Durham DA holds town hall following violent 2019

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Several dozen people turned out Thursday night to hear from Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry.

Deberry has been in office for a year. She took questions from neighbors and explained what her office was doing to address gun violence.

“We’re really trying to have those conversations,” Deberry said.

She admitted the criminal justice system is broken. She said her office has been focused on violent, serious offenses, working with victims and securing convictions.

“We wanted people to understand what we do in our office and be able to ask us questions, challenge us on the things that they need to challenge us on,” Deberry said.

“The D.A.’s office should feel some kind of responsibility,” Allen Jones said.

Jones lost his grandson, Tyrone Nelson Jr., last year.

CBS 17 reported Nelson and two others were shot and killed in a Burlington apartment.

Hyquan Parker, 26, of Durham, was charged. Court documents showed he was convicted of murder as a teenager. Just months after his release, he found himself back behind bars — this time convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and common law robbery in Vance County. He was on post-release supervision at the time of the Burlington murders.

“You can’t just keep putting violent people back in the community and expect another change,” Jones said.

Jones asked Deberry about the case in the town hall.

“This is not science. We cannot predict down the road what’s going to happen,” Deberry responded.

The district attorney told the crowd that her office has secured convictions in 25 homicide charges and that she’s implementing juvenile justice reforms.

Jones said he wasn’t satisfied with her comments.

“I felt like her response was a response off the book,” he said.

“Mr. Jones and I have talked and he’s right the justice system has failed us all,” Deberry said.

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