arrested Evans’ grandson, Dominick Jackson, and charged him with murder.

“It’s a shame to kill your own grandfather,” said Wil Glenn, a Durham police spokesman.

Evans, who was the married father of two children and five grandchildren, went to work Thursday morning to deliver newspapers, according to his son, Joseph Evans. William Evans delivered newspapers for both The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun.

Joseph Evans said the family was spending the day trying to find out how his father, who was a longtime member of Pleasant Union Baptist Church in Durham, had died.

Late Thursday afternoon, police reported that Evans had been shot.

Investigators would not confirm that Evans was gunned down by his grandson for his car. Police later reported that they had found a silver-colored 2013 Chevrolet Impala that was relevant to the case.

Police did not disclose how the Impala was related, but Jackson was also charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle to elude police, driving without a license, reckless driving and resisting arrest.

A mottled mass of drying blood was on the asphalt of a handicapped parking spot near the entrance of the Durham offices of the American Red Cross.

Evans had worked as an independent news carrier for the Herald Sun since 2006. He usually started his route between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. The Red Cross was part of his route, said Brent Agurs, the newspaper’s circulation supervisor.

“He was just a stand-up guy, extremely loyal and extremely dedicated,” Agurs said. “He was one of the best carriers we ever had here.”

It was just after 6 a.m. when a man called 911 to report that he had happened upon a man in a blue shirt that was covered in blood. The 911 caller, whose name was not made public, told the dispatcher that he saw the man lying in the parking lot and came over to help.

“He doesn’t breathe, he doesn’t breathe,” said the 911 caller. “He’s dead here.”

Linda Scott and her husband, James Warren Scott, have lived next door to William Evans and his wife for nearly 20 years. She said Evans was a familiar sight, working in his well-kept yard where his grandchildren romped and played.

“He was a sweet, dear man and he was a good friend,” she said. “He was the one who would go over and beyond to help you.”

Scott added, “We are all still shocked – just shocked.”

McDonald: 919-829-4533