Arrest made in 43-year-old cold case

RALEIGH, N.C. - The family of Ralph Smith, a taxi cab driver, said they never thought they would see anyone charged in his 1971 death, but with the passage of time, justice has taken on a new meaning for them.

Sinatra Dunn, 70, is no longer a free man. Cuffed and shackled, he's facing the most serious crime on the books.

The Smith family waited more than 40 years for this day to come. For Carolyn Williams, it feels like just yesterday.

"He had been to the fair and when we came back from the fair, someone came running out and said, your daddy's dead. Your daddy's dead," said Williams.

Police say 51-year-old Ralph Smith was shot to death while working as a taxi driver in October of 1971.

"It wasn't robbery. He was trying to get away from paying the fare and a fight broke out. That's what they said. And he shot him," said Williams.

No one was charged until last week, when police arrested Dunn, 43 years after the crime.

"All I could say is wow? Wow," said Williams, "We pray for the family and we pray for our family."

Dunn's family did not want to go on camera, but his wife said they met 1986 while doing missionary work. She says he was distraught and suffering from substance abuse. Years later, she got cancer and he took care of her. They married six years ago.

"For her to make an impact on his life and for him to make an impact on her life, outstanding," said Williams.

Justice isn't always swift, but it can lead to forgiveness.

Not sure what I want to see happen. If he's got his life right with Christ, that's all that matters. That's all that matters to my family.


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