Man Sentenced to 9 Years for Slashing Charlotte Cabbie’s Throat in September 2012

From http://www.wsoctv.com by Jim Bradley, May 30, 2014

A Fort Mill man will spend at least nine years in prison for the stabbing of a cab driver in Charlotte in 2012.

Brian Chandler pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. 

Brian Chandler

Police said he called a cab in September 2012 and asked to be driven to the SouthPark area.  Once there he told the driver to pull over because he was sick.  The driver said he then attacked him with a knife.

“The first thing I asked him was ‘Why are you trying to kill me?'” said cab driver Gary Hinson. “And he stabbed me in the face.”

Grand jury indicts man charged with stabbing cab driver gallery

Police said Chandler went on to steal the cab and crash it.  During his sentencing hearing Friday, prosecutors said when Chandler was arrested they found handwritten notes in his pockets, including one that said, “Take cab, plus cellphone.”

Prosecutors said the note indicated he planned to steal a cab and rob the driver.  Police also found duct tape, a Taser and a fake bomb in the cab at the scene of the crash.

After pleading guilty, Chandler was sentenced to between nine and 12 years in prison.

His victim isn’t sure it’s enough.

“It should have been longer,” Hinson said. “He’s too much of a danger to innocent people.”

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Published in: on May 31, 2014 at 6:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

3 Arrested on Human Trafficking Charges in Charlotte

By GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte, May 29, 2014
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have arrested three people on human trafficking charges.

Officers were called out to the Quality Inn on Griffith Street a couple of days ago to investigate a complaint.

They ended up arresting 42-year-old Jonathan Williams from Memphis, 20-year-old Melissa Barnes and 27-year-old Neela Arjoonsingh, both from Houston.

“It’s modern day slavery, that’s what it is,” said Dr. Joseph Kuhns, a professor of criminal justice at UNCC.

He is an expert on human trafficking and conducted a major study in the Philippines.

“I think it’s directly comparable. The difference is you’re having people work in the sex industry versus having them work in the fields or other kinds of manual labor, so human trafficking as a general rule is about slavery,” he said.

Police say the trio forced a 20-something year old woman to travel around the country with them against her will.

Sources say their ultimate landing spot could be San Antonio, where authorities want them extradited so they can face potential federal charges.

Charlotte investigators have launched an initiative designed to combat the problem. When officers get a complaint they may not be able to make a human trafficking case, but they gather as much information as possible on potential victims.

That information will tell them how widespread the problem is.

“It’s an area that we have ignored for a long period of time we need to do more about it in our country,” said Kuhns.

The three suspects are in the Mecklenburg County Jail under $250,000 bond apiece.

Published in: on May 31, 2014 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

East Charlotte Homes Sprayed by Bullets on May 27, 2014

 From http://www.wsoctv.com by Alexa Ashwell, Nay 30, 2014

Police are searching for the shooters who fired more than a dozen bullets into three homes where children slept in east Charlotte.

Investigators responded to the 9200 block of Bradstreet Commons Way just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I saw bullets casings all throughout the street,” said Kjuana Diggs, whose house was hit by at least one bullet.

Diggs said she was doing some work in her home while her 8-year-old and 3-month-old daughters slept when she heard gunshots.

“I hit the ground and made sure my daughter stayed in her bed,” said Diggs.

Diggs showed Channel 9 a bullet hole in the side of her house. Her next-door neighbor’s house was hit by even more bullets.

A woman, her 60-year-old mother and her 6-year-old child were asleep in that home at the time. Diggs told Channel 9 one bullet went through the grandmother’s bedroom.

“I think some kind of altercation happened at the intersection and people just started shooting,” said Diggs.

The house two doors down from her home was also hit with bullets. A woman and her 1-year-old son were inside the home at the time. No one was injured.

“This is devastating,” said Diggs. “Children play here. Something needs to be done.”

Channel 9 spotted police patrolling the neighborhood Friday.  Diggs said the added protection makes her feel safer but she wants witnesses to come forward with information.

“It’s not going to stop if people continue to keep their mouth shut,” said Diggs.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Published in: on May 31, 2014 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Autopsy Reveals South Charlotte Woman was Strangled to Death in February 2014

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 28, 2014

The Medical Examiner’s Office has released the autopsy report on an elderly woman who was found dead in her unlocked apartment in south Charlotte in early-February 2014.

Police sources told NBC Charlotte back in March that 82-year-old Ina Feldman died of blunt force trauma. The Medical Examiner’s Office says multiple blunt force trauma injuries was contributory in Feldman’s death, but the autopsy found she died of strangulation.

The postmortem examination showed multiple lacerations, abrasions and bruises to Feldman’s head and face, along with abrasions on the right side of her neck. Additionally, bruising was found on the chest and left leg, and multiple bruises and abrasions were noted on Feldman’s arms.

