Four from Raeford arrested in connection with death of teen

Four people face charges in connection with the death of a teen whose body was found on Fort Bragg. (Courtesy: Hoke County Sheriff's Office)
April 15, 2014 3:54:45 AM PDT
Two 17-year-olds have been added to the list of suspects in what authorities believe was a well-plotted conspiracy to kill another Hoke County teen.

Della Locklear and Dejour Peterson have been charged with first degree kidnapping, felony robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, felony conspiracy and larceny of a motor vehicle. 23-year-old Jaquan Peterson and 18-year-old Joel Thornton are facing the same charges. All four are in jail under $1 million bond each. The charges are all in connection with 18-year-old Tayvon McMillan's death.

"I just want them to rot in jail," said the victim's mother, Sharonda McMillan. "It's not going to bring my son back, but at least you have to sit there every day and think about what you did."

The Hoke County native's body was found on Fort Bragg on April 8, two days after he'd been reported missing by his mother. Sharonda McMillan said the family had just moved to Saint Pauls, and Tayvon left the home on a Friday night to visit his girlfriend. He'd called the girl that evening, saying he was dropping off a friend first, but he never arrived to her Raeford home.

In the early morning hours of April 8, someone driving along Plank Road discovered McMillan's body on Fort Bragg property.

Authorities say McMillan was lured to a vacant Raeford home, where several people broke in, beat and robbed him, and burned the home down to destroy evidence. The house along Sundance Drive is barely standing, and remains surrounded by crime scene tape.

Arrest warrants allege Thornton beat McMillan with a glass bottle and butt stock shotgun, striking him on the right side of the head. They detail Peterson threatening to kill McMillan with a 12 gauge shotgun. The warrants also allege all four suspects conspired to steal McMillan's 2003 Chevy Malibu, a cell phone, baseball cape, tennis shoes, prepaid gift card, and $200.

Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said he expects to make several more arrests. No one has been charged with McMillan's murder or arson yet.

"Justice for my son means everybody, I don't care if you even talked to him, everybody who is involved or there is in jail," said Sharonda McMillan.

Tayvon McMillan was a Hoke County High School graduate, and one of nine people accepted into a new exercise science program at Fayetteville Technical Community College. He had never been in legal trouble, and his family said he did not know the suspects.

Following the identification of his body, Sharonda McMillan said Thornton wrote on a "Rest in Peace" message on a Tayvon's Facebook page.

"You knew what you guys did," she said. "You were there. You knew and then you had the audacity to say 'Rest in Peace, Tayvon.' You are an animal. Only people who do that are animals."

Peterson's mother and aunt were among family members in a first court appearance Monday afternoon. Through tears, they said they had apologized to McMillan's family, realizing nothing will bring the teen back, but said they were also learning of what happened through the news and court. They asked to remain unidentified.

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