Few details released after murder

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
KANNAPOLIS — All seemed quiet Monday at a Guinn Avenue home where a teen was stabbed to death two days earlier.
James Damion Mack Jr., 17, of 1215 Guinn Ave., was stabbed Saturday and authorities charged Ebony Justine Smith, 24, with murder.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to what they believed was a suicide. When investigators arrived they discovered evidence not consistent with a suicide. After reviewing the evidence, detectives determined the crime was the result of domestic violence.
According to emergency communication records, calls involving domestic violence and disturbances were made from that address in recent months, but none of the calls came from Mack or Smith.
Authorities have not released more information, but friends and strangers have posted messages to a Facebook tribute page that went up Saturday afternoon. Many of the messages were from people Mack attended school with and others who left messages said they didn’t know Mack.
One poster said they didn’t really know Mack, but remembered him from middle school.
“It’s hard to believe someone we all know and love is gone. RIP James,” the poster continued.
A tweet from a woman on Sunday said, “her little brother’s life was taken last night by violence. He only lived a short time of 16 years, but God has a plan.”
It is not clear if the woman is a relative or friend. She did not respond to a request for comment by a Post reporter.
A message sent to James Mack Sr. was not immediately returned. According to postings on the tribute page, Mack’s mother died in 2005.
Neighbors who did not want to be named said they believed Mack and Smith lived at the home for a few months.
One neighbor recalled an incident about a month ago where she nearly collided with someone in the street in front of the house while they were fighting. The neighbor didn’t know who was fighting, but she said there were several people outside the home and she called law enforcement.
Smith has been previously convicted on drug possession charges from a 2007 incident.
Smith is being held in the Rowan County jail without bond. Her first court appearance is today.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.