Feldman was found dead by her son inside her home at a retirement community located near the Carmel Country Club.

No arrests have been made in the case, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are still investigating.

Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Teen Charged with Murder in May 27, 2014 Charlotte Shooting

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 27, 2014

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have charged a man with murder in connection to a shooting.

 Police responded to the 2200 block of Beatties Ford Road Tuesday afternoon, May 27, 2014. Officers arrived to find a man suffering from a gunshot wound. Ajewan Mikal Jones, 18, was pronounced dead at CMC.
Police charged 19-year-old Deshawn Darnell McDowell with murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed weapon.
Teen charged in deadly Charlotte shooting

Deshawn Darnell McDowell

McDowell has been transported to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office where he will remain in custody.Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective.

Published in: on May 29, 2014 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Citizens Help CMPD Arrest Teens for May 26, 2014 Attempted Armed Robbery

From http://www.wcnc.c0m, May 27, 2014

Police tracked down two suspects accused of an armed robbery in Charlotte with a little help.

 The incident happened around 3 a.m. Monday in the 5900 block of North Tryon Street.
The victim told police the two suspects approached him while walking home from a friend’s house. They demanded money and one of them threatened the victim with a knife, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
The victim ran and flagged down two men in a car. They got out of the vehicle and chased the suspects. Police say the men gave a detailed description of the suspects, which allowed officers to find them soon after.
Ernest Dorsett, 16, and Jason Currington, 19, were arrested at North Tryon Street and Arrowhead Drive. Both are charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Teens arrested for attempted armed robbery in Charlotte

Dorsett, Cunningham – Credit: CMPD

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Arrested for Rape, Sexual Assault of 2 Women in Charlotte

From http://www.wbvt.com, May 27, 2014

A Charlotte man was arrested in connection with two separate sexual assault cases that occurred in May.

Andre Jerlynn Jones, 29, was arrested and charged with first and second degree forcible rape and carrying a concealed weapon.

The first incident happened on May 15 just after 11 p.m. on the 2000 block of Emerywood Drive.

The victim told police that she arranged to meet Jones. During that meeting, the victim said, Jones sexually assaulted her and left the scene.

The second incident happened just after 5 a.m. on May 22. Police say the second victim also arranged to meet Jones on Emerywood Drive, and was raped at knife point during that meeting.

Officers quickly connected the two cases and developed Jones as a suspect.

On May 23, Jones returned to the scene and was arrested by officers and taken to police headquarters to be interviewed by Sexual Assault Unit Detectives.

He is currently in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Store Owner Shoots Would-Be Robber on May 25, 2014

 

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 26, 2014

CMPD Officers say a Charlotte business owner shot one of the people who attempted to rob his store on Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Police say two suspects entered the Wholesale Mattress store on South Boulevard Sunday afternoon, while a third waited in the getaway car.

The store owner was the first to fire a shot at the robbers, striking one of them. One of the suspects fired back, according to police, but the store owner wasn’t injured.

The injured suspect is in police custody in the hospital.

Police have not released the names of anyone involved.

Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Matthews Police Seeking Leads in May 15, 2014 Robbery of Independence Blvd. Dunkin Donuts

From http://www.wcnc.com, May 23, 2014

Matthews Police are looking for leads in a donut store robbery.

Last Thursday night, May 15, 2014,  around 9:15, Matthews Police say a black male with a white bandana covering his face entered the Dunkin Donuts in the 9000 block of East Independence Boulevard armed with a handgun.

The suspect demanded money and fled the scene.

The suspect is described as a black male wearing baggy blue jeans, a baggy jacket and a Lakers cap.

There is no surveillance of the crime, and police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

No one was injured.

Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  

3 Sentenced in December 22, 2012 Killing of Deaf Man in Charlotte

From The Charlotte Observer by Michael Gordon, May 22, 2014

Two young women connected to the stabbing death of Michael Shull asked for forgiveness in court Thursday, May 22, 2014.

His parents had none to give.

And as the terms of three prison sentences were read aloud in a Mecklenburg County courtroom, Cliff and Josee Shull of Conover visibly struggled to accept what they believe is insufficient punishment of those responsible for their son’s death.

Michael Shull, who had recently graduated from the N.C. School for the Deaf, died shortly before Christmas 2012, the victim of a plot by people he knew.

Michael Shull was 21 when he was fatally stabbed by a member of his girlfriend’s extended family. – COURTESY OF THE SHULL FAMILY

The 21-year-old was fatally stabbed by a member of his girlfriend’s extended family.

The attack took place during a robbery planned in part by his girlfriend’s half sister.

On Thursday, all three involved in the robbery/slaying were sent to prison.

