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Vigil will honor victims of domestic violence

The Family Crisis Council of Rowan County will hold a candlelight vigil Oct. 14 on the steps of the Rowan County Courthouse, 232 N. Main St.
The vigil will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is to memorialize those who lost their lives due to domestic violence and honor those who’ve been affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
There have been three domestic violence related deaths in Rowan County this year, two of which involved former boyfriends.
In May, Tasha West, 28, was stabbed to death. Police say her ex-boyfriend, Tony Lamont Luther, confessed to killing the mother of three. Luther remains in the Rowan County Detention Center charged with murder. Before turning himself in at the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office, Luther used blood to paint a heart on an outside wall.
In June, authorities said Wayne Eugene Hill told investigators he choked his ex-girlfriend, Roxanne Fowler Maddry, to death in a fit of anger. The 48-year-old Maddry was found inside Hill’s China Grove home. Court documents said Hill left a note apologizing for the “pain caused.”
Hill remains in the Rowan County jail without bond, charged with first-degree murder.
In July, Shirley Goodnight Pierce, 62, was found in her Kannapolis home by her fiance. She had been stabbed and beaten to death, search warrants said.
Marlene Postell Johnson was charged with the murder of Pierce. Investigators say they found mail belonging to Shirley Pierce inside Johnson’s car as well as surveillance photos and aerial photos of the victim’s home.
Court records said Johnson believed Pierce was having an affair with her estranged husband, Ervin Johnson. Investigators have said there was no evidence Pierce had an affair with Johnson’s husband, who is the chief financial officer at Tuscarora Yarns, where Pierce also worked.
Johnson remains in the county jail without bond and is charged with first-degree murder. She was later charged with first-degree burglary, for which she received an additional $500,000 secured bond.
In North Carolina, from October 2012 through September 2013, there were 42 murders directly related to domestic and family violence
The Family Crisis Council of Rowan County is a nonprofit agency that specializes in helping people affected by rape, incest, sexual assault and domestic violence. The agency is a United Way member agency that operates the only domestic violence shelter in the county. The organization offers free services including a 24-hour crisis hotline, support groups and court advocacy.
For more information about the Family Crisis Council call 704-636-4718.

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