On a hot and humid Sunday afternoon in August, 17 year old Danielle Holmes and her boyfriend Jonathan Fitzgerald climbed into the passenger seats of late model green Honda belonging to 22 year old Oscar Alvarado Chavez.
They had come to the East Charlotte apartment complex parking lot in hopes of trading a stolen cell phone for Black Tar Heroin. If Chavez wouldn't trade the drugs for the phone they planned on stealing his drugs.
Chavez was a small time retailer of Black Tar Heroin, what authorities have often referred to as a Domino's Pizza Franchise of drug dealing.
Minutes later, as bystanders watched in horror as Holmes seated in the passenger seat of the Honda reached over and held Chavez's head back covering his mouth, as Fitzgerald stabbed Chavez repeatedly. Chavez bleed out in a matter of minutes and was declared dead at the scene by Mecklenburg County EMS.
Holmes and Fitzgerald fled and within hours they both were arrested and charged with murder.
Holmes is scheduled in court on March 10, 2011 in Mecklenburg County and remains out on bond. Fitzgerald's trial date has not been set and he remains behind bars.
Valerie Hamilton was a party girl, well liked by all, she lead by many accounts a double life. Away from her police chief father and close friends she turned to hard core drugs.
On the night of September 15, 2010 she met up with Micheal Harvey and later would accompany him to a home that Harvey shared with six other people.
The home where Valerie Hamilton spent the last hours of her life.
401 East 15th Street is known by neighbors as the dark house at the end of the street. The house is unusual in many regards including the number of people who came and went each night during the summer of 2010.
Oddly it lacked the party house atmosphere of loud music and drinking till all hours you would normally expect when young people had friends over, according to police house was nearly always dark.
Of course the reason for the dark house is that it was a shooting gallery, a safe place to inject heroin away from life, reality and the rest of the world. 401 East 15th Street is known as a "house" a drive up location to buy and use drugs and again one of the small dealers operating another Domino's pizza style drug franchise.
Among the residents at the 3 bedroom 2 bath house on September 15 were roommates, Micheal Harvey, Douglas David Fields, Douglas Charles Fields, Keri Johnson, Mary Bourne, Anthony Fields and Michelle Fields, all well known to Charlotte Mecklenburg Police.
Sometime during the night of September 15 Hamilton became unresponsive and Douglas "Charles" Fields helped Micheal Harvey carry Hamilton to Harvey's old Ford F150 pickup truck, with the understanding that Harvey would take Hamilton to the hospital. Instead she ended up in a storage garage, dead of an apparent drug overdose.
Since the night that Valerie Hamilton overdosed, Micheal Harvey has been arrested and charged with her murder his is scheduled to make a court appearance on 1/20/2011 on charges unrelated to Valerie Hamilton's murder. The next date on the Hamilton murder case is on February 10, 2011.
Douglas Charles Fields was arrested on September 19, 2010 charged with Felony Aiding and Abetting presumably with regards to helping Harvey move Valerie Hamilton's near lifeless body into his Ford 150 pick-up truck.
Since his September 19th arrest Fields has been arrested 3 times for multiple charges including possession of cocaine, resisting arrest and driving without a operators license.
Keri Johnson was arrested on September 24 charged with possession of heroin, she has been arrested five times since then, most recently on January 4, 2011 when her bond was terminated, she is currently being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail awaiting trial on a number of charges.
401 East 15th Street and a drug deal gone bad in East Charlotte, represent the underbelly of Charlotte, a dirty secret that the city better known for Bank of America, The Carolina Panthers and glass office towers doesn't want you to see.
But Black Tar Heroin is here, the drug is cheap and dirty. $8.00 is all it took to kill Valerie Hamilton and the value of Oscar Alvarado Chavez's life, less than 100 dollars.
Part Two Marvis Junina the Mexican Connection Tomorrow.