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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 5, 2016

Men Found Guilty Of Home Invasion Robbery And Shooting

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that today, JAMES THORPE, 25 and JOSHUA MELVIN, 23, both of Durham, were found guilty in a jury trial before Chief Judge James C. Dever, III, of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possessing the firearm in furtherance of the robbery.

THORPE and MELVIN, along with two others, were indicted by a federal grand jury on March 16, 2016.

Evidence presented at trial established that THORPE, MELVIN, and others sought to rob the victim, a co-owner and promoter of the nightclub Vegas Night Life, of proceeds from the business.  The defendants affixed a GPS tracking device to the victim’s vehicle in an effort to track his whereabouts and to determine the location of his residence. 

On or about March 16, 2015,  THORPE, MELVIN, and others traveled to the Morrisville residence and conducted a violent home-invasion robbery.   Multiple victims were present during the robbery, including a female child and her mother. The child was pulled from her mother’s arms, forced into a bedroom, and threatened to be drowned as the robbers demanded money from the other victims.  When an adult female victim attempted to intervene, she was beaten repeatedly.  The intended target of the robbery was shot before jumping to the ground from a second story balcony.  The defendants then led police on a car chase as they fled.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Morrisville Police Department, and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan and Special Assistant United States Attorney Boz Zellinger handled the prosecution.

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News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s webpage at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

Updated December 7, 2016