Search Warrants: Salisbury men sought out, planned robbery, shooting of murdered Virginia man
By Shavonne Walker
RICHMOND, VA. — Search warrants reveal four Salisbury men involved in a Virginia murder sought out the victim and planned to rob and shoot him.
The warrants were issued Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 and were filed late last week. Rowan County Sheriff’s Detective Chad Moose and Chesterfield County Police Detective C.W. Neville both provided details for the warrants. Three of the four remain in the Rowan County jail facing felony fugitive offenses locally and murder by Virginia authorities.
The detectives were able to piece together what occurred based in part through surveillance video, searches of cell phones, and independent statements from friends, acquaintances and tipsters from North Carolina and Virginia Crime Stoppers.
Darrius Artez Ellis, 21, of Salisbury; Daeshun Raquon Hargrave, 17, of Spencer; Jamaria Shared Crawford, 17, of Salisbury; and Najee Tariq Palmer, 18, of East Spencer have all been charged in the matter.
The warrants were for a DNA cheek swab of Darrius Ellis and a search of his Hickory Place residence. Ellis is named in the documents as the person who made inquiries about the victim in an effort to locate him.
The warrants were also for DNA cheek swabs of Jamaria Crawford, Daeshun Hargrave and a search of his Spencer home. A warrant was also filed for Najee Palmer for a DNA cheek swab and a search of his home on Hawkins Loop.
One of Ellis’ friends told detectives Ellis said all four “had to go do an R-N-B before returning to North Carolina.”
Throughout the night, Ellis told the friend he was only going to be in town for the night. He bragged to one girl he was “going hard North Carolina,” which the girl said that term meant to rob and shoot.
The Chesterfield County Police Department received a call on Nov. 1 for a person who was yelling for help at 2918 Galena Avenue. When officers arrived, they found Dallas Hogwood standing outside next to his friend Jon-Eric Schwarz, the victim.
Schwarz was sitting on the ground propped against a riding lawn mower. He had a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was taken to a Virginia hospital where medical officials determined the bullet was lodged in his leg. Doctors performed surgery, but he died as a result of the gunshot wound.
Schwarz was living in a shed behind the home of Dallas Hogwood and his mother Tracy Lewis, who also lived at the residence.
Hogwood told investigators he heard what he believed to be a vehicle making an erratic turn in the street in front of his home around 5:30 a.m. He looked out of the window and saw a mid-sized four-door sedan turning around and then it sped off.
Hogwood went outside and found Schwarz lying on the ground next to the lawn mower.
Virginia detectives interviewed Tracy Lewis and neighbors who said they heard a loud bang coming from near the shed and saw several people run down the driveway, hop into a vehicle and speed away.
The victim’s brother, Sean Schwarz, told investigators the only person he knew that had issues with Jon-Eric was Darrius Ellis, known as “Freshy.”
Sean Schwarz said his brother and Ellis sold marijuana together, but that partnership ended for reasons unknown to him. Jon-Eric once told his brother that Ellis owed him money.
Detectives say Ellis began making contact with friends, some of whom were also friends with Jon-Eric Schwarz, in Virginia in October asking about buying marijuana.
Ellis arrived with three friends who introduced themselves as “Ghost,” “G,” and “Chop” on the morning of Nov. 1. Three teenage girls told investigators Ellis was driving the same vehicle he’d been known to drive when he lived in Chesterfield.
The warrant identified Daeshun Hargrave as Ghost. He was also said to have had a handgun the night of the murder. The warrant said Shamaria Crawford was identified as Chop.
According to the search warrant, Ellis moved from Virginia back to Salisbury earlier in the year.
The girls said Ellis told them Jon-Eric Schwarz had the specific amount of marijuana he wanted to purchase. Ellis told one of the girls, who said she knew where Schwarz lived, to get Schwarz into the streets.
The girl said she believed Ellis wanted to fight Schwarz.
All four of the men went to the shed where Schwarz was staying, the warrant said.
Schwarz was upset that the girls showed the group where he lived.
The detectives also received a call from two people who knew Ellis, one a former girlfriend, both of whom said on Oct. 31 they met with Ellis and “three of his friends from North Carolina” at a Chesterfield motel.
Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the motel and 7-Eleven, which corroborated what the two people said.
After surveillance video footage was distributed to local and Virginia media, a school resource officer positively identified Najee Palmer and Shamaria Crawford.
Multiple Crime Stoppers tips mentioned the males in the surveillance video footage were often seen at the South Iredell Avenue home in Spencer where Daeshun Hargrave lived.
Rowan detective Chad Moose has said Ellis contacted Rowan authorities after he saw himself on television and made inquiries. Moose said Ellis was not cooperative with authorities.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.