Stories Of Abused Men In North Carolina


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Velma Barfield: Serial murderer

First husband murdered when house set afire

Second husband dies and another house burns

Another house fire and drug charges


More drug charges and prison

Caregiver and two more die

Yet another death while Velma helps

Stuart Taylor


Women on death row — Blanche Moore from Alamance County

Man advertises for housekeeper and ends up murdered

Live-in girlfriend charged in fatal Airline Avenue stabbing in Gastonia

Woman accused of setting boyfriend on fire in Hillsborough

Jury hears testimony in Kannapolis woman's murder trial

Lillington woman suffering from bipolar disorder kills husband and boyfriend

Former Carolina Panther Fred Lane shot by his wife in his South Charlotte home

Female scientist poisons her first husband in Chapel Hill and then remarries

Fayetteville woman conspires with lover to kill her husband, a Pope Air Force Base pilot

Hillsborough woman sets fire to ex-husband's house

Teenager helps mother kill soldier-stepfather in Fayetteville

A young MD

Brett Bodine gets restraining order on estranged wife in Charlotte

Green Beret discharged as a result of his wife's adultery in Fayetteville

Wife jailed after setting her husband on fire in Hickory

Piedmont woman charged in stabbing death

Woman found guilty in boyfriend's death in Mecklenburg

Murder-for-hire: Ex-wife arrested in Concord

Fire chief's body burned, mutilated after death in Horse Shoe

Trial opens for North Carolina wife accused of killing husband, scattering his remains along Blue Ridge Parkway

Woman charged with shooting ex-husband in China Grove

Son penalized for being a man

Girlfriend charged with murder in death of her boyfriend in Winston-Salem

Infamous lacrosse accuser Crystal Gayle Mangum arrested in Durham for attempted murder, murder, arson, and child abuse

Back story

Convicted of child abuse and other misdemeanors

Crystal Mangum guilty of murder in new boyfriend's death

Charlotte woman shoots boyfriend then herself

Greensboro woman shoots her lover and five kids in the head before killing herself

Professional wrestler Ric Flair assaulted again by wife in their Charlotte condo


Velma Barfield: Serial murderer


Abstracted from story by Denise Noe

Margie Velma Bullard was born on October 29, 1932, in rural South Carolina. After giving birth to two children, in 1963 Velma began having medical problems and had to undergo a hysterectomy.

The surgery had a drastic, and negative, affect on Velma. She was alternately nervous or depressed and often snappish. She began worrying that the fact that she could no longer get pregnant made her seem less womanly and, therefore, less attractive to her husband. She started to have more physical problems and was especially troubled by lower back pain. Eventually she became addicted to prescription drugs.

First husband murdered when house set afire


In April 1967 the Burke house caught on fire. The only person in the home was her husband Thomas Burke. Both youngsters were at school. Velma said she had been at the laundromat when she came home to see the house in flames.Thomas Burke died of smoke inhalation.

At the hospital, Velma collapsed when she was told of her husband's death.However, she was later to admit that Thomas had been asleep on the bed and she had set the fire.

Second husband dies and another house burns


Another house fire followed and Velma began dating a widower named Jennings Barfield. Barfield was a man who had taken early retirement due to numerous health problems. He suffered from diabetes, emphysema, and heart disease. They were married on August 23, 1970. It was a church wedding, something Velma felt she had missed out on in her youthful elopement to Thomas Burke. Velma moved into the small home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, that her groom shared with his teenaged daughter, Nancy.

The newlyweds were soon having troubles, partly because of Velma's penchant for overdoing it with prescription medications.They separated, then reconciled when she promised to quit taking so many pills. She broke her word. Both Velma and Jennings confided to others that they believed the marriage had been a mistake. Divorce seemed in the offing with it just a question of who would leave first. It never actually came to that, however, Jennings Barfield died on March 21, 1971, apparently of the heart failure that had troubled him for years.

Widowed again, Velma did not appear to be coping well. She was despondent and listless, often medicating herself into oblivion and spending much of her time in bed.

Another house fire and drug charges


When it seemed like things could not get worse, they did. Velma's house once again caught fire! Velma went into hysterics. She was simply inconsolable. Why did such things keep happening to her?

In March 1972, Velma Barfield was arrested for forging a prescription. She pled guilty in April and got off with a suspended sentence and a fine.



After her father's death, she and her mother fell into a pattern of frequent quarreling. Velma claimed that her mother, Lillie, was constantly ordering her about. The older woman expected to be waited on hand and foot and the grown-up Velma was not going to be treated like a slave by anyone. Lillie, for her part, was dismayed by Velma's frequent use of pills and her tendency to sometimes simply pass out from taking too many.

Lillie got dreadfully sick during the summer of 1974. Her stomach was racked by painful cramps. She began throwing up uncontrollably and suffering a violent diarrhea. It got so bad that Velma drove her mother to the hospital. The doctors could not determine the cause of the sudden illness. However, Lillie was better after a few days and went home.

On August 23, 1974, a man Velma had been dating was killed in a traffic accident. (Velma was not present so this death, at least, was probably just a melancholy coincidence.) He had made Velma Barfield the beneficiary of his life insurance policy and she received a check for $5,000.

A couple of days after Christmas, 1974, Lillie got terribly sick. She was nauseous, then vomiting. That was followed by an awful attack of diarrhea. Her insides felt like they were burning up. She told Velma that she had hideous pains in her belly and upper back. Her arms and legs flailed about her. She threw up again and threw up blood.

Velma phoned her brother Olive who immediately drove over. He was appalled to see their mother so sick and called an ambulance. The rescue squad allowed Velma to ride in the ambulance with her mother.

Lillie Bullard died two hours after arriving at the hospital.

More drug charges and prison


Early in 1975, Velma was once again in hot water with the law. She had written another string of bad checks. She was convicted on seven counts of writing bad checks. The judge sent her to prison for six months. She was released after serving three.

Caregiver and two more die


Awhile after obtaining her freedom, Velma started to look for jobs as a caregiver for elderly, sick people. In 1976, she was living with and working for Montgomery and Dollie Edwards in Lumberton, North Carolina. Montgomery was 94, bedridden and incontinent. He was a diabetic and had lost his vision to that disease as well as both legs that had been amputated. He could not feed himself. Eighty-four year-old Dollie was in somewhat better shape but she was a cancer survivor who had had a colostomy.

As time wore on, tensions surfaced between the caregiver and her employers. Dollie often thought Velma was falling down on the job and told her so in no uncertain terms. Velma complained that Dollie was a demanding nitpicker. Their quarrels got more frequent and more heated.

Montgomery died in January 1977. Velma stayed on to aid Dollie. The two continued to bicker.

It was February 26, a Saturday, when Dollie got sick. She told her visiting stepson, Preston Edwards, that she believed she must have the flu. Vomiting and diarrhea plagued her. He came to see her the next night and was horrified by how weak and pale she looked. She had to go to the hospital, he said. An obliging Velma Barfield called an ambulance. Dollie was treated by doctors in the emergency room and sent back home without having spent the night there. She took a turn for the worse the next day and was back in the hospital by Tuesday. She died that evening.

Yet another death while Velma helps


Now Velma had no livelihood. That did not last long. She was soon caring for another ailing and elderly couple, 80-year-old farmer John Henry Lee and his 76-year-old wife, Record. Record was the one needing special assistance for she had recently broken her leg and was hobbling around on crutches when she could manage to get around at all.

The position seemed quite suitable to Velma. The Lees lived in a brick house in a rural area on the outskirts of Lumberton. They were willing to let Velma have Sundays and Wednesdays evenings off so she could attend church services.

