Two charged in connection with Broadway hunter's death

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 01:15 AM

Authorities arrested and charged two local men Tuesday in connection with the December murder of a Broadway hunter.

Steven Cody Burnette, 23, of 41 Gravel Lane, Sanford, was charged with second-degree murder, and his uncle, George Wilburn Raines, 52, of 637 Kentyrewood Farm Road, Sanford, was charged with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, according to a report by the Lee County Sheriff's Office. 

"We are relieved we found out who was responsible," said Lee County Sheriff Capt. Jeff Johnson. "This lasted through Christmas and New Year's, and we are just glad to give the family some closure."

Robert Devitto, 26, of the 200 block of Strike Eagle Drive, Broadway, was airlifted to WakeMed Health & Hospital after he was found shot on Dec. 18. Devitto, who was stationed at Fort Bragg, was taken off of life support on Dec. 21 and died.

Jaimi Devitto, the wife of Robert, said she was glad her family could start finding some answers.

"Now I just want to find out why and how they could do this to him and me and all of his friends and the soldiers who looked up to him," she said Tuesday night, adding she is thankful the investigators never gave up on the case. 

According to the Lee County Sheriff's release, both Burnette and Raines were allegedly at the hunting grounds where Devitto was shot. 

Burnette told investigators he had discharged his shotgun at what he believed to be a deer, and upon checking the location, he realized he had shot a man, according to the report. 

"Burnette reported to investigators he informed his uncle after they left the area that he believed he had shot another hunter, but neither took further action," according to the release. 

A composite sketch of the suspect was released last week, resulting in dozens of calls and tips, Johnson said. 

"We want to thank the public who called in, and the media for keeping it in the news," Johnson said. "We had a lot of shares on Facebook, and that really generated a lot of calls and leads."

Burnette was held at Lee County Jail without a bond and Raines was held under a $75,000 secured bond.