DANVILLE — It started in February and by early July, Danville had experienced five murders in the first half of 2013.
But by August, investigations had turned into indictments. And in early August, those indictments had begun to result in arrests.
Between Sept. 5 and Sept. 9, three suspects were taken into custody in connection with separate murders from the first part of 2013. Add the arrest of a suspect just days after the early June shooting of a Danville man and police had made arrests in four of the five for the year.
The streak of arrests began on Sept. 4 with the arrest of Robert Butler, 30, of Danville, in the April shooting death of Jamaal Sampson in the 1500 block of East Fairchild Street.
The next day, police took Kevin L. Marshall, 23, of Danville, into custody on murder charges. He was wanted in connection with the shooting death of Latifah Cross in May. Then, on Sept. 9, Harold W. Smith, 30, of the 1500 block of East Fairchild Street, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Chicago on a warrant charging him in connection with the death of 35-year-old Charles Price on July 5.
The fourth arrest came days after the June 5 shooting death of 18-year-old Adam Riley in Lincoln Park. Morris Williams, 17, of Danville, awaits trial.
The lone case with no arrest of a suspect up to this point involves the shooting death of Deandre Dunbar in February.
Danville Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason credited not only the investigative work of detectives and officers, but also a move by residents of the community to stand up against the violence.
“What we saw at the end of that was community members getting fed up with that and rightly so,” Thomason said. “We saw people starting to talk and bring the information to us.”
The information “completed the puzzles” in the murder investigations.
Thomason said many local organizations and town meetings have been helpful in getting the word out to people and promoting a “true partnership” with police.
A grand jury indictment also resulted in the arrest of a man wanted in the Mother’s Day 2012 murder of a local resident.
Larry D. Carter Jr., 26, of Danville was found shot and killed during the early morning hours of May 13, 2012, in the 500 block of Robinson Street. In early November, Edward Woodfork, 27, of the 1200 block of East Fairchild Street, was booked on a warrant charging him in the Carter shooting death.