Kannapolis man charged with killing 10-year-old boy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 9, 2013

KANNAPOLIS — Authorities have charged a Kannapolis man with killing a 10-year-old boy.
William Eugene Mays, 39, is charged with first-degree murder. He is being held in the Cabarrus County jail without bond.
Police say Mays lived at the South Ridge Avenue home where they found the boy dead along with a woman who was hospitalized with severe injuries. Authorities have not described Mays’ relationship to the victims.
Kannapolis police went to the home around 8:45 p.m. Sunday after the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office received a call from someone concerned about the welfare of the people living there.
Officers had to force their way into the home. Inside, the discovered the body of the child and found Christi Melisha Stewart, 32, badly injured.
Authorities have not said how the child died. They characterized the crimes against the boy and Stewart as “homicide” and “assault with a deadly weapon.”
Police had not released the boy’s name or his relationship to Stewart late Monday. Stewart was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord but was not listed in the hospital registry.
Investigators found Mays at a home in Gaston County around 2 a.m. Monday. He was arrested on outstanding warrants for unrelated charges, then charged with murder later in the day. More charges are pending, police say.
The home where the crime happened sits near a railroad crossing between two vacant industrial buildings in southern Kannapolis. A trampoline in the backyard is evidence a child lived there.
Employees with Family Video, just across the street on Kannapolis Highway, said Stewart and Mays had been in to rent movies two or three times a week, sometimes with children.
Meghan Rizzo, who lives down the street, said she didn’t know Mays or Stewart personally, but believed they had lived at the rental home for about a year.
The house sits less than half a mile from Winecoff Elementary School. Officials with Cabarrus County Schools didn’t return a telephone call Monday.
According to Stewart’s Facebook page, she works at Easter Seals. A person who answered the phone at the organization’s Salisbury location said no one there would comment.
Phone calls to relatives Monday afternoon were not immediately returned.
The Kannapolis Police Department’s criminal investigations unit is continuing its investigation. Officers remained at the home Monday with crime scene tape stretched around the perimeter of the property.
Investigators ask anyone with information to call the Kannapolis Police Department at 704-920-4000 or Crime Stoppers at 704-932-7463. The public can also post or direct message the Kannapolis Police via its social media sites @kannapolis911 on Twitter or Kannapolis911 on Facebook.
Mays has no criminal record on file with the N.C. Division of Correction. But the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office arrested him in 2010 on a charge of being a fugitive from justice.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts