GRIFTON, PITT COUNTY - Those who know 29-year-old Devine Dashawn Exum say the charges he is facing are false.
"All of this stuff got blown out of proportion, got this spreading across the TV like he's a gangsta or something and it ain't even like that-- he's not that type of person," said his grandmother, Brenda Exum.
Investigators said it all started at about 11:10 a.m. Thursday, when Exum allegedly raped and stabbed his ex-girlfriend at the apartment complex on River Walk Way.
Exum then allegedly took their 2-year-old daughter, prompting an AMBER Alert Thursday afternoon.
Exum was booked into the Wake County Detention Center Thursday night on charges of first-degree kidnapping, rape, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, investigators said.
Exum is charged with kidnapping not because he took London, but because he allegedly held the child's mother against her will from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, police explained.
Exum has primary custody of the 2-year-old. The AMBER Alert was issued as a precaution for the child's welfare, said police.
The apartment where the crime allegedly happened is actually Exum's apartment, said family members. Family say the ex-girlfriend was visiting and staying with the suspect and their child.
The mother of the child is said to live in Virgina.
Exum is seeking full custody, and family members say the custody battle has to be the reason the couple were fighting on Thursday.
Family members of the suspect stand by his side and hope the charges he faces won't affect him getting his daughter.
"I want to make sure you let people know Devine is not like that. He's not that type of person-- he's a loving person he gives something its all like his little girl, he gives her his all," said Brenda Exum.
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