Most Read Articles>> GA Voice names new editor
>> New Midtown eateries reflect the evolving tastes of gay Atlanta?
>> Charles Busch brings one-night only presentation to Actor’s Express
>> [Video] Cathy Woolard shares her 'Crossroads' moment about coming out, becoming an LGBT activist
>> Affordable Care Act still a maze for HIV-positive people in Ga.
|Atlanta police: Robbery, not hate crime, likely motive for killings after 2010 Black Gay Pride|
|Written by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|Friday, 27 April 2012 15:25|
Atlanta police do not believe sexual orientation played a role in the deaths of two men who were slain after attending Black Gay Pride in 2010.
“At this time and even throughout a year and a half investigation, I don’t have any indication that their personal life or lifestyle factored into it at all,” Detective Michael Willis said in an interview this afternoon.
Derrick Burden, 22, was arrested by the APD's Fugitive Unit on April 23 on a warrant for the homicides of both Samuel Blizzard, 21, a Georgia State University student from Spring Cove, Va., and Calvin Streater, 26, of Atlanta.
Police said they were found shot to death Sept. 5, 2010, inside a Richmond Circle apartment in southeast Atlanta. There was no sign of forced entry.
Both were killed with gunshot wounds to the head. Blizzard was found dead in the living room while Streater was found dead in a back room that was used as a bedroom. There were no signs of a struggle.
According to the scenario outlined by Willis, what should have been a fun weekend of friends partying for Black Gay Pride was cut short by tragedy.
The apartment was the home of Blizzard’s cousin and a roommate, Willis said. Blizzard was staying with his cousin while he waited for his financial aid for Georgia State University to come through.
Streater, a former resident of Atlanta, had moved to Charlotte, N.C., about a year before, but returned for Black Gay Pride.
“He was friends with the two people that lived there and he had, from what I understand, specifically come in town that weekend to hang out with the two roommates and go to activities and events that weekend,” Willis said.
Blizzard and Streater had returned to the apartment while the cousin and his roommate attended other Black Gay Pride vents, Willis said.
“Calvin was supposed to go to an after party with them, that’s why he was still at the apartment, and one of the residents came home around 9:30 or 9:40 to pick Calvin up to go to one of these parties, and that is when he discovered the bodies,” Willis said.
Investigators believe Burden, the suspect, may have known one of the victims casually.
“It is my believe he may have known one of them slightly from the neighborhood area, but there are parts to that that are still important to the investigation and I really don’t want to elaborate too much on that,” Willis said.
Police do not believe sex played a role in the crime. Illegal drugs also do not appear to have been the motivation, Willis said.
“There was an indication that there might have been some casual use by one person, I can’t say whether it was either victim, suspect or people there at this time,” Willis said.
Burden declined to give a statement about the crime to police.
“But based on everything that I know up to this point, it seems like it was just a crime of opportunity and more robbery-based or theft-based,” Willis said.
Willis said “forensic evidence,” which he declined to specify, led police to Burden. Witnesses also aided in the investigation and may be eligible for a reward, he said.
APD is not seeking further help from the public.
“I’m not looking for anyone else,” Willis said. “ There is no indication that anyone else was involved.”
At this point, “the rest is going to be in the court’s hands,” he said.
Burden remains in the Fulton County Jail without bond. He faces nine charges including felony murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and conviction of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Willis declined to detail Burden’s past criminal record, but said it was nothing that would indicate he was capable of a crime such as he has been accused of committing.
The suspect is not providing information to police.
“We brought him back here and gave him the opportunity to make a statement. He agreed to sit and talk with me, [but] he wanted me to show him my hand, he didn’t want to give me anything, so it was pretty much how it went,” Willis said.
“I gave him a couple of cigarettes, cup of coffee, but he didn’t indicate he knew anything about” the killings, he said.
Top photo: Derrick Dnorris Burden (via Fulton County Sheriff's Department)
Joomla Templates and Joomla Extensions by ZooTemplate.Com