Man Sentenced for Stabbing Parents 69 Times, Kidnapping Niece

A North Carolina man, Curis Atkinson Jr., 43, has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the brutal murder of his parents and the kidnapping of his 11-year-old niece. The court found Atkinson guilty of the 2017 murders of his parents, Ruby and Curtis Atkinson Sr., and the subsequent abduction of his niece, who was reportedly made to witness the horrific crime.

Atkinson and his girlfriend, Nikkia Cooper, were evicted from their home on March 30, 2017, and sought refuge at his parents’ residence. An argument ensued, which ended in the couple stabbing Atkinson’s parents to death. Atkinson reportedly stabbed his father 69 times.

The couple did not immediately flee the scene. Instead, they stayed in the house with the bodies and the young girl for several days. On April 2, 2017, they kidnapped the girl and fled to Washington, D.C., where they were apprehended later that night. The girl was rescued by officers from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Reports suggest that Atkinson attempted to ransom his niece to the police in Washington. The bodies of his parents were discovered after a fire alarm was triggered at their home. Ruby Atkinson had suffered gunshot wounds to her neck and head, as well as 17 stab or puncture wounds to her upper body. Curtis Atkinson Sr.’s body was found in a state of decomposition, with broken teeth.

Atkinson was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Superior Court Judge Karen Eady-Williams handed down two consecutive life sentences for the murders, with an additional 404 to 532 months for the remaining charges.

Cooper, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to two counts of second-degree murder, was sentenced to 45-56 years in prison. She was ordered to serve 270 to 336 months for each murder charge, consecutively, and a concurrent sentence of 80 to 108 months for robbery.