Local/State

I-540 murder trial delayed

Monday, September 21, 2009
Robert Reaves

Robert Reaves (WTVD Photo)

Jury selection was to begin Monday in the murder trial against former Durham Pentecostal Bishop Robert Reaves. But at the last minute, he decided not to represent himself and hire an attorney.

That means the case is now continued for at least a week.

Reaves is accused of killing North Carolina Central University student Latrese Curtis.

Curtis' body was found January 30, 2008 in the grass near the Highway 401 exit on Interstate 540. The 21-year-old's body was spotted by a passing driver about an hour before Curtis' husband, Darin Curtis, reported her missing.

According to an autopsy report released by the Medical Examiner's Office, Curtis died from "multiple sharp force injuries." The report also revealed Curtis was beaten and stabbed more than 20 times.

Read full autopsy report [Graphic content]

Reaves was arrested and charged with Curtis' murder just days after her death.

In December 2008, prosecutors revealed Curtis was romantically involved with Reaves' roommate.

Prosecutors said Reaves was jealous, because he wanted to have a homosexual relationship with the roommate.

Other evidence brought out that month showed a car that Reaves and his roommate shared was on I-540 around the time the body was dumped. In addition, Reaves' own pastor and video disputed his alibi that he was at a church service the night the murder was committed.

Reaves has been in jail since a judge set his bond at $2 million almost a year ago.

Eyewitness News has also learned that Reaves had a prior criminal record that included an arrest on sex charges while he was the pastor of a church in South Carolina.

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