Cousin, pastor to Nacogdoches homicide victims work to stop violence

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Police are revealing no new developments in yesterday's double homicide where

Deveston Flemon and William Richard Cole III were allegedly shot and killed by Decobie Durden early Monday morning.

Durden is now being held in the Nacogdoches County jail on a first-degree felony charge of capital murder. He has been denied bail, pending a court hearing.

However, what is developing is public reaction on what a lot of people are calling a "senseless" act. Two of those people are a cousin and a pastor of the victims, who serve as mentors.

Terrance Hicks needed a hug Tuesday morning. His students had no idea the pastor, teacher, and mentor had just returned from the funeral home where Flemon's body lies. He was the victim of a gunshot wound to the head.

Hicks knew the other victim, and he knows the alleged shooter, too.

"I know them personally because I ran into them, plus I try not to have just a relationship with them, but even with their families, you know as far as guidance or wisdom or making right choices," Hicks said.

When Hicks meets Fred Roberts they'll have something in common. Roberts is the cousin to the other victim, Cole. He was shot twice in the back. Like Hicks, Roberts is a mentor. Almost two years ago he co-founded N.A.C. Unity. In this instance, N.A.C. stands for "Nothing Above our City."

"To help the youth, the kids, to let them know like it doesn't have to be about violence, you know," Roberts said. "You can talk things out, you know."

Roberts acknowledges N.A.C. Unity has had a slow start, but he was so encouraged … until yesterday.

"That's why it is kinda like a shock because there ain't been much that was going on like this lately, so out of the blue, you know," Roberts said.

The two men try to redirect lives. They don't look at yesterday's killings as their failures. Instead, they say the incident will make them work that much harder.

"You can talk things out, you know," Roberts said. "Meet people that are civilized about things so, you know, maybe we can use it as a stepping stone."

"For me it empowers me even more so to do even more," Hicks said.

In the coming days, both men will attend funerals. Their desire is for people to understand the value of life and the dangers of hatred.

A third mentoring organization for Nacogdoches is now in the works.

A "Concerned Black Men of Nacogdoches" is forming with the help of "Concerned Black Men of Lufkin." For more information, visit the N.A.C. Unity-The Movement Facebook page or call

To reach Hicks, go to call Power of the Word Ministries in Nacogdoches at (936) 560-4643.

Concerned Black Men of Nacogdoches will host an information meeting on Feb 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Emeline Carpenter Elementary in Nacogdoches.

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