NEW INFO: Christmas Day Home Invasion Suspects In Court

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The three men arrested and accused of a Christmas Day home invasion in Greenville were due in court Friday morning.

Heath / Hines / Purvis

The three men arrested and accused of a Christmas Day home invasion in Greenville went before a judge Friday morning.

Police said the home invasion happened around 1:45 a.m. at an apartment in the 700 block of Hooker Road. One of the men was armed with a gun.

Three children, who are under 11 years old, and a woman were at home when the invasion happened.

That woman, Towanda Harris, said a gun was held to her head and she was forced to get in the bathtub at the apartment as the three men robbed the family of their Christmas presents.

The same morning if the crime, police said they arrested three men connected to the home invasion: Demetrius Heath, Lamar Hines and Donta Purvis.

On Friday morning, Heath went before Judge Braddy in a Pitt County Court room for his first appearance. Heath's bond was set at $250,000. Heath is due back in court January 9th.

Hines' bond remains at $251,000 and Judge Braddy said he is facing up to 41 years in prison. Hines' next court date is also January 9th.

Purvis, who posted bond on Christmas, went before the same judge. He told the judge he plans to hire his own attorney and has a January 20th court date.


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A Greenville woman says she feels betrayed, but lucky to be alive after she was held at gunpoint on Christmas morning.

Towanda Harris says she was in an apartment on Hooker Road in Greenville with her friend Lamar Hines when he went downstairs to get a glass of water. Ten minutes later, two other men barged into her bedroom and put a shotgun to her head demanding money. She says they made her lay down in the bath tub, before stealing her phone and all of the family's Christmas presents. Fortunately, her three cousins ages 11, 9 and 8 weren't harmed during the home invasion.

Harris says she's still shaken up.

"You never know how it feels to beg for your life. It's something that I can't get out of my mind, no matter how I feel," said Harris.

Demetrius Heath, Lamar Hines and Donta Purvis were arrested an hour later, and have been charged with various crimes including robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, and second degree kidnapping.



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Three children were inside an apartment during an invasion robbery that happened early Christmas morning.

Greenville police say Donta Purvis, Lamar Hines and Demetrius Heath have been charged with various crimes, including robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, and second degree kidnapping.

Police say the home invasion happened around 1:45 a.m. at an apartment in the 700 block of Hooker Road. One of the men was armed with a gun.

Three children, who are under 11 years old, and a woman were at home when the invasion happened. Police say electronics, clothes, toys and jewelry were taken.

Witnesses were able to give officers a detailed description of the getaway car, and as officers were out searching for the vehicle it returned to the area and was stopped about an hour later.

Investigators do not believe the home invasion was random, and they're looking into the possibility that the trio could be involved in other crimes throughout Eastern Carolina.


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