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D.A. won't seek death penalty against Drye, Lowder

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
Rowan District Attorney Bill Kenerly said Wednesday he will not seek the death penalty against two defendants in unrelated murder cases.
In Superior Court, Kenerly said he will not seek the death penalty against:
– Candice Jo Drye, 23, one of three people accused of murdering Salisbury dentist Dr. James David Boyd, who was found strangled to death in his home June 26.
– Chandaliea Lowder, 29, who is currently serving prison time after pleading guilty to the attempted murder of Salisbury resident Thomas Vogt Jr. in 2005.
Kenerly told visiting Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand, of Forsyth County, he chose not to pursue the death penalty even though he felt there were enough aggravating factors to seek the death penalty in both cases.
He did not elaborate on those aggravating circumstances, and after the hearing he would not comment on why he decided not to seek the death penalty against the defendants.
Dentist’s murder
Drye, wearing a khaki-colored Rowan Detention Center jumpsuit and accompanied by her attorney, Doug Smith of Salisbury, also pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree burglary and felony larceny.
She appeared for a Rule-24 hearing to determine whether the district attorney would seek the death penalty.
Her co-defendants, Christopher Boyd, 21, and Jonathan Barnett, 18, did not appear in court because their attorneys are on vacation this week.
In July, a grand jury indicted the three, charging them additionally with burglary, larceny and robbery.
Detectives immediately developed Drye as a suspect and arrested her late on the day of the killing. The day after Drye’s arrest, police said Barnett turned himself in. Christopher Boyd was discovered at a Concord home and arrested three days after police say the trio went into the dentist’s home in the Country Club section of Salisbury.
After the murder, the State Bureau of Investigation said it had been investigating allegations that Dr. Boyd traded women prescription drugs for sexual favors.
Paralyzed victim
In the second case, Vogt was shot in the neck and left for dead in woods near Enochville in September 2005.
A resident in the area apparently saw people leaving the wooded area. He followed them for a distance.
Vogt was shot multiple times. The incident stemmed from an allegation that Vogt inappropriately touched one of Lowder’s children. Vogt survived the shooting but was paralyzed.
In 2007, Lowder pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, and her co-defendants, Michael Joseph McDowell, 33, and Jason Ray Sullivan, 20, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury.
The three had served about a year in prison when Vogt died in May. Shortly after Vogt’s death, his father, Thomas Vogt, said his son, although paralyzed, was able to talk but lived in constant pain.
The younger Vogt died from infections as a result of injuries related to the shooting, his father said.
His death prompted Kenerly to file new charges in the case.
McDowell was arraigned Monday. Neither he nor Sullivan had appeared for any similar hearings.

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