A Criminal Court jury convicted defendant Nicholas Brooks of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and employment of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony.
He was automatically sentenced to life in prison on the murder count, and will be sentenced on the other felony convictions next month by Judge Chris Craft.
Five other defendants charged in the case are awaiting trial.
The victim was Christopher Waters, 30, a music teacher at Belle Forest Community School, who was an acquaintance of defendant Brooks. On Dec. 9, 2016, police were asked to do a welfare check when Waters did not show up for school.
They found him dead on the floor in his home in the 5400 block of Pipers Gap Drive in Raleigh. He had been shot and stabbed, and the home was ransacked.
Investigators said that after Waters was killed, his assailants burglarized his home, left the scene and returned later to steal more items. Brooks was arrested a short time later driving Water’s orange Ford convertible in the neighborhood.
The case was handled by Chief Prosecutor Karen Cook and Asst. Dist. Atty. Jose Leon of the DA’s Special Prosecution Unit which seeks maximum sentencing for repeat felony offenders.