Convicted murderer to be paroled

Delvin Dickens.jpg.jpg

Delvin Dickens


Staff Writer

Thursday, May 24, 2018

An Edgecombe County man sentenced to life in prison for a murder 23 years ago has been paroled.

Delvin Dickens, 46, was convicted in January 1995 of second-degree murder in the September 1994 shooting death of 18-year-old Keith Andre Walston in Tarboro.

Walston was collateral damage in a botched drive-by shooting. The intended target was walking with Walston when Dickens rode past them and sprayed eight rounds out of an assault rifle. Two bullets hit Walston in chest. No one else was wounded. Dickens fired the shots because of a beef he had with the intended target's girlfriend, according to archived reports.

Dickens committed six infractions while incarcerated, including refusing to submit to a drug test, with the last infraction occurring in 2008, according to the N.C. Public Safety Department.

The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission approved Dickens' release via the Mutual Agreement Parole Program, a scholastic and vocational program that's a three-way agreement between the commission, the N.C. State Division of Prisons and the offender. Under the agreement, Dickens was set to be released Monday.

The state’s current sentencing law, known as Structured Sentencing, eliminated parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. The commission still has the responsibility of paroling offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines.

When Walston was killed, Dickens was on probation after pleading guilty to accessory after the fact to murder in the 1992 shotgun death of Jesse Smith, a man thought to have robbed $20 in crack cocaine from triggerman Kelvin Maurice Solomon, who served six years in prison for second-degree murder.

After being released, Solomon was convicted of dozens of crimes over the years including resisting a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon and assault inflicting serious injury.