• Davonta Turner, 20, who stabbed Shull during the robbery attempt, will serve between 28 and 37 years.

Davonta Turner

• Turner’s half sister, Aveance Bryant, 20, received 4 1/2 to seven years. She is also a half sister to Shanika Harris, Michael Shull’s girlfriend at the time of his death.

Aveance Bryant

• Ashley Owens, 20, Turner’s girlfriend of four weeks when the killing occurred, got five to seven years.

Ashley Owens

All of them were teenagers when they were arrested in December 2012.

To Cliff Shull, the prison terms handed out Thursday were not nearly enough. He wanted the death penalty. He said prosecutors told him he would never get one from a jury.

Inside the courtroom, the father twice stood before Superior Court Judge Richard Boner and asked him to consider the man his son was about to become and the pain his death had caused before agreeing to sentences offered in exchange for guilty pleas.

He said if given a future chance of freedom, the three defendants would one day be standing before another judge.

When Bryant and Owens stood and turned toward the victim’s family to express regrets – Bryant’s voice trembled during her comments – Shull and his wife, Josee, looked away.

Outside the courthouse, the former Marine said his son’s death deserved justice.

“This was completely planned, and my son was ambushed and murdered for a couple of hundred bucks, if that,” Shull said.

He said the defendants thought Michael was rich. In fact, he said, his son had landed his first job and was struggling to create an independent life despite his disability.

“Everybody has choices. Michael’s choices were taken away,” he said. “I know it’s not the Christian thing, but I can’t find forgiveness in my heart.”

“Not now,” Josee Shull added. “Not yet.”

In the courtroom, as Turner stood before him, Boner spoke of sentencing hearings yet to come.

“Someday, and I believe this, you’ll stand before someone far greater than all of us and account for what you’ve done,” the judge said. “I hope you’re ready.”

Turner did not respond.

2 different families

Authorities have cleared Shanika Harris of any involvement in the crime.

She and Michael Shull met while the two were students at the N.C. School for the Deaf in Morganton. She is black. He was white. She is from Charlotte; he was from Conover.

The young couple had been dating on and off for two years, his parents say, and Shull had long ago made it a habit to help Harris’ family in any way he could – from fixing a truck, to taking them food to buying them items they needed that he couldn’t afford but paid for anyway.

On Dec. 22, 2012, a Friday, Shull got off work at a tire place in Morganton and drove down to Charlotte. His plan was to visit Harris and her family. He had just been paid.

Members of that family were lying in wait.

According to Assistant District Attorney Anna Greene, at one point in the evening, Aveance Bryant used sign language to persuade Harris to get out of Shull’s truck so Turner could ride with him instead.

Minutes into the drive, Turner handed Shull a note, telling him he was being robbed. Shull thought it was a joke. Turner then attacked the deaf man. When Shull fought back, Turner pulled a knife.

Police found the empty truck stopped in the middle of a road. As they were about to tow it off, a nearby resident appeared. There was the body of a man in her front yard.

Michael Shull still wore his work clothes. His pay stub was in his back pocket. He had been fatally stabbed in the chest.

The next day, the defendants used Shull’s bank card at a Charlotte mall to buy Christmas presents for Owens’ two small children.

Bryant’s attorney, Terry Sherrill, said his client and Owens “didn’t have any idea that Mr. Turner was going to kill Mr. Shull” and had agreed to testify against Turner, if his case had gone to trial.

He said he was confident that Bryant, in time, would make something of her life.

“No one can undo what has happened,” he told the judge.

When Bryant spoke in court, her voice shook. “I want to apologize,” she said, as she half turned toward the Shulls. “I know you’re having a hard time forgiving me.”

Owens also turned to face a row filled by the Shulls, their family and friends.

“It took me a long time to forgive myself,” she said softly. “I’m sorry, and I really mean it from the bottom of my heart.”

Cliff Shull stared at the floor. Later, he and his wife said they had heard those pleas and tears in court before – in March, when Bryant had pleaded guilty and been freed on bond. The next day, they say, she flooded her Facebook page with gleeful “I’m-out-of-jail photographs.”

“That doesn’t show remorse,” Josee Shull said.

During sentencing, the defendants’ family members sat on the other side of the courtroom from the Shulls. After sentencing, they declined to talk with reporters.

Although the parents are aware Harris was cleared of any involvement, they still wonder how she didn’t know what had been planned.

They say Harris tried to contact them once, but it was all too soon and there was still too much pain.

“I know they’ll be behind bars, but it’s not nearly enough time,” Cliff Shull said before family and friends began their hourlong drive back to Catawba County.

“But at least there’s some kind of closure. We can come to grips with what’s happened. We have to move on.”

Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 11:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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