A Johnston County man entered a plea in court Monday for his role in the shooting death of a Smithfield teenager. Rashive DaShawn Ray was shot and killed on October 27, 2011 while in the front yard of a home at 413 Collier Street.
It was two years later, in 2013, when Smithfield Police arrested three suspects in the killing, Gregory Devon Obey, Antwon (Antwan) Quartez Obey, and Calvin Dwight Mitchell.
Gregory Obey was initially charged with first degree murder. In court he was allowed to enter an Alford plea to accessory after the fact of assault with a deadly weapon. He received a 17-21 month prison sentence, but was given credit for time already served awaiting trial.
However Gregory Obey will not be released from prison anytime soon. On July 15, 2014, he plead guilty in federal court to distributing cocaine. He is currently serving a 20 year federal prison sentence.
Kelly L. Sandling, Assistant District Attorney at the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office said three days before Rashive Ray was murder, he participated in a home invasion at Antwon Obey’s home. Ray was a gang member and he and other gang members shot through the front door of Obey’s home on October 24, 2011, robbing Obey and his family.
Sandling said Ray’s murder was in retaliation by Gregory Obey for the home invasion at Antwon Obey’s home.
Prosecutors said there was never any physical evidence trying Gregory Obey to the murder. Two shell casing were recovered from the scene were tested for DNA and fingerprints but neither were found. The gun used in the teen’s murder has also never been found.
According to 2013 indictments, Gregory Obey was the alleged shooter. Antwon Obey was not present when Ray’s murder occurred but allegedly commanded Gregory Obey to kill the victim. And Mitchell allegedly drove the gunman away from the murder scene.
Calvin Mitchell, a co-defendant in the case, waited two years before giving a statement to law enforcement and deciding to cooperate, Sandling said. However, Mitchell gave three conflicting statements, the last one given just days before the trial was set to begin on Monday.
Mitchell is serving a 30 year federal sentence for distribution of cocaine. Sandling said he waited to cooperate with law enforcement until he was eligible for a reduction of his federal sentence.
Prosecutors said all these factors greatly contributed to the State’s decision to offer the plea to Gregory Obey.
“(T)he Ray family recognized that Greg Obey would be serving this twenty year federal sentence away from the community and due to the lack of cooperation and lack of physical evidence, understood the value of taking this plea,” Sandling said.
Ray’s 2011 death was the third homicide in Smithfield in a 16 month period. (2011 scene photo by Carter Rabil)