Forsyth County prosecutors will be allowed to pursue the death penalty against a Winston-Salem man accused of stabbing a man and a woman to death in their apartment before dismembering their bodies and leaving them in the woods near the same apartment.
Tyrone Donte Gladden, 47, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of dismembering human remains in order to conceal an unnatural death. Gladden was indicted on those charges May 6.
Prosecutors allege that Gladden killed Gary Michael Craig Jr., 36, and Devette Carnetta Campbell, 40, sometime between June 16 and June 30, 2017. Craig and Campbell were dating, and Campbell had just moved into Craig’s apartment at Willow Creek Apartments at 100 Stagecoach Road in northern Winston-Salem. Gladden had been living in Craig’s apartment, according to court documents.
Gladden, dressed in an orange jail suit, appeared in Forsyth Superior Court late Wednesday for what is known as a Rule 24 hearing. His attorney, Vince Rabil, was by his side.
Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Friel presented two “aggravating circumstances,” which are required in order for prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.
One of the aggravating circumstances is that Gladden was previously convicted of a violent felony. Friel said Gladden was convicted of armed robbery in 1992 in Rowan County.
The other aggravating circumstance is that the alleged murders of Craig and Campbell were part of a course of conduct that included other acts of violence.
Judge Todd Burke of Forsyth Superior Court declared the case a capital case in which prosecutors can request the death penalty if Gladden is convicted of first-degree murder. Gladden will be appointed a second attorney.
According to autopsy reports, Campbell was stabbed in the chest and the neck. Craig was stabbed 18 times in the chest and neck.
Winston-Salem police officers were called to Willow Creek Apartments on July 17, 2017, to check on Campbell after her family members hadn’t seen her for a month.
Tomeka Roberson, Craig’s sister, told police Craig had not picked up his children on July 4, 2017, and she had not been able to contact her brother, which she said was unusual.
Police found no one in the apartment, according to search warrants. The apartment had been stripped off all carpeting and carpet padding. Apartment managers told police that they had not removed the carpeting.
Police officers searched outside the apartment and found a human torso in the woods behind the apartment complex. Officers found other human remains and initially believed that they belonged to one person. By July 20, 2017, police determined that the remains belonged to two people and were later identified as those of Campbell and Craig.
A trial date has not been set for the case. It will likely be at least a year before either a trial date is scheduled or a plea agreement is reached.
Gladden is in the Forsyth County jail with no bond allowed.