A Carrboro man, who was arrested Friday for a 1971 murder, saw his first appearance in court Monday.
Seventy-year-old Sinatra Dunn was arrested by Raleigh Police Friday with the assistance of the Carrboro Police Department. Dunn currently resides in Carrboro. According to the News and Observer, homicide detectives were “recently able to develop probable cause” in the fatal shooting of 51-year-old cab driver Ralph Smith. Smith was shot one time in the 100 block of East Bragg Street in Raleigh.
WTVD reports the Wake County judge informed Dunn he could receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole for the murder from nearly 43 years ago.
The families of both the victim and Dunn, including his wife and sister, were at the court appearance. Dunn’s sister, Dorothy Willaims said she couldn’t believe he was capable of murder. His wife did not speak.
Dunn’s next court appearance is August 11, and the judge ordered that he be held without bond until that time.
The shooting was reportedly the result of a robbery. Conflicting reports state where Smith was found after he was shot. One report says he was killed in his car and found lying on his horn; another says he was found outside his vehicle.