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Man shot in 2005 dies; three charged with murder

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
Three people who pleaded guilty in 2007 to trying to kill a Salisbury teen are charged with murder following his death in early May.
In March 2007, Chandaliea Lowder, 29, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and 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 were originally charged in September 2005 with the attempted murder of 18-year-old Thomas Vogt Jr.
Vogt was shot in the neck, covered with leaves and left for dead in a wooded area off Russell Farm Road in Enochville. A man spotted people leaving the wooded area and followed them. Vogt was found shortly thereafter.
During the 2007 plea hearing, Lowder said Vogt was shot because she thought he sexually assaulted her daughter.
Lowder received 12 years and nine months in prison; McDowell was sentenced to 10 years and nine months; and Sullivan received five years and seven months. They’ve served slightly more than one year.
Vogt’s father, Thomas, said he hopes all the defendants get the death penalty.
“They might not have killed him at the time, but they took his life,” Vogt said. “For three years, he suffered.”
The younger Vogt was paralyzed after the attack, but able to talk. His father said he was depressed and had permanent health problems.
“He didn’t want to do nothing,” Vogt said.
“He had breathing problems. He had a (tracheotomy) tube,” he said.
Vogt said his son was in constant pain, and that no pain reliever “was ever strong enough.”
He remembered his son as “an active kid.” It was hard for the family to see him after the attack. Family members, Vogt said, don’t speak much about the incident because it’s still too painful.
Thomas Vogt Jr. eventually died from a respiratory and blood infection.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford said Vogt died May 7 in Phoenix, Ariz. He said the infections came as a result of injuries related to the shooting.
An Arizona physician, Dr. Diane Carluck, conducted an autopsy and conferred with Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly on May 12, Sifford said.
Kenerly submitted additional charges to the Rowan County Grand Jury, which found cause to indict Lowder, McDowell and Sullivan in late May on charges of first-degree murder.
Vogt said if Lowder, McDowell and Sullivan were released while awaiting trial, he would fall apart.
“I will lose my mind,” he said.
Kenerly said all three will remain in prison while they await trial on the murder charges.
The process will begin all over again, Kenerly said.
“The guilty pleas to assault won’t be held against them,” Kenerly said.
The suspects can’t be convicted of the same charges, but instead they’ll face the new charge, be appointed new attorneys and await trial.
Kenerly called the situation unusual, but said it has happened before.
He recalled a 1960s case in which a man was shot in the neck but survived. Court documents said the suspect was indicted in Union County and convicted of felonious assault. The victim later died and the suspect was convicted of manslaughter.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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