CHAPEL HILL: 1 charged with murder had just left Wake jail - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Man charged with killing UNC professor had just left Wake Jail

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Derick Davis II, 23 (Left) and Troy Arrington, Jr., 27, (Right) Derick Davis II, 23 (Left) and Troy Arrington, Jr., 27, (Right)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

One of the men accused of beating a University of North Carolina professor to death on a quiet street near campus had been released from the Wake County Jail the day before, authorities confirmed Friday.

Police arrested Derick Davis II, 23, and Troy Arrington, Jr., 27, Wednesday night after Feng Liu, 59, of Durham, was found severely beaten around 1 p.m. on West University Drive.

Davis was released from the Wake County Jail a day before the beating and robbery of Liu, authorities said. Davis was held in the jail from June 28 through July 22 on shoplifting charges.

Late Friday afternoon, the Durham County Criminal Justice Resources Center, said Arrington was released from the Durham County Detention Facility July 2 after posting bond for charges of larceny of a dog and other stealing charges. The DCCJRC said Arrington was fitted with electronic monitoring and he complied with conditions of his release. He was wearing the monitoring device when arrested in the Fiu case.

Also Friday, officials released a 911 call from the event. In the call, an Orange County dispatcher listened on Wednesday afternoon when a caller described finding a man beaten and dying only blocks from the UNC campus.

Liu died at UNC Hospital Thursday.

The caller said, “There is an individual laying on the street at Ransom and West University.”

“At where?” the dispatcher asked.

“Ransom and West University. Right near the intersection here,” the caller said.

“And he’s just laying in the street?” the dispatcher asked incredulously.

“He’s kind of laying to the side, breathing hard. And he’s breathing and there were two gentlemen here when I pulled around the corner and there are couple of other people hanging out here now,” the caller said.

The caller went on to say, “According to a lady here who is pre-med, there is blood coming out of his nose and his mouth – and his ears.”

“There’s blood coming out of his nose and his ears?” the dispatcher asked.

“His ears, yes ma’am.”

The dispatcher asked his age, and then asked if the man was awake.

“No, he’s unconscious. He’s not responding,” the caller said.

“He’s unconscious?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Is he breathing?”

“He is breathing, yes ma’am.”

“Is his breathing completely normal?”

“It sounds hard but he is breathing.”

The caller went on to say Liu’s breathing was shallow and that Liu was moving and trying to roll himself over.

Not long after that, the fire truck started to arrive and its siren was clear in the background of the 911 call.

Two men with long criminal records are now charged with first-degree murder after Chapel Hill Police say they robbed and beat to death Liu, who researched ways to treat cancer and was known for taking walks as a break.

West University Drive is about three short blocks from the on-campus UNC Hospital.

Davis was initially charged with misdemeanor possession of stolen goods, common law robbery and assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Police also initially charged Arrington with common law robbery and assault inflicting bodily injury. Davis is from Durham and Arrington is from Chapel Hill.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said both men have also been charged with first-degree murder.

Murders are rare in Chapel Hill, a town of roughly 59,000, but the community has been rocked by several high-profile murders recently. UNC student body president Eve Carson was murdered during the night in 2008. Carolina student Faith Hedgepeth was found dead in her apartment in 2012 and police are investigating it as a homicide. And Lew Hahn Hood died of multiple gunshot wounds at his home in May.

In Liu’s death, police say a passerby provided information about suspicious persons in the area of the robbery that helped identify the suspects.

Both suspects are being held in the Orange County Jail without bond.

Arrington has a long criminal history that includes possession of a firearm by a felon, obtaining property on false premises and carrying a concealed weapon.

According to state records, a Derick Davis from Durham with the same birthday as the man charged in the Liu case had faced felony breaking and entering charges, possession of stolen goods, multiple larceny charges and speeding to elude arrest.

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