Woman charged with using car to kill victim
By Kathy Chaffin
A Salisbury woman was charged with murder early Monday morning after authorities say she struck and ran over a woman with her car.
Davina Mocha Miller, 22, of 121 W. 11th St., is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond pending a first-appearance hearing in Rowan County District Court on Wednesday, according to arrest reports. The victim has been identified as Sharmay Denise Perry.
Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said the two women had been arguing prior to the incident. Apparently, he said, one of the women had given the other a ride to the East Lafayette residence in front of which Perry was killed.
On the way, however, one got out of the car, and they both ended up at the residence arguing, he said.
Wilhelm said he understood that Perry was killed instantly. He said he could not release more details until he saw the full arrest report this morning.
Calvin Anthony Brotherton, of 625 E. Lafayette St., said he lives beside the mobile home where the victim resided and witnessed what happened.
Brotherton, 23, said he was sleeping between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Monday when the sound of arguing and someone beating on the mobile home next door awakened him.
He said he went to the back window but couldn’t see anything. So he went to his front window and observed the woman who lived in the mobile home beating on the outside. He said he could hear her arguing with some other women.
“The next thing I knew, I saw the car backing out,” Brotherton said.
What happened next was “something like you would see in a movie,” he said. “I opened my front door, and it was like ‘This is unbelievable.’ ”
Brotherton said the woman who lived in the mobile home and had been beating on the outside ran in front of the car, which he described as a late-model sedan.
“That’s when the driver stomped on the gas and hit her,” he said. “She fell on the ground, and they proceeded to run her over, and she got caught up under the car.”
The driver of the car appeared to try to put the car in reverse, he said, but it wouldn’t move. At that point, Brotherton said, the driver and two female passengers got out of the car screaming and started trying to check the woman’s pulse.
“The lady in the front passenger seat said she was breathing,” he said. Brotherton turned his front porch light on to see if he could tell if she was breathing but couldn’t see anything.
“They were trying to pull her out up from under the car,” he said.
Brotherton said he ran back inside to grab his cell phone and carried it outside, where the woman who was driving the car grabbed it.
“She took my cell phone and went somewhere,” he said. “I don’t know where she was for at least 20 to 30 minutes, and the cops finally saw her and I got my phone back.”
Once police returned his phone, Brotherton said he checked to see if the woman had called 911, but the number did not come up on his list of outgoing calls.
Police and rescue personnel arrived on the scene within minutes, he said, at which time “a lady cop told me (the victim) was already gone.”
Brotherton said he had to wait outside for several hours while rescue personnel worked to remove the woman’s body from under the car. “Because it happened in front of my house, I wasn’t allowed to go back in,” he said.
It was almost 7 a.m. when he could get inside, and by then, he had to get ready to go to work at the N.C. State Veterans Home by 8.
Brotherton said he had never spoken to the woman who was killed but had seen her going in and out of the mobile home. He said he hasn’t talked to anyone in the other four mobile homes around him in the 7 1/2 months he’s lived there because police had been called so often.
“I would just come home, go about my business and go in my house,” he said. “I don’t even like to bring my niece and nephews over here because there’s always some kind of trouble.”
After witnessing the woman’s death, Brotherton said, he had talked to his landlord about the situation. “It’s time for me to move,” he said.
A spokesman for Rowan Regional Medical Center said he was unable to contact the medical examiner late Monday night to see if Perry’s body had been brought to the hospital.