by Jeff Sykes

The best and worst of Triad police blotters, as compiled


Police responded to the Battleground Inn, located at 1517 Westover Terrace, about 4:30 a.m. Nov. 10 after hotel staff called 911 to report a man screaming in the hotel. A fire alarm was activated about the same time. Officers encountered an incoherent Gary Joseph Gupton partially clothed and screaming once they arrived on scene. He was detained as officers began evacuating other guests. Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from Room 417 and once inside located Stephen Patrick White. White, 46, was unconscious and badly burned. Authorities noticed injuries consistent with an assault. White was hospitalized at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in critical condition, with burns over most of his body. After several surgeries, White passed away from his injuries this past Saturday.

Gutpon, 26, of 1312 Wiley Lewis Road, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill. His charges were upgraded to murder after White passed away.

Gutpon and White had met at a gay club, Chemistry, on Spring Garden Street prior to checking into the hotel. Police said the incident was not being considered a hate crime, but that they were uncertain what caused Gupton to act so violently once at the hotel.


Colby Wade Watkins, previously charged with Felonious Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon in connection with the death of Kevin Millner, now faces a charge of First Degree Murder for the death of the 32-year-old man found fatally shot behind the Holiday Inn Express at 4305 Big Tree Way on Sept. 2.

Watkins, 29, from Danville, Virginia was arrested for the conspiracy charge on Sept. 22 while confined in the Aiken County (South Carolina) Detention Center. He was extradited to North Carolina on Oct.10. As a result of the murder charge, his bond was revoked. Also charged with First Degree Murder is Craig Deonte Hairston, 25, of Danville. He remains in Danville awaiting extradition. Montray Deboris Price, 21, who was arrested at his residence at 1706-B Maplewood Lane on Sept. 17, has been confined in the Greensboro Jail Central without bond. Police are not looking for any other subjects, and do not anticipate any other charges. !