PITT COUNTY - A request for a bond reduction was denied Tuesday for a man accused of a triple murder at the Hustle Mart in Farmville and a failed plot to kill the Pitt County sheriff.
Willie Odell Whitehead Jr. is being held under no bond on three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly taking part in the fatal shooting of three store employees at the Hustle Mart on April 1, 2012.
The 25-year-old is also being held under a $3 million bond for allegedly plotting to murder Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks and his wife. But the plan failed and no one was actually hurt, said investigators.
Whitehead appeared before a Pitt County judge Tuesday morning to have his bond reduced to $100,000 for all the charges. But the judge denied the request.
The judge also denied Whitehead's request for a transfer from Central Prison in Raleigh to somewhere closer to home - either the Pitt County Detention Center or the Edgecombe County Detention Center.
But an official later notified the judge that Central Prison was full. As a result, Whitehead will stay at the Pitt County Detention Center until there is a bed available at Central Prison, officials said.
Whitehead's father, Willie Whitehead Sr., spoke with NewsChannel 12 after court was adjourned Tuesday.
"If he's locked up in a 12 by 12 and they don't let him out for [but] an hour a day. I don't see the threat. I don't see it," Whitehead Sr. said. "Willie's one person. He's not a terrorist. He's definitely not Saddam Hussein or nobody. He's just one man."
When asked if he thought his son was guilty, Whitehead Sr. said, "Involved, I'd rather not speak upon that. We let the lawyers, I mean the lawyers and stuff handle that." But he did offer a statement directed to the families of the victims who lost their lives on April 1st, 2012, saying he "would ask y'all to forgive him, his family and anybody that had something to do with it. And I'm so sorry for y'all losses, I am, God knows I am."
HUSTLE MART MURDERS:
Whitehead is one of four suspects charged with first-degree murder for the triple shooting at the Hustle Mart on April 1, 2012. Killed in the shooting were three employees at the store: 24-yerar-old Gaber Alawi, 26-year-old Nabil Nasser Saeed Al'mogannahi, and 16-year-old Mokbel "Sam" Mohamed Almujanahi, according to deputies. Sam was a student at Farmville Central High School.
The shooting was part of an armed robbery at the store, investigators said.
Besides Whitehead, the three others charged with first-degree murder are Xavier Shamble ,of Farmville, Antwan Andre Anthony, of Bethel, and Raekwon Terrell Blount, of Snow Hill, who was 14 years old at the time of the triple shooting.
ALLEGED SHERIFF MURDER PLOT:
Whitehead is also accused of plotting to murder Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks and his wife, as well as plotting to kidnap the daughter of District Attorney Kimberly Robb, investigators said.
Robb told NewsChannel 12 that Whitehead's first plan was to kidnap her daughter from Chapel Hill. Whitehead's second plan was to kidnap the sheriff's wife, Connie, Robb said. The suspect also planned to kidnap as many people as possible from either Sheriff Elk's or Robb's yard, said Robb.
In addition, Whitehead plotted to murder Sheriff Elks and his wife, Robb told NewsChannel 12.
Whitehead revealed his plans to other inmates and people he had contact with outside of jail, investigators said. One of those individuals then told authorities about the alleged plot. As a result, no one was actually kidnapped or hurt, said deputies.
The motive for the plot was to get out of jail, said investigators.
Whitehead is facing two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder for allegedly planning to kill Sherrif Elks and his wife. He is also facing two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree kidnapping.
EDGECOMBE COUNTY MURDER:
In addition to the Farmville murders and the alleged kidnapping/murder plot, Whitehead is also accused of killing an Edgecombe County couple at their Princeville home in March, 2012.