Three years after officials said a 17-year-old was shot to death in Asheville, North Carolina, a suspect was arrested on the other side of the state, police say.
Diate Whitson, 23, of Asheville was arrested Aug. 10 on charges of first-degree murder in the November 2020 murder of Teylyn McAlpin, Asheville Police Department said in a press release.
On November 28, 2020, police in Asheville responded to reports of shots fired near a baseball field and found that McAlpin “suffered multiple gunshot wounds,” the Citizen Times reported. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
The Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, which took on the case in 2020, said Whitson had connections to Greenville, Charlotte and Asheville, as well as Atlanta, saying he could live “among the homeless populations in those areas,” according to a news report. release from Kinston, North Carolina, police.
On Aug. 5, the Kinston Police Department was conducting “patrols related to suspicious activity,” the department said. Then officers ran into Whitson. He fled from officers, police said, and he threw a firearm that officials later said was stolen.
According to the press release, US Marshals were offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Whitson’s arrest.
Police finally arrested Whitson in Kinston during a traffic stop on August 10. He was also wanted on charges of possession of a stolen firearm from Kinston.
Kinston is about 330 miles east of Asheville.
A 16-year-old has also been charged in connection with the case, WLOS reported, but the person’s name was not released because she was a minor.
The case was featured in an episode of In Pursuit starring John Walsh.
After McAlpin’s death, his mother Javelin Duncan became an advocate for gun violence awareness. Duncan said her son was a new dad and was about to graduate high school when he was shot and killed, according to WLOS.
She told WLOS that advocating for an end to gun violence was part of her healing journey.
“It helps me know I’m helping other moms going through it and some moms aren’t ready to speak up so I told them I would be the voice,” she said, according to the outlet.
Whitson is being held without bond at the Lenoir County Detention Center, officials say.
“For nearly three years, the U.S. Marshals Service, along with their local, state, and federal partners in North Carolina, have attempted to bring Whitson to justice and bring peace of mind to Tey’s (McAlpin’s) loved ones,” U.S. Marshal for the So said Terry Burgin of the Western District of North Carolina in the Asheville Police Department press release. “That day has come and freedom for his alleged killer has finally ended.”
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