Murder charge dropped in pizza shop slaying

21-year-old Nico Bowers, 20 year-old Travis Sherman, and 35-year-old Christopher Thomas. (Images courtesy Wake County Sheriff's Office)

January 26, 2011 3:17:02 PM PST
A murder charge against a Wilmington man once thought to be involved in the 2009 slaying of a Knightdale Domino's Pizza manager has been dismissed.

Two other men charged in the case, however, now stand indicted for the murder of 24-year-old Kenny Ring.

Wake County assistant district attorney Doug Faucette tells ABC11 he dropped the murder charge against 34-year-old Christopher Thomas after finding credible evidence that Thomas was not at the scene of the murder.

A robbery charge against Thomas was also dismissed, but it appears a conspiracy to commit robbery charge still stands.

Two Raleigh men, 21-year-old Nico Bowers and 22-year-old Travis Sherman of Raleigh – who were also charged in the killing - have now been indicted for murder by a Wake County Grand Jury. All three men were scheduled to appear in a Wake County courtroom Wednesday, but did not because of the indictments and the dismissal of charges against Thomas.


On January 9, 2010, a delivery driver discovered Ring's badly beaten body inside the pizza restaurant. He died two days later from his injuries.

Arrest warrants obtained by ABC11 last year say the suspects used a baseball bat in the crime.

Police identified Bowers in a January, 2010 search warrant as the driver who discovered Ring's body and called 911.

Investigators originally interviewed both Bowers and Sherman on January 13, 2010. The men identified themselves as brothers and told authorities they were at Domino's on the evening of January 8, although Sherman did not work there -- he was visiting Bowers.

Bowers told detectives the last time he saw Ring alive was around 12:20 a.m. when he left to make a pizza delivery. He said when he returned, he found Ring beaten.

Sherman said he was at the store until his girlfriend, Anna Painter, picked him up at 11 p.m. When investigators questioned Painter, she told them Sherman asked her to tell police she picked him up. She admitted that the two hadn't dated since the summer of 2009.

Painter also told police other than a text message on January 8 and a phone conversation on January 9, she and Sherman had not been in communication with one another.

According to the warrants, police examined Sherman's phone records and discovered discrepancies about his contact with Painter on the night of the crime and several days following the crime.

Police have said that robbery was the motive. About $1,500 was taken from the restaurant.

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