Jun 28, 2011

Alexandria Pierce

DURHAM -- Brinton Marcell Millsap apparently shot three women and himself Friday night because of a rumor he had been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease.

"He did think that was the case, but it was a lie," said Anita D. Baker, the mother of one of the slain women, Alexandria J. Baker Pierce.

Pierce, 23, a rising senior at UNC Greensboro, made an impromptu trip to Durham on Friday to tell Millsap in person that the report that she had given him a disease was not true, Baker said. She left Greensboro in her green Honda Accord about 9 p.m. and picked up her friends, Amesha Alia Page-Smith, 24, and Adrianne Celeste Stevens, 22, both of Durham.

All three would later lie dead inside the car along a vacant stretch of N.C. 54 in Research Triangle Park. Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill said Millsap fatally shot the three women then shot himself once. The car and bodies were discovered just after midnight Saturday.

The four had known one another since middle school, but Millsap, 23, was not part of the women's regular circle, friends and family said.

Brinton Marcell Millsap

Millsap told his brother, Dustin Lyons, 27, of Durham, that he had had sex with Pierce the weekend before the killings.

Lyons said his brother was struggling with lupus, an immunodeficiency disease, and was "outraged" when he heard the rumor that Pierce had given him herpes, a sexually transmitted disease characterized by outbreaks of sores in the genital area, Lyons said. The infection can last in the body indefinitely.

"It was a bad situation that went down with those girls," Lyons said. "He was very upset with even the person that turned him onto the girl he had sex with. ... He made a wrong decision, but my brother didn't live a life of this type of stuff. "

Baker said she doesn't know why one of her daughter's friends, "who was like a daughter to me," started the rumor. Her daughter did not have a sexually transmitted disease, she said.

Baker said she spoke with her daughter Thursday night and thought things had been resolved. But the next day she said Pierce told her, "This is such nonsense, and I really need to go and sit down with him in person."

Baker said her daughter taught 2-year-olds at a Greensboro day care center, liked to cook big meals for her friends and since high school had a personalized license plate she adored that said "worldluv."

"From my perspective we loved all of those four young people and we share equally in the loss of all four," Baker said. "And I feel very strongly we will all come through this together, from the love and support of the entire community."

A Durham Sheriff's Office spokesman said investigators were aware that a rumor may have precipitated the murder-suicide, but declined to comment further.

Source - News Observer


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