Murdered Durham woman's family watches accused killers face judge

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Men accused of murder appear in court

The family and friends of Tequila Smith wept and prayed for justice Monday minutes after watching two of her accused killers face a judge in the Durham County Jail's courtroom.

Shots fired Friday night on Umstead Street killed Smith, a mother of five. The next day, Durham police arrested three men with her murder: 23-year old Jamal Shamsuddeen, 24-year-old Aquan Pitts, and 20-year-old Mustafa Magwood.

Pitts, 24, Magwood, 20, Shamsudden,20.


"I'm satisfied, because I know they got em. I'm really happy for that," said uncle John Smith.

The family said it appreciates the quick work of investigators who tracked down the suspects.

"I was thinking they weren't going to react, but I'm just happy that they did," said the victim's daughter Lazayrea Smith.

Pitts and Magwood asked for court appointed lawyers when they faced a judge Monday morning. Magwood was in a wheelchair, recovering from gunshot wounds. Shamsudeen, also shot and wounded on Friday, remains in the hospital.

A relative of one suspect left the courtroom muttering angry obscenities after seeing him appear before the judge.

Lazayea Smith saw and heard that man, then moments later outside the jail told us, "I have no sympathy for them at all, 'cause they have no sympathy for us. We're hurting right now! I hope they get the worst punishment."

While she and other Smith relatives want the death penalty, there's no specified proposed punishment at this point as the case moves through the legal system.

The next scheduled court appearance for Pitts and Magwood is October 6.

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