Four indicted in hit-and-run murder of Cary teen

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Wake County grand jury has indicted four suspects for first-degree murder in the death of a Cary teenager in what police say was a drug deal gone bad.

The indictment was handed up Tuesday afternoon in Wake County Superior Court for Joshua Odell Simmons, 17, Abijah James Masse, 17, Beth Marie Strange, 18, and Jourdan Chanquion Mack, 20, - all from Morrisville.

Katherine Burdick-Crow

Sixteen-year-old Green Hope High School student Katie Burdick-Crow died at WakeMed around 1:30 a.m. Jun 27 from injuries suffered in a hit-and-run in Cary the night before.

A search warrant revealed Masse confessed to police that he arranged to meet with Burdick-Crow in the area of Walnut Street Park in Cary on Friday, and to steal marijuana she planned to sell him.

According to the warrant, Masse went to the park with the other suspects, Mack, Strange, and Simmons, as well as a fifth person who has not been charged in the case. Simmons told police he drove the group there in his father's Ford pickup truck.

PHOTOS: Hit-and-run suspects

Masse told police he and Mack tried taking the marijuana from Burdick-Crow, but she refused to give it to them without getting paid. Masse said he got back inside the truck while Mack and Strange walked over to Burdick-Crow, stole the marijuana from her and took off running toward the intersection of Lawrence Road and Walnut Street.

Simmons told police Burdick-Crow chased after the two but, when he started driving away, she jumped onto the step rail on the driver's side to try to stop him. He confessed to police he punched the teen at least three times in the face until she fell off, and he sped away.

According to the warrant, Mack and Strange admitted to police they stole the marijuana from Burdick-Crow and jumped back inside the pickup after she fell from it.

Someone in the area called 911 when he saw Burdick-Crow in the street bleeding. Emergency responders took her to WakeMed where she later died.

"We need to take a timeout and remember that a 16-year old girl was killed and buried less than a week ago," Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said. "You know, it's important to us that justice be done, that we are consistent across cases. It's long been the law in this state that homicides that occur in the course, the commission of a felony are eligible to be prosecuted for first-degree murder. We have traditionally done that. And so, you know, it's important that we are consistent across cases."

Freeman said the investigation is still underway and conceded that in the end, some of the charges could change.

The DA did say that though Strange and Mack are both considered adults and are eligible for the death penalty, she is not seeking it.

All four suspects have been denied bond and are currently being held in the Wake County jail. They're all due back in court on July 20.

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