Problems started surfacing. Record Lee loved to gab and the incessant chitchat got on Velma's nerves. She and her husband often argued and Velma disliked being present during their fights.

Then there was a check that puzzled Record. She knew she had not signed it. John Henry called the cops but the case stalled because no one could think of anyone who might have forged Record's name.

On April 27, 1977, John Henry got sick. His stomach was upset and he developed diarrhea. His condition worsened and Velma called an ambulance. The medics rushed the sweaty, gray-faced man to the hospital. He gradually recovered and was released on May 2, after he had spent four days there. Doctors were mystified about the source of the sickness but thought it was probably a virus.

Throughout May, John Henry continued to be sick. For a few days he would be perfectly okay, then the vomiting, the diarrhea, the cramps, the cold sweats, would start again. His weight continued to drop drastically.He took a turn for the worse and Velma called another ambulance for him. There was little the hospital could do for the dehydrated, terribly sick man. He died June 4, 1977.

Stuart Taylor


Some time after the funeral of John Henry Lee Velma Barfield moved into the home of Stuart Taylor in Fayetteville.

Big, hulking, hale-and hearty, 56-year-old Stuart Taylor was happy as he drove his girlfriend, plump and bosomy 46-year-old Velma Barfield, to a revival meeting of the famous preacher Rex Humbard. Although Stuart was not extremely religious, he knew that his girlfriend was a devoutly pious Christian and she would love hearing the respected evangelist in person. Both Stuart and Velma were crisply attired in their Sunday best as they settled into chairs at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The service had just begun when a wave of nausea rolled over Stuart. "I'm feeling sick," he whispered to Velma. "Maybe it's something I ate." As Humbard preached, Stuart began feeling worse. Fierce pains gripped his stomach. "I've got to go to the truck and lie down," he told his sweetheart in a weak voice.

Taylor rushed out of the packed room and into the coolness of the evening air. He opened up his truck and lay down on a seat. The feelings inside him grew worse. Still miserable with nausea when the meeting was finished and Velma got into the car with him, Stuart lay back and writhed in pain as she drove them home.

"Stop," he said at one point, his skin clammy with sweat. She pulled over to the side of the road. A pale and sweaty Stuart stumbled out of the vehicle and vomited on the dirt.

At home, he was in too much pain to sleep. In the wee hours of the morning, Velma phoned his pregnant daughter, Alice Storms, to tell her of her father's disturbing condition. It was Alice's husband, Bill, who answered the phone. Velma apologized for waking him up but said she thought it important that Stuart's daughter know that he was frighteningly sick. Later, Alice phoned to ask Velma about Taylor's illness. They both concurred that it was probably just the flu.

Stuart's condition got worse. His chest, stomach and arms were all racked by pain and he vomited incessantly. He felt like he was on fire from inside.

The next day, Velma drove her terribly sick lover to the hospital. While doctors examined and tried to treat the man, she discussed what she knew of his medical history. She was not well-informed about it but she knew he was a heavy drinker.

Together with Velma, he heard a doctor say his father's dreadful condition was "gastritis." The doctor diagnosed gastritis and prescribed medicine for that condition. He then told Velma she could take Stuart home that night, which she did.

The next day was a Friday. At around 8 PM Stuart took a drastic turn for the worse. Velma phoned John McPherson, a neighbor and friend. "Stuart needs an ambulance!" she told him in a voice that sounded full of fear.

McPherson called an ambulance, then drove to the house himself. He found Stuart Taylor looking terrible. The room had a nauseating odor because the sick man had suffered an attack of diarrhea in his bed. The arms and legs of the sweaty and chalk-faced man thrashed around and he made incoherent moaning noises. From time to time, he screamed. Velma had surrounded the bed with chairs, their backs to the bed, to prevent him from falling out of it.

The rescue squad worked quickly and efficiently to bundle him into the ambulance. Its siren wailed as it raced to the hospital. His concerned lover followed in Stuart's truck.

Doctors rushed to his side but Taylor died an hour after arriving at the hospital.

In the waiting room were Stuart's children, Alice and Billy, and the girlfriend who had nursed him through the illness, Velma Barfield. The doctor said he was puzzled by the man's sudden death and suggested an autopsy. Stuart Taylor's adult kids told the physician to perform an autopsy.



Finally it became evident that too many of the people around Velma Barfield had died, particularly of gastroenteritis. The autopsy determined arsenic had killed Stuart Taylor.

At trial the jury came back with a verdict of guilty of first-degree murder. Then it found the "aggravating circumstances" to recommend the death penalty. Judge McKinnon fixed her punishment at death.

Numerous appeals were filed but at 2:15 AM on November 2, 1984, Velma Barfield, serial murderer and born again Christian, loving mother and killer of her children's father and grandmother, was executed.


Women on death row — Blanche Moore from Alamance County


Charles Montaldo,

In 1989, police in Alamance County began investigating Blanche Moore, then age 56, after her second husband, Rev. Dwight Moore, became ill with suspicious symptoms. A doctor ordered testing for toxins and determined his illness was from arsenic poisoning. He somehow survived the ingestion of large amount of poison over a week's time.

The police then asked that the bodies of Moore's former boyfriend, Raymond Reid, and James N. Taylor, her first husband, who died 1973, be exhumed. It was determined that both men died of arsenic poisoning. Moore's father, P.D. Kiser, also died of symptoms similar to those that occur with arsenic poisoning.

Blanche Moore was ultimately convicted for the murder of her boyfriend, Raymond Reid, and received the death penalty.

Blanche Moore is said to have killed the men in her life because of a deep-seated hatred of her alcoholic father that forced her into prostitution to help pay the family bills.


Man advertises for housekeeper and ends up murdered


Greensboro News & Record

August 15, 1998 — Henry Draughn, age 74, met the woman charged in his death after he advertised for someone to help him with housekeeping. In the hours between Henry Draughn's death and the time police officers found his body, his accused killer told at least five people that she shot Draughn, according to court testimony Friday.

Penny Elizabeth Jarrett, 34, pled not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the July 25, 1997, death of Draughn. Jurors could sentence Jarrett to die if they convict her of first-degree murder.


Live-in girlfriend charged in fatal Airline Avenue stabbing in Gastonia


The Charlotte Observer

November 14, 1998 — A Gastonia woman has been arrested and charged with stabbing her boyfriend to death in their apartment, Gastonia police said.

Barbara Collins, 40, of 810 W. Airline Ave., Apt. 1, was charged with murder Friday. She was held without bond in the Gaston County Jail Annex....


Woman accused of setting boyfriend on fire in Hillsborough


March 24, 1999 (States News Service) — Deputies are investigating a bizarre murder in Orange County.

Investigators say his live-in girlfriend wrapped 29-year-old Ashley Lane in blankets and set him on fire in broad daylight. Neighbors say it was dinner time Monday when they saw the smoke and Amanda Marriner standing on the back deck of the couple's house. Mr. Lane's body was discovered by his mother.

Details provided by Ashley Lane's sister-in-law in September 2008 state that Amanda Marriner shot him in the head while he was sleeping on March 20, 1999, and then left him there for two days. Then on March 22 nd she tried digging a hole beside the house but couldn't. Amanda then decided to try to burn him.

Police say Ms. Marriner took Lane's car and left before they arrived on the scene. A few hours later, Cary police found the car at a local hotel. They also found Ms. Marriner unconscious in one of the rooms after trying to commit suicide.

Amanda Marriner was found guilty of second-degree murder with aggravation and deliberation. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

A judge gave custody of his daughter to Amanda's parents. Ashley's parents are limited to visitation with their granddaughter.


