Archived Story

Teen, another charged in connection with Franklin murder

Published 11:33am Friday, November 16, 2012

FRANKLIN—A 17-year-old from Emporia has been arrested for the Nov. 8 murder of Eric “E.T.” Smith, Franklin police said.

A Suffolk man remains a suspect for the Pearl Street murder of the 30-year-old Franklin man, said Lt. Tim Whitt. As of Friday morning, Sol “Dukey” Damacus Burke, 25, remained on the run.

“We believe he is very much involved and he still faces first-degree murder charges,” Whitt said.

Police have not received any tips on Burke’s possible whereabouts.

Police also charged Rowan D. Bruff, 29, of 31000 lock of Carter Street, Franklin, for allegedly driving the vehicle used that night


and having a gun, Whitt said.

“It (the vehicle) was used in the commission of the crime, but I don’t want to go into specific details,” he said.

Smith at about 8:30 heard a knock at the door while visiting his mother and was shot when he opened the door, police reported. The father of four went to his cousin’s upstairs apartment for help and was taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital. Smith was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The rumored motive was the shooting was in revenge for Burke being beat up. The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office investigated an assault against Burke on Sept. 29 at Southampton Meadows Mobile Home Park on Route 258. He allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators.

Burke was taken to Southampton Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for lacerations above and below the eye, but was not hospitalized, the sheriff’s office reported. Smith was not considered a suspect for Burke’s assault.

One day after Smith was killed, police issued a warrant for the Burke’s arrest for premeditated murder. He is described as a 6-foot-4, 230-pound black man and has a tattoo of “Dukey” on his right forearm and bicep.

During the investigation, police learned Bruff and the teen, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, could be possible suspects.

“Both came down to the department for questioning and during questioning the investigation led to their arrests,” Whitt said. “We know the (17-year-old) was a shooter, but I really can’t get into the specifics.”

It’s believed Burke, Bruff and the teen were traveling together that night, Whitt said.

The Southampton County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office could ask to try the teen as an adult, Whitt said. Then his name would be released.

The teen was charged with use of a firearm during the commission of felony and three counts of shooting a gun into an occupied dwelling. He was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center in Chesapeake.

Bruff was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and accessory to murder and taken to Western Tidewater Regional Jail.




  • pink333

    Yes its ove a innocent fight.. why be a gang banger and can’t fight.. at sandman it was over a innocent fight

    Suggest Removal

  • pink333

    Sandman and Thomasmore.. you two don’t know shit that’s going on so please leave your comments to urself… he was not a bad person he changed his life around ppl go out to have a nice time then bullshit ass ppl come fuck it up like burke did.. damn et just can’t believe this.. shit just hurting me innocent man eric is.. don’t know when it will get to me that you’re gone.. rip you will get justice

    Suggest Removal

    • thomasmore

      @pink333: If by “justice” you mean through the law, then yes, I hope your friend/family member gets justice. If by “justice” you mean street justice, then all you’re doing is perpetuating the violence that killed Eric. If he truly had turned his life around, he would want the “morally right” kind of justice provided by the fullest extent of the law.

      Suggest Removal

  • thomasmore

    I always liked the thought, “you are judged by the company you keep.” If the victim was killed just by mere coincidence and was a true “innocent” in all of this, then his family has my condolences for this senseless crime. If not, then this is what happens when you keep company with the wrong crowd. As for the perpatrators of this horrid crime, I hope the prosecution goes for “regular” or “extra crispy”.

    Suggest Removal

    • SandMan

      Exactly, thomasmore. Not to speak ill of the deceased, but if TN could get hold of his criminal history & examine how he supported himself & 4 kids, without a job for 6 years, maybe all the sympathy ie…”he was getting his life together”…”he was looking for a job”…he would put a smile on everyone’s face”, etc., would slow down.Your saying “you are judged by the company you keep” is spot on.Do people really believe he was shot because of a fight last month? Or is TN ignoring the 600 lb. elephant in the room.

      Suggest Removal

  • shadow03

    He should most definitely be charged as an adult.

    Suggest Removal

  • workingtodamill

    My my how the story has changed! 3 suspects from 3 different cities???

    Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks