Wednesday, 25 July 2018 17:50

Two face murder charges in Grant Drive shooting

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Two face murder charges in the shooting death of a former Roanoke Rapids resident on Grant Drive last week.

The 29-year-old man who lived at the Grant Drive residence has been charged with accessory after the fact of murder.

The two men charged with murder were Donovan Malichi Gonsalves, 29, of Georgia, and Czar Claude Luther Celestine, 39, of Brooklyn.

Gonsalves, Celestine and the murder victim, Daquinn Fernando Blount, 23, were all at the Grant Drive residence of Marc Anthony Solomon-Cartagena, who faces the accessory count and was also at his residence the morning of the shooting and murder, Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said this evening.

Tripp said facts were discovered which led investigators to charge Solomon-Cartagena with the accessory count. He declined to elaborate.

Tripp said investigators “have reason to believe this is drug related.” He declined to elaborate.

He said, however, there is no evidence the events which led to the shooting death of Blount, who was living in Georgia, and the shooting injury of Gonsalves, were part of a burglary or robbery attempt at Solomon-Cartagena’s residence.

Gonsalves, who was released from an undisclosed medical facility after he was shot and Celestine, who was initially charged on drug counts and obstruction of justice, are currently at large and possibly in the areas of New York or Georgia.

Tripp said in a statement his investigators are working with law enforcement in those two states to locate the men.

Celestine had received a $10,000 bond on the drug charges lodged at the time of his arrest last week and was awaiting an August 15 appearance in district court before the murder charges were lodged against him and Gonsalves.

Investigators last week also filed a count of obstruction of justice against Celestine in the case.

The murder occurred last Monday morning at Solomon-Cartagena’s residence in the 300 block of Grant Drive, which is located south of Roanoke Rapids off Highway 48.

Solomon-Cartagena had not yet received bond as of this report. An August 15 court date has been set, Tripp said in the statement.

Tripp said last week the men currently at large and the murder victim were acquainted.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 252-583-8201 or Halifax County Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.

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