Jury hears testimony in Kannapolis woman's murder trial


Abstracted from The Charlotte Observer

April 8, 1999 — A Cabarrus County jury began hearing evidence Wednesday in a murder case in which prosecutors say a Kannapolis woman stabbed and beat her roommate to death and then set him on fire.

Jacqueline Annette Alexander, 37, could be sentenced to death if she is found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Thomas Earl Hammond on June 14, 1998.


Lillington woman suffering from bipolar disorder kills husband and boyfriend


Fayetteville Observer

Friday, July 23, 1999, Lillington — Debra Sprangle pled not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity on Thursday to a charge of murdering her husband in August 1990. Sprangle has shifted between the state mental hospital at Dorothea Dix and the State Women's Prison since she was charged with the murder.

She also faces a charge of murdering her boyfriend, Milton Smith, in 1983. For years, Sprangle was ruled incompetent to stand trial. Doctors diagnosed her condition as bipolar and paranoid schizophrenia. She suffered delusions and hallucinations and told doctors that she was married to Jesus Christ. She also was prone to fits of violence, sometimes in court. Last August, a Superior Court judge ruled that Sprangle was capable of standing trial. Doctors said powerful anti-psychotic drugs had brought much of her mental disease under control.


Former Carolina Panther Fred Lane shot by his wife in his South Charlotte home


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Bulletin

July 6, 2000 — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were called to the home of 24-year old Fred Lane, 3140 Arborhill Road, to investigate the report of a person having been shot. When officers arrived at the house, they found Mr. Lane dead. Inside the home at the time of the shooting were Mr. Lane, his 25-year old wife Deidre, and their newborn daughter.

Homicide investigators questioned Ms. Lane, along with other family members and neighbors. The investigation revealed that Deidre Lane shot her husband during a reported domestic dispute.

Charges were filed against Deidre Lane on August 23, 2000, for the murder of husband Fred Lane the Panthers' all-time leading rusher. Prosecutors claim that when Fred Lane came home from Tennessee only days after his wife gave birth, Deidre Lane opened fire with a shotgun and shot her husband twice, including once in the head.

On November 5, 2003, Deidre Lane was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for shooting her husband as he walked in the front door. She pled guilty in August 2003, to voluntary manslaughter. Judge Timothy Patti gave her the maximum sentence, ruling the slaying was premeditated and deliberate, that Deidre Lane acted with malice, and that she shot her husband a second time after the first shot rendered him helpless.


Female scientist poisons her first husband in Chapel Hill and then remarries


Abstracted in part from story by Gretchen Bartelt and others, News 14 Carolina

After five years Ann Miller Kontz pleads guilty in arsenic-poisoning death of first husband

November 7, 2005, Raleigh — Ann Miller Kontz pled guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the poisoning on December 2, 2000, of her first husband, who was an AIDS researcher at the University of North Carolina.

The 34-year-old woman acknowledged in her plea November 7, 2005, that she conspired with Derril Willard to poison Eric Miller. The plea came during a hearing scheduled in Wake County.

Miller was poisoned over time with arsenic by his wife, who will now serve 25 to 31 years in prison.

History of the Eric Miller Case:

Eric and Ann Miller were married in 1993 after graduating from Purdue University. They moved to Raleigh to study at North Carolina State University. They owned a house in West Raleigh and had a baby girl in 2000.

Eric, 30, worked as a researcher at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of North Carolina (UNC) — Chapel Hill.

On November 15, 2000, Eric and Ann went bowling with three of her co-workers at GlaxoSmithKline, including Derril H. Willard, Jr., 37. Eric drank beer that Willard bought and complained that it tasted bitter. Reports say that Willard kept control of the pitcher of beer during this time.

Eric became sick with flu-like symptoms. Ann drove him to Rex Healthcare and he was transferred to UNC Hospital. Blood tests revealed traces of arsenic.

On November 24, 2000, Eric was released from the hospital. He became sick again on November 30 and went back to Rex Hospital. Once again, tests revealed high levels of arsenic in his system.

Eric died of arsenic poisoning on December 2, 2000. Police say Ann Miller Kontz and Derril Willard, who worked together, were having an affair and had access to arsenic at their jobs.

Two days later, Ann's lab at GlaxoSmithKline was searched and 200 milliliters of arsenic compound were seized, along with documents and a computer. On December 6, 2000, police retrieved Eric's email files and other computer files on the UNC computer network.

On January 21, 2001, police searched Derril Willard's North Raleigh home and seized documents and two computers. The next day, Willard's wife, Yvette, found his body in their garage with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Before committing suicide he told his attorney about the plot to kill Eric Miller.

Derril Willard told his lawyer that Ann Miller admitted administering poison to her first husband, Eric Miller, before he died — according to court evidence. Willard told his lawyer that Ann Miller said she was visiting her husband in a hospital when she "took a syringe from her purse and injected the contents" into his intravenous line.

It was clear that the syringe contained poison, according to a summary of a statement by Willard's lawyer, Richard T. Gammon of Raleigh.

Eric Miller was poisoned not long after Ann Miller had a baby girl. After Willard's suicide, Ann Miller and her then 2-year-old daughter moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. She met and married Paul Kontz in November 2003. Mr. Kontz is a Christian rock guitarist.

Ann Miller was charged with first-degree murder in September 2004. Before her plea, Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens had set bail for Mrs. Kontz at $3 million, thought to be one of the highest amounts ever in Wake County.

Friends and relatives described Ann Miller Kontz as a frequent churchgoer who was close to her family and had a job with a pharmaceutical company in Wilmington waiting for her before her conviction. Her daughter is now living with Mr. Kontz's sister.


Fayetteville woman conspires with lover to kill her husband, a Pope Air Force Base pilot


For stories on this murder see

December 17, 2000 — A Fayetteville office was the scene of a murder late Sunday night. Police say a man was murdered outside his wife's office building on Raeford Road.

Thirty-year-old Air Force Captain Marty Theer, 31, and his wife, Michelle, age 30, went to Harbin and Associates Sunday night to pick up some papers. Captain Theer was a 1991 graduate of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and was serving as a C-130 transport pilot at Pope Air Force Base when he was murdered.

At the time Mrs. Theer told police she heard shots and when she came downstairs she found her husband dead after being shot five times.

But police said Michelle Theer conspired with her lover, former Army Staff Sgt. John Diamond, to murder her husband, then went on the run from New Orleans to Florida just days before she was indicted on murder charges in May 2001.

Captain Theer had a $500,000 life insurance policy of which Michelle Theer was the beneficiary.

A military jury convicted SSgt. Diamond of murder, conspiracy and obstruction of justice in 2001. He is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

SSgt. Diamond's former attorney, Coy Brewer, said he believes the evidence shows that Theer was the shooter. "The timeline doesn't make sense, unless she was the shooter," he said. "The place of the shooting at the top of the landing doesn't make sense unless she was the shooter. The shot pattern doesn't make sense for an Army trained sniper, and the gun that was used does not make sense unless she borrowed it from Sgt. Diamond."

U.S Marshals arrested Michelle Theer in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, apartment on August 5, 2002. Officials said it appeared she had plastic surgery the morning of her arrest. Authorities said she had plastic surgery, cut and colored her hair and used different names like Lexi Solomon and Liza Pendragon. Authorities found books on how to hide in America and information on Mexico in her apartment.

Her first court appearance in Cumberland County, North Carolina, was made on Thursday, August 14, 2002.

Despite financing a run from police for months, Michelle Theer asked for a court-appointed attorney.

Mrs. Theer, who was obviously a flight risk, was held without bail until her case came on for trial September 7, 2004. Michelle Theer had told police she only had one affair but a Sanford man testified during her trial that he had an intimate relationship with her. Charles McLendon said that he met Theer in November 1999 through an Internet dating service and that the two had an affair. Trial testimony indicated she had several other affairs as well.

It was also revealed during trial that investigators found on her computer: 48 searches for body bags on eBay.

In closing statements on Thursday, prosecutors described Mrs. Theer as the mastermind behind her husband's death. They said Theer's husband was an unsuspecting victim. Prosecutor Greg Butler said Michelle Theer has a "dark, deceitful, manipulative, cynical, cold, evil heart."

There were no eyewitnesses to the murder, so prosecutors built their case by outlining an array of circumstances surrounding the shooting: Theer and Diamond's intense love affair and plans to run off together, a $500,000 life insurance policy, Theer's flight from the law and life in hiding, to point to Theer's guilt.

Michelle Theer was sentenced to life in prison on December 3, 2004, after a jury convicted her of first-degree murder in the slaying of her Air Force husband. Mrs. Theer was also found guilty in Cumberland County Superior Court of conspiracy to commit murder. The verdict came after nearly 11 weeks of testimony, but less than six hours of jury deliberations.

Superior Court E. Lynn Johnson sentenced Theer, who turned 34 on December 9, 2004, to life in prison for the murder, followed by a sentence to range between from 13 years and one month to 16 years and six months for conspiracy to commit murder.

Captain Theer is buried at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Hillsborough woman sets fire to ex-husband's house


© 2002 The Herald-Sun

January 11, 2002 — Police have charged a 40-year-old woman with arson for setting fire to her ex-husband's house in December.

They charged Robin Gail Gourley of 923 Oakdale Drive, Hillsborough, with second-degree arson. A magistrate set her bond at $48,000, and she was confined in Orange County Jail.

The fire destroyed the back half of the dark-gray house at 639 Cornelius St. and severely damaged the rest of it, Orange County Fire Marshal Mike Tapp said. It was discovered at about 11:30 PM on December 29, 2001.

"The back of the house was engulfed in flames," Tapp said. "It gutted out the back portion, and there was a lot of smoke and heat damage in the other parts of the house."

The rear half of the house was a two-story addition, and it appears that's where the fire was set, Tapp said.

On Thursday after the fire was extinguished, he collected samples of possible areas where an accelerant might have been used to start or spread the fire and sent them to the State Bureau of Investigation for analysis that indicated arson was involved.

The owner of the wood-frame, three-bedroom house, Alan Gourley, was in the mountains when the fire started, Tapp said.


Teenager helps mother kill soldier-stepfather in Fayetteville


Fayetteville (AP) — According to a June 12, 2004, news report, 16-year-old Elizabeth Shannon pled guilty on June 11, 2004, to murdering her stepfather and will testify against her mother, who is accused of plotting the killing.

Elizabeth Shannon admitted she shot Army Maj. David Shannon twice in the head and chest as he slept in his house on July 23, 2002. Major Shannon, 40, was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. Police indicated he was killed for insurance and military benefits.

Ms. Shannon pled guilty to second-degree murder and conspiracy. She will be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison if she cooperates in the prosecution of her mother, Joan Shannon, 35 at the time of the murder, according to an agreement with prosecutors.

Elizabeth Shannon told investigators she killed her stepfather because she was tired of her mother asking her to do it. She also said her mother gave her the gun.

Prosecutor Greg Butler said that according to witnesses, Joan Shannon had tried for three months to find someone to kill her husband. One witness told investigators she saw Joan Shannon ask another person to kill her husband and promise to pay the person from insurance money.

Joan Shannon, 37, is free on bail and living in Thaxton, Virginia, with her late husband's sister, Brenda Strong, who believes Elizabeth acted alone. Joan Shannon did not attend Friday's hearing, though her sister-in-law did.

"Elizabeth cold-bloodedly planned the murder," Strong said. "She put the gun to the head of the man who raised her since she was 4 years old and pulled the trigger."

No trial date has been set for Joan Shannon, who is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy.


A young MD


Names are omitted at the doctor's request.

Received Sunday, September 22, 2002 — In June 2002 my wife retained an attorney for the purpose of separation and divorce. Thereafter, I retained an attorney with the help of my parents. That was necessary because our joint bank account suddenly had a negative balance. I cancelled our joint credit card account after there was suddenly a several thousand dollar balance and a recent large cash advance to my wife.

We have two automobiles, and [wife] always drove the newer of them, but there had never been any rule about who drove which car. Several years before my parents had given me an automobile as a gift. They saw what I did not see, and asked that it be titled only to me. Our jointly owned car is a [late model minivan]. On the last Monday in July, I drove the [late model minivan] so that I could get it inspected after work, which it failed because of excessive tire wear. As I was leaving for work on Tuesday morning, I noticed that the [late model minivan] was no longer in our driveway. I assumed that it had been stolen, and I called 911. When the police arrived, [wife] informed them that she had only "hidden" the car from me to prevent me from driving it. She was now claiming it as hers alone. She returned the car to our driveway by that afternoon, but she forbade me to ever drive it again. I don't understand her action, but that is what happened, and I have not driven the [late model minivan] since.

The home situation continued to be extremely bitter, and there was no peace. Two days later, I found some papers on top of the dryer near the entry-way for our home. [wife] had written several pages of obscene and vulgar comments about me. I took these papers to avoid having our son find them. My wife later called 911 to have the police "force" me to give her back these vile statements.

As I had a critical medical board exam coming up in August, I told [wife] that I was going to [city] to visit my sister, as well as give me some time to study. Shortly thereafter I was informed through [wife's] attorney that she was having the locks on our house changed. She reportedly threatened that if I returned to the home that she would have me arrested. My attorney told me that she had no legal right to do this but initially recommended that I voluntarily stay away while the attorneys worked toward a settlement, which was not reached during the next several weeks.

During this time, [wife] kept me isolated from my children, refusing to let me know what was going on in their lives and limiting my contact with them. I was also forced to live out of the suitcase, that I had packed for a one-week stay, for many weeks. I continued to pay the mortgage and utilities on the house that [wife] was refusing to allow me to enter, and I could not afford another residence for myself. Several weeks passed without a settlement or hope for settlement. During this time, I missed my children so much that it hurt, and I was in agony.

In September, on the advice of my attorney, I re-entered our home. [wife] immediately called 911. The police agreed with my attorney that I had a right to be there. [wife] took many things and left. She was unwilling to stay in the residence at that time, after having locked me out several weeks before. To ensure I would have access I had a locksmith make me keys for the locks that [wife] had changed.

She was also unwilling to have the clock restart on the mandatory 1-year separation before divorce. She had gleefully boasted to others about how there was only 11 months to go!

However, [wife] returned several hours later. I believe she returned with the express purpose of trying to force a confrontation. She was attempting to goad me into a situation she could use against me as a weapon (she never did do this, but has used false witness to attain her goal). She again was running around the house gathering things. I asked her to submit a list through her attorney, or at least to show me what it was that she was taking. At that point, she threatened me with mace or pepper spray. I had a tape recorder record of the activities and let her know the same. I also called 911 myself to ask for protection against her. By the time police arrived, she was on her way out, but the police did not take her pepper spray away. The children got home from school shortly thereafter.

One of the things that [wife] did take with her was all of the medication for our son. I knew that these medications needed to be taken regularly and can have a "rebound" effect, actually being a danger (even death) if stopped abruptly. This forced me to contact the prescribing physician, obtain new prescriptions, and deliver them to the pharmacy to be filled. While I was doing this, [wife] returned again to the house.

I believe that the only reason she was returning to the house for a third time was to force another confrontation. She again was going around the house taking more things. One of the things that she took was the tape that I had recorded of her when she was threatening me with the pepper spray. I simply stood in the doorway and called 911 again. At that point, she forcibly pushed me out of the way. She ran downstairs to the driveway, jumped into my car, and proceeded in an attempt to drive away in my car (this car is titled only in my name only). At this point, I jumped into the passenger seat and reached over to turn off the ignition key. I was then again forcibly attacked, being struck on the left temple, knocking my glasses off. She then grabbed my arm and hand in an attempt to remove them from the ignition, striking me several more times, scratching me and causing my finger to be cut on the key itself. I maintained my right hand on the ignition key throughout this onslaught at all times. As this car requires two hands to remove the key from the ignition (a separate lock/button), I only used my other hand to attempt to push this button and remove the key. The children who were with me on my trip to get new prescriptions now had to watch the horrible spectacle of their parents in conflict and police swarming over their home.

When the police arrived, for the third time that day, they threatened to arrest us both and place the children in "protective custody." What they did is allow [wife] to take our children to an unknown location where I couldn't contact them. I went to the emergency room for treatment of my injuries. I also became more acquainted with [state] legal procedures. I spoke with a magistrate, who said that the only option that he could offer was to sign a criminal arrest warrant for the mother of my children. I declined to pursue that option at that time.

The next morning I did contact a Domestic Violence Protection Agency. I explained what was happening, and they helped me to file a civil complaint for a protective order against [wife]. The judge also thought that the children should be in their home. The judge awarded me temporary protection by civil order and temporary custody of our children. I was called late Wednesday night that the order had been served on [wife], and that the children were at the Police Department for me to pick up. However, when I arrived, I was informed that although the children were in my custody, I was being arrested because [wife] had asked a magistrate to file an arrest warrant against me.

I called many people that night, including our church Pastor before finding someone to take care of my children so again my children could not be in their home that night. I was falsely imprisoned because of a false accusation and false witness. [wife] had claimed that I had struck her. Although I had deferred signing an arrest warrant for the mother of my children, she had no problem signing an arrest warrant for me.

I believe she did this only for the purpose of removing me from the house, as she had threatened to do in the past. She had forced a confrontation for just that purpose. I have been told that in [state] criminal law there is no burden of proof for a woman. The word of a woman means more than the word, and even physical evidence of assault of a man.

I then had to suffer the humiliation of being stripped to my underwear, chained, handcuffed, and locked in a cell overnight. [wife] got to watch me chained, handcuffed, and crying in humiliation as they led me before the courtroom cameras wearing the orange prisoner jumpsuit. Don't even try to tell me that you would not be changed by this experience!

I was told initially that I would be released the next morning. However, that morning I learned that because I had been awarded custody of the children, [wife] was now (out of spite?) requesting that I be held longer. Perhaps by an act of a merciful God, the decision for release was in the hands of the same judge who had signed the protection order for me the day before and so I was given my freedom.

After my release the judge asked the attorneys to meet again. [wife] was now willing to consider dropping the charges if I were to agree to give her the house and the children.

I awoke crying this morning as I have the past several mornings at 3 AM. But at least I am back in my home with my children, at least until Tuesday, when the hearing on protection and custody continues, or Monday if I sign her papers. I pray for God to open my heart again to the potential for goodness in the world but I am currently a man destroyed. [wife's] actions have utterly shattered me.

I did not previously believe she was capable of such brutality and evil to me or to our children, but there is no longer any room for love for [wife] in my heart. Only the pleadings of my civil attorney and children have deterred me from requesting criminal charges be filed against [wife] so that she might have some experience for what she has done to me.

I am sickened by this abuse of the laws of men, being used as another bargaining chip by [wife] for her profit by injuring me. The lawyer reminded me that she works in a court of law, and not a court of justice. I anticipate God's justice because I fear I will not receive it here on earth. God's justice may be all I have left to anticipate. My attorney is negotiating a deal with the devil, and I only hope that by giving up everything, I can save my soul. We meet on Monday, but I find this "deal" abhorrent and disgusting. I don't know whether I will be able to force myself to sign it or not.

How did I become a bad guy, a criminal? Is there any help out there. How can I get out of this situation?


Brett Bodine gets restraining order on estranged wife in Charlotte


© 2003 Associated Press

Friday, March 7, 2003, Charlotte — Winston Cup [NASCAR race car] driver Brett Bodine won a restraining order against his estranged wife, telling authorities she hit him and threatened to ruin him financially.

Diane Bodine filed for divorce nearly two months ago and also has sued a Georgia woman, accusing her of seducing her husband and ruining her marriage. The woman has denied any involvement with Brett Bodine.

The domestic violence protective order, signed on Wednesday by Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell, requires Diane Bodine to stay away from tracks where Bodine is appearing.

The order prohibits her from assaulting, threatening, following or harassing her husband of 22 years.

A telephone message seeking comment Friday from Brett Bodine's racing shop in Mooresville was not immediately returned.

Diane Bodine's attorney disputed the accusations.

"He's not the victim at all," said her [female] lawyer, Deborah Church. "She would deny all of those allegations in the (domestic violence) protective order."

In seeking the restraining order, Bodine told authorities his wife struck him in the head and told him, "I'm gonna take you down. I'll make you lose your sponsor. I'll close you down. I'll make you suffer like I've suffered."

Bodine, [age] 44, has a 16-year career as a Winston Cup driver, with his only victory coming in 1990 at North Wilkesboro. He has more than $13 million in career winnings.


Green Beret discharged as a result of his wife's adultery in Fayetteville


Story received May 28, 2003

Fayetteville —A trooper from 7 th Special Forces (Green Berets) was serving in Kosovo while back home his wife was providing her favors to another rather mentally unstable male. His wife's adultery became obvious when he returned to Fort Bragg after his mother was killed in a motor vehicle accident. During divorce proceedings her lover began threatening the Special Forces trooper, e.g., "I'm going to kill you, I'm going to put a bullet in you!"

Unlike several of his comrades in arms, four of whom killed their wives and one of whom was killed by his wife after returning from service in Afghanistan to similar situations, this trooper followed the law. As a result of the threats he was receiving he went to the Cumberland County Court in Fayetteville. As it turned out his wife's lover was known to the courts as a dangerous individual. As a result the trooper was directed to attend the NC Department of Justice Concealed Carry Class and get a permit to carry a gun for his protection, which he did.

Then his adulterous wife found out that he legally carried a weapon to protect himself from her lover. She then went to Cumberland County Court (the same court that told him to get the concealed carry permit) and Judge Kimberly Tucker gave her a restraining order against her husband. Further, he wasn't notified of the court date for the hearing, nor was the court order served on him.

As a result the restraining order became permanent.

A permanent restraining order in today's military means an involuntary discharge, which he was given. However, he did manage to get joint custody of their two boys in the divorce. But, despite a no move order, she took off with her psychotic boyfriend and the kids for Kansas. The former Green Beret is left broke, his career ruined, and his children gone.

And America has one less elite soldier.


Wife jailed after setting her husband on fire in Hickory


June 27, 2003 (AP) — A Hickory woman is in jail after police say she doused her husband with gasoline and set him on fire in their home.

Jeffrey Connor suffered third-degree burns over nearly 70 percent of his body.

Helen Connor is charged with assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. She was being held at the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton on $100,000 secured bond.


Piedmont woman charged in stabbing death


Abstracted from

December 15, 2003 —Greensboro police charged 43-year-old Pam Graves in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Nicholas Hall Sunday. It happened Sunday night in an apartment on Maplewood Lane, according to investigators.


Woman found guilty in boyfriend's death in Mecklenburg


Abstracted from story by Gary L. Wright, Staff Writer

© 2004 The Charlotte Observer

After rejecting deal, she gets maximum term for 2nd-degree murder

January 23, 2004, Mecklenburg — Becky Hillier, age 33, accused of shooting her boyfriend in the head and charged with murder, had rejected an offer to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in a deal with prosecutors that would have likely put her in prison for about four years.

On Thursday, a Mecklenburg jury convicted Hillier of second-degree murder in connection with the July 2001 slaying of Michael Harrison Walker.

Hillier was sentenced to at least 13 years and one month in prison. If she gets in trouble in prison, she could spend up to 16 years and six months behind bars.

It was the maximum sentence the judge could have imposed on Hillier, who had no prior criminal record.

Hillier, 33, buried her face in her hands and wept as the jurors announced the verdict. She was still crying as a deputy handcuffed her before the judge had even finished sentencing her.

"This is a tragedy," Superior Court Judge Jesse Caldwell said after imposing the sentence. "It's a tragedy for everyone. But there has to be accountability for one's conduct, Ms. Hillier."

"I've imposed what I believe is a fair sentence — which is the highest sentence I can impose."

Hillier told jurors that her 28-year-old boyfriend killed himself after they had had a violent argument and as she prepared to leave their home.

"He said, 'Let's just see if this is loaded,'" Hillier said. "He slid the slide and put it to his head and the gun went off."

That's what Hillier told police happened when they questioned her in August 2001.

But Hillier changed her story while being questioned by investigators three months later.

"He came up behind me and we started wrestling or struggling," she said. "He was trying to get the gun away from me. And as we were struggling the gun went off."

Ms. Hillier told jurors she did not kill her boyfriend. She insisted he shot himself. But Hillier acknowledged she wasn't telling the truth when she told police during the October 2001 interrogation that the gun had discharged during a struggle over the weapon.

Hillier testified that investigators had told her that no gunshot residue was found on her boyfriend's hands while she was covered with gunshot residue.

She told jurors that investigators told her to tell the truth — that her boyfriend's killing was an accident — or they would take the case to the district attorney's office for prosecution.

"They had me convinced it was an accident," Hillier told jurors, who obviously didn't believe her.


Murder-for-hire: Ex-wife arrested in Concord


by: Shawn Flynn

© 2004 News 14 Carolina

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

February 23, 2004 — A 55-year-old Concord woman accused of paying an undercover officer to kill her husband was scheduled to return to court today.

Police said that Marie Elliot Belding was asking around two weeks ago, trying to find someone to kill her estranged husband, Charles Moore Belding. Investigators said someone overheard her query and called police.

Belding was later arrested at her mobile home in Concord after she gave money to an undercover officer, police said last week.

"At one meeting, there actually was some money exchanged," said Maj. Allen Overcash of the Concord Police Department. "She did tender some money to our undercover officer and gave details about what she wanted done."

Belding is charged with solicitation to commit murder. It is the third time in four months that she has been behind bars. She was charged with violating a court order February 1, 2004, and she was charged November 10, 2003, with violating a domestic court order and obstructing a police officer.

Tensions had apparently been escalating between the Beldings for months.

Charles Belding was arrested several weeks ago and charged with making threats.

"We have contacted Mr. Belding," Overcash said. "He is very surprised. It caught him off guard that his estranged wife was contemplating having anything like this done. We're comfortable that he didn't know anything about it until we contacted him."


Fire chief's body burned, mutilated after death in Horse Shoe


Friday, May 21, 2004, Horse Shoe (AP) - A Henderson County fire chief whose body parts were found strewn across the Blue Ridge Parkway in March died of blunt force injuries to the head, according to an autopsy report. In addition, Don Gash's body was burned and mutilated after his death, according to the 12-page report that was completed last week.

Gash, 48, was the Etowah-Horse Shoe fire chief. His wife, Gail Christine Hutchinson Gash, 50, has been charged with first-degree murder in his killing.

Gash was last seen by friends and family members March 24. Authorities found his corpse in pieces several days later.

Court documents list the couple's 31-year-old son, Donn Edward Gash, as another suspect in the murder.

According to the report, Gash and his wife had slaughtered cows and other animals on their farm. Authorities seized several tools used for slaughtering cattle when they searched the residence, sheriff's Detective Lt. Erik Summey said. "There's a possibility that some of those items were what was used" to dismember Gash, Summey said.

Trial opens for North Carolina wife accused of killing husband, scattering his remains along Blue Ridge Parkway


© 2006 by Emanuella Grinberg, Court TV

November 8, 2006 — Shortly before Donald Gash was killed and his dismembered remains were scattered along a North Carolina highway, he allegedly told a relative to suspect his wife and son if anything ever happened to him.

Police immediately began searching for Gash's then-50-year-old wife, Gail, who had recently lost her job with the local social services department because of fraud allegations.

They eventually found her four days later, wrapped in a blanket and lying in a crawl space under a neighbor's shed, appearing "disheveled." She was taken to a local hospital, where police later served her with a warrant for the murder of her 48-year-old husband.

Beginning Monday, Gail Gash will stand trial for her husband's death, more than two years after police found his torso in a plastic container outside his home and the rest of his limbs scattered along the Buncombe County section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

She faces an automatic sentence of life without parole if convicted of first-degree murder for the March 2004 killing.

Prosecutors believe that Gail Gash, now 52, was a "troubled" woman who stood to gain from the death of her husband.

Deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff's Department also questioned Gash's son, Donald Edward Gash, an associate director with the local Humane Society and an aspiring horror writer with "an obsessive interest in homicide and horror," in the words of law enforcement.

At the outset of the investigation, it appeared that authorities had plenty of reasons to also suspect the younger Gash, who was living with his parents in their Hendersonville home when his father disappeared.

When authorities entered the Gash home to respond to a missing person report that Donald Gash's cousin had filed, they found blood and tissue spattered on the couch and the walls in the living room, according to a search warrant application.

Police also found materials around the house that seemed to be connected to a cover-up of the crime scene, including cleaning supplies and a bloody mop.

"It is highly unlikely anyone could be present [in the home] and unaware of what was going on," Henderson County Det. Lt. Walt Harper wrote in a search warrant application. "It is also highly unlikely anyone could live in the residence without noticing the blood or other evidence for several days, especially knowing a family member is missing."

Outside the home, they also found the elder Gash's silver Dodge Neon with the keys in the ignition, according to the documents.

They also found the younger Gash's parked car at a cemetery less than a mile from the home. They allegedly found blood on the steering wheel and the front door panels. In the woods nearby, they also found a bloody pair of jeans, which were later identified as belonging to Donald Gash.

Most importantly, they found what was later determined to be Donald Gash's torso in a plastic storage container in a barn on the property. Two days later, state troopers reported the discovery of limbs later identified as belonging to Donald Gash in a wooded area along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A preliminary autopsy determined that Gash, the fire chief of the Etowah-Horse Shoe Volunteer Fire Department, had died from blunt trauma to the head.

Ultimately, authorities focused their investigation on Gail Gash, who was allegedly having "marital difficulties" with her husband when he died, according to the same cousin who told police that Donald Gash said to look at his wife and son if anything ever happened to him.

The Gashes were financially strapped largely because of the $60,000 in restitution for a theft that Gail Gash was attempting to repay a former co-worker.

According to court documents, Gail Gash had also recently lost her job with the Henderson County Department of Social Services based on allegations of food-stamp fraud.

She stood to collect $150,000 in life insurance for her husband's death.

Further examination of the family's computer also revealed that Gail Gash spent a great deal of time searching Web sites related to cosmetic surgery, female sexual dysfunction, and relationship and dating advice.

"By all accounts, Gail Gash was unhappy in her life and marriage," Det. Harper wrote in his search warrant application. "In the demise of her husband, she stood to gain freedom from the relationship and financial gain from life insurance money."

Assistant District Attorney Charles Walker would not comment specifically on why charges were not laid against the couple's son, except to say that the proof was not there.

"There's no evidence that [Donald Edward Gash] did anything," Walker told "If there were, we would have prosecuted him."

Instead, the younger Gash is expected to testify against his mother. Her trial is expected to last two weeks.


Woman charged with shooting ex-husband in China Grove


© 2004 by Steve Huffman, Salisbury Post

September 1, 2004 — A China Grove woman is being held under $50,000 bond after shooting her ex-husband in a domestic dispute at their home Tuesday afternoon.

Teethina Maurice Bost, 46, of 717 Harry St., is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a weapon into occupied property.

She is charged with shooting her ex-husband, Willis Sylvester Bost, with a small-caliber handgun about 4 PM. Tuesday.

Willis Bost was treated at Northeast Medical Center and released Tuesday night, according to China Grove Police Chief China Jaymes Holden.

According to the arrest report, Teethina Bost fired into a 1964 Chevrolet C-10 pickup her ex-husband was driving.

There were conflicting reports as to the number of times Willis Bost was hit. Officials at the Rowan County Magistrate's Office said they were told Bost was hit three times.

But Chief Holden said he was told Bost was only hit once, though officers recovered a pair of bullets fired at the scene.

"It was domestic-related," Holden said of the cause of the shooting.

He said he was told that Willis and Teethina Bost were divorced, though the couple still lived together at 717 Harry St.

Holden said Willis Bost had apparently just returned home in his pickup when Teethina opened fire on him.

She is scheduled to make her first court appearance at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Salisbury Post files show that Willis Bost, still living at 717 Harry St., was charged with assault on a female in 1992 after allegedly hitting Teethina Bost. The outcome of that case was not known Tuesday night.


Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4253 or


Son penalized for being a man in Washington


Dear Sirs,

My son was repeatedly abused by his live-in girlfriend. He was penalized for being a man and was never given a fair shake until one black magistrate stood against the stereotype and used his brain and common sense.

The law here in Washington, North Carolina, states that in a domestic situation if the male says he was assaulted, the woman is charged with simple assault.

When a woman says she has been assaulted (even without physical evidence) the man is charged with — now get this — assault on a female that carries a heavy penalty, much heavier than simple assault.

I pled with everyone in the legal system to change the charges against her and keep her locked up because she would one day kill my son and their child. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

After he moved out of their shared residence she did try to kill him. Beaufort County deputies never even interviewed her when they were told she had motive and means to have been the one to stab him and closed the case "unsolved" after only 30 days. Despite the fact that she had a rap sheet for drug violations and violent behavior, the police never looked at her like a viable threat.

What my son has gone through (thankfully, she only hunts him down occasionally now) has been traumatic and the stigma has crushed him. He is a big man and very strong. Had he abused her she would have had marks and displayed the behavior of an abused person. She never did. In front of a house full of police she got in my son's face and poked a finger in him and threatened him. The officers just watched with a smirk as my son recoiled. He'd had too many keys stabbed in his head, boots in his ribs, knives in his belly, VCR's smashed into his head, etc., to not be responsive.

The system needs to change and look at women as lethal weapons.

After he called 911 because he didn't want to strike back at this woman, knowing he would hurt her, and bleeding from his ear, his neck, his chest, his knees, and wrist where she had sunk her teeth into him, and holding her baby that she didn't even care was crying hysterically, he was arrested for "assault on a female" and taken away because, when the cops chased her down, she said he hit her. The police noted there were no marks on her at all except what appeared to be restraint marks — redness on her wrists where my son tried to hold her hands away from him. He got the stiff arm of the law — she got nothing.

They are living separate lives now (there's much more to the story) but she still hunts him down and threatens him by phone and to his face at his place of work.

She's been arrested a few times for growing drugs in her home and selling and she has lost her children to the state. So, slowly she is getting what she deserves but I believe the slow process is because she keeps getting released with lesser charges than a man would. I wish I had known about the Equal Justice Foundation while we were going through all that.

If I had a way to help push for awareness, I would.

Heather Luna


Girlfriend charged with murder in death of her boyfriend in Winston-Salem


October 1, 2008 —The discovery of a man's decomposing body found inside a home on Iverness Street Tuesday led to first-degree murder charges being leveled against the man's girlfriend.

Winston-Salem police said they received information that a homicide had happened at a home at 106 Iverness St. They found the body of Rubin Levander Flippin at about 8:30 AM Tuesday.

Police then arrested Felicia Glass. She was being held in the Forsyth County Law Enforcement Detention Center on no bond.

Police said Glass and Flippin, who police said died from stab wounds, had been dating and lived together in the home.


Infamous lacrosse accuser Crystal Gayle Mangum arrested in Durham for attempted murder, murder, arson, and child abuse


Abstracted from article in

February 17, 2010 — Crystal Gayle Mangum of Durham was arrested for attempted murder, arson, and child abuse, among other charges, and was being held on $1 million bail.

Late on the night of February 17, 2010, police were called to Crystal's residence on a domestic dispute complaint after a Durham dispatcher answered an emergency call from a frantic child — identified later as one of Crystal Mangum's young daughters. The nine-year-old girl said "My mom's gonna die if you don't hurry."

When officers arrived on scene, they found Crystal Mangum, now 33, and her live-in boyfriend Milton Walker, also 33, fighting with each other. Ms. Mangum was screaming "I'm going to stab you, (******)!" while punching, scratching and throwing objects at Walker.

With two police offers, three children and her boyfriend in the home, Ms. Mangum then put Walker's clothes and possessions in the bathtub and set fire to them. Police called the fire department, and thankfully no one was injured. The apartment suffered heavy smoke damage but thankfully no one was injured.

When questioned Crystal Gayle Mangum gave officers a false name and age, using the name "Marella Mangum" . When police attempted to take her into custody, she "unlawfully and willfully" resisted arrest, court records show.

Crystal Mangum's three children were removed from their home and Mangum is not allowed any contact with Milton Walker.

Back story


If the name Crystal Mangum sounds familiar it's because she is the woman that cried rape four years ago. Three Duke University lacrosse players almost had their lives ruined forever.

The former stripper/exotic dancer was charged with attempted first degree murder; identity theft; three counts of child abuse; communicating threats; injury to personal property; five counts of arson and resisting arrest. She was arraigned on those charges February 18, 2010.

Ms. Mangum first rose to infamy in 2006 when she accused three white Duke University lacrosse players of trapping her in a bathroom and raping her. The lacrosse players had hired Crystal Mangum and another exotic dancer to perform at a party they were having and she maintained she had been sexually assaulted during that time.

All three Duke University lacrosse players were indicted and the team coach forced to resign. The entire world seemed outraged, and rightfully so, had she not been lying.

District attorney Mike Nifong was as tenacious as a pit bull in his pursuit of "justice" for Ms. Mangum. Unfortunately, he ignored the facts and stood firmly by Ms. Mangum's side during the whole ordeal. NIfong was later forced to resign and disbarred for his actions in this case.

The North Carolina Attorney General eventually found the three young men factually innocent, but not before lives had been destroyed, reputations ruined, and Crystal Mangum's bank account increased. Mike Nifong left his office in disgrace and is disbarred.

Ms. Mangum, a former student at North Carolina Central University, later penned a little book titled "Last Dance for Grace." She was also given a scholarship to finish college by her supporters so she would no longer have to work as an exotic dancer.

She was never charged for lying or defamation of character. She was able to go about her life with her head held high, and when things became a little tight, she wrote a book, hoping to capitalize on her story.

Even though she had filed a false rape claim before...having told police that she had been kidnapped and raped when she was 14, investigators declined to file charges against Crystal Mangum because they felt she actually believed her own stories.

Then she acquired another live-in boyfriend and couldn't get along with him, either. She even accused him of setting the fire—in the presence of the police and her innocent children.

Convicted of child abuse and other misdemeanors


Abstracted from article in

Crystal Gayle Mangum was found guilty of child abuse and damaging property on December 17, 2010.

A 12-member jury found Mangum guilty of child abuse, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer, all misdemeanors. Under state sentencing guidelines, 90 days was the maximum sentence Jones could have ordered, but he decided she'd paid enough for her crimes.

All of the charges she was convicted of are misdemeanors. A mistrial was declared by Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones on the felony arson charge because the jury deadlocked.

So, after putting her children and others in danger, once again Crystal Mangum receives a slight slap on the hand. She was sentenced to time served —- a mere 88 days.

Astoundingly, after being convicted of child abuse Crystal Mangum was also awarded custody of her three children. She lost custody last August.

Crystal Mangum guilty of murder in boyfriend's death



On April 18, 2011 a Durham County grand jury indicted Crystal Mangum on a murder charge in connection with a fatal stabbing two weeks ago.

The 32-year-old Ms. Mangum was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in the April 3 rd stabbing. The victim, Reginald Daye, 46, died in the hospital on April 13 th from his injuries. Following his death the grand jury indicted Ms. Mangum of first-degree murder and two charges of theft.

According to CBS affiliate WRAL, the stabbing occurred in Daye's apartment. Police said he was stabbed in the torso with a kitchen knife during an argument.

At the time of the stabbing a man who said he was Daye's nephew called 911 to report the stabbing, saying it occurred while Daye and his girlfriend were arguing about rent money.

When asked for a description of the girlfriend, the caller said, "It's Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum."

Daye and Ms. Mangum had reportedly been dating for about a month, but his family members said they weren't a couple. They said Daye was only trying to help Ms. Mangum get back on her feet and had provided her a place to stay.

On November 22, 2013, Crystal Magnum finally had to face justice. She was convicted of second-degree murder of Reginald Daye. She now faces 14 to 18 years in prison, which hardly seems long enough.


Charlotte woman shoots boyfriend then herself


August 19, 2011 (AP) — Authorities say they believe a 22-year-old Charlotte woman fatally shot her boyfriend, called 911 to report it, then killed herself.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Edris Dickson called 911 about 5:30 PM Thursday to report she'd shot her boyfriend and hung up the phone. When officers arrived at the apartment, they found her dead and a man shot several times. Police say it appears Ms. Dickson shot herself. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say 23-year-old Darron Davis died later at a hospital.

Neighbors say they heard gunshots that came from inside the apartment.


Greensboro woman shoots her lover and five kids in the head before killing herself


Abstracted from Huffington Post and other news stories

November 20, 2011 — Mary Ann Holder, 36, wanted to see her married former flame one last time as their bitter love triangle threatened to open a new and potentially costly chapter in court.

The meeting ended with Randall Lamb, 40, being shot and Ms. Holder, 36, taking her own life. Later, police found that Ms. Holder had also gunned down four children living in her home, including her two sons, and the older boy's girlfriend.

Investigators were trying to unravel the violent chain of events and understand why Mary Ann Holder took out her rage on children. She left notes taking responsibility for the shootings and apologizing for the pain she was causing, Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said. The notes also indicate Holder was angry about how her relationship with Lamb ended.

Investigators said Ms. Holder and Lamb had been having an affair for almost four years and it was grinding to an acrimonious end.

In February 2011 Lamb's wife, Jennifer, sought a court order to keep Ms. Holder away from her and her husband. Jennifer Lamb stated in the complaint that Ms. Holder would constantly call and text their cell phones and that Mary Ann Holder also sent nude pictures of herself.

Conversely, in June Ms. Holder filed restraining orders against Harold Lamb and his wife saying they stalked and harassed her and that Lamb constantly drove past her house. Such misuse of restraining orders in stalking situations is commonplace.

Authorities said Lamb agreed to meet Ms. Holder at a community college parking lot around 9 AM on Sunday, November 20 th . His wife was about to file an alienation of affection lawsuit against Holder. North Carolina law allows a married person to sue the person with whom his or her spouse had an affair.

After he arrived at the parking lot Mary Ann Holder shot at him multiple times, hitting him once in the shoulder. After he escaped Lamb called his wife, who reported the shooting to 911 dispatchers. He was reported in stable condition.

Ms. Holder then drove off to pick up her 14-year-old son. Phone records indicate that about 45 minutes later, Zachary Smith was sending a text message thanking his hosts for letting him stay over the previous night.

Nearly half an hour later, a sheriff's deputy on the lookout for Ms. Holder's black SUV drove past it and turned around after seeing what he thought was a puff of smoke inside the vehicle. Mary Ann Holder was found dead inside with a gunshot to the head, and Zachary critically wounded was in the SUV's back seat. Zachary later died from his wounds. Deputies recovered two handguns inside the vehicle, one in Holder's lap, the sheriff said.

The officers then went into Ms. Holder's home in the Pleasant Garden community south of Greensboro and found her son, 17-year-old Robert Dylan Smith, dead. Smith's girlfriend, Makayla Woods, 15, and Holder's nephew, Richard Brian Suttles, 17, were also shot inside the home and were in critical condition. Holder's niece, Hannaleigh Suttles. 8, died the next day and her nephew, Brian Suttles, died on Friday, November 25 th .

The victims appeared to have been shot while they slept in a bedroom and the home's living room, said Barnes's chief deputy, Col. Randy Powers.

Mary Ann had taken in her niece and nephew after her sister died of complications of pneumonia after childbirth last February although her own life was in turmoil. The additional children apparently only added to the pressure Mary Ann Holder was under.

It was also clear the affair between Mary Ann Holder and Lamb had become rancorous. Neighbor Teresa Scott said. She and Robert Smith posted no trespassing signs on trees in the front yard this year in response to the rising level of tension between Ms. Holder and Lamb, Scott said.


Professional wrestler Ric Flair assaulted again by wife in their Charlotte condo


June 26, 2012 —Police in Charlotte went to the home of professional wrestler Ric Flair after they received a call for a domestic assault, the second in two years.

Flair, whose legal name is Richard Morgan Fliehr, called police around 9:40 PM Monday night to come to his condo.

The 63-year-old Fliehr told police that he was assaulted by his wife, Jacqueline Baines Beems, at their condo near the South Park Mall. No arrests were made.

This wasn't the first time officers were called to the couple's home.

According to a police report from February 2010, Fliehr told police that he and his wife had come back from dinner and went to Fliehr's home in Charlotte's Stonecroft neighborhood where Ms. Beems assaulted him inside the house following a domestic dispute.

According to the 2010 police report, Fliehr sustained minor injuries, which were caused by "personal weapons" such as hands, feet and teeth, but he refused to be transported to the hospital.

Ms. Beems was charged with assault and battery, in that case. She was also charged in Mecklenburg County in April 2012 for driving while impaired and reckless driving.



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