Funeral Saturday For Greenville Murder Victim

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Zachery Russian was found shot in his car along County Home Road in Greenville, near the Rosemont Apartment Complex Saturday night.

Brandon Maldonado, James Murray, Earl Ward

The funeral for a Greenville man who was killed last weekend will be held on Saturday.

Zachery Russian was found shot in a car along County Home Road in Greenville, near the Rosemont Apartment Complex Saturday night.

The 20-year-old was taken to Vidant Medical Center where he died Sunday.

Russian's funeral will be at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at the Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Greenville police have charged three men with Russian's death, which they believe came about because of a drug deal that turned violent.


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Three men accused of involvement in the first homicide case of the year in Greenville went before a judge for the first time Monday morning.

Police found 20-year-old Zachery Russian shot in a car along County Home Road in Greenville, near the Rosemont Apartment Complex Saturday night.

Russian was taken to Vidant Medical Center where he died Sunday morning.

Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden said Russian's death was the result of a drug deal that turned violent, something that has been the catalyst for other violence.

Police arrested and charged 18-year-old Brandon Maldonado, 36-year-old Earl Ward, and 41-year-old James Murray for their alleged involvement in the shooting.

The three men are all being charged with an open count of murder in connection with Russian's death and are being held without bond at the Pitt County Detention Center.

Monday morning a judge set Ward's bond at $2,000,001 secured, Maldonado has a $1,000,000 secured bond, while Murray's bond is $500,000 secured.

Ward has a criminal record, according to the Department of Public Safety. He was last given probation for a 2008 DWI conviction, while past convictions include assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Maldonado has two pending misdemeanor marijuana possession charges in Pitt County, while Murray had misdemeanor bad check and drug paraphernalia convictions.

Russian was a 2011 D.H. Conley graduate, and attended Pitt Community College until 2012.


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Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden released a few more details during a press conference Sunday, about the first homicide investigation in the city of 2014.

Police say that they believe the shooting at the Rosemont apartment complex off of County Home Road was the result of a drug deal that turned to violence.

Chief Aden says that the victim, Zachery Russian, was found Saturday night inside the driver side of a car in a ditch on County Home Road suffering from a gunshot wound underneath his armpit. Police were not able to speak to whether or not Russian was the only person inside of the vehicle and say the investigation is ongoing.

Officials say that the 3 suspects, Brandon Maldonado, Earl Ward, and James Murray have extensive criminal histories. Officials say that the suspects and the victim knew each other.

All 3 have been charged with an open count of murder and are being held without bond at the Pitt County Detention Center.

Chief Aden says that the Rosemont apartment complex is a typically quiet area.

Police would also like to thank ECU police, the Pitt County Sheriff's Office, Winterville PD and the Highway Patrol for their assistance in setting up a perimeter Saturday night.

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Greenville police are investigating a fatal shooting from overnight.

Police say that just after nine Saturday night officers responded to a report of shots fired. A few minutes later they received a call of a single vehicle crash.

When officers arrived on the scene at County Home Road they found 20 year old Zachery Russian inside a car suffering from a single gunshot wound. Russian was taken to Vidant Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery, but police say he died early Sunday morning.

Police have arrested three people in connection to the shooting. 18 year old Brandon Lee Maldonado, 36 year old Earl Ward, and 41 year old James Murray have been charged with an open count of murder.

"Three violent offenders are now off our streets as a result of diligent detective work and the quick response from all of the officers on-scene. we'd like to reassure the public and the community that this act of violence was not random. all involved parties appear to have been engaging in risky behavior. at this time, we do believe the incident to be drug-related," said Greenville Chief of Police, Hassan Aden

Greenville police will hold a press conference at 1:30 Sunday. We will bring you the latest right here on WITN.

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Greenville Police say they're investigating a case where a person was found shot inside of a car.

Officials tell WITN that they are working to make sense of it all right now, but say a person was found shot inside of a car in a ditch on County Home Road near Bells Chapel Road.

Prior to finding that vehicle, we're told that officers responded around 9:30 p.m. to a shots fired call at the Rosemont apartment complex on Rosemont Drive.Wwhen officers arrived they say there was little activity.
Police say they believe the shots fired call and the person found in the vehicle are connected and that it is drug related.

We're told the gunshot victim was taken to Vidant Medical Center in what appeared to be serious condition.

Police say that one person is in custody and that there is believed to be no public safety threat at this time.


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