• 59°

Search warrant: Joshua Clark shot grandmother Melanie Clark in the head

SALISBURY — Joshua Dimitri Clark, the 25-year-old man charged with killing his grandmother, has confessed to Rowan County Sheriff’s Office detectives that he shot her in the head using a “rented” 9mm handgun he got from a friend, according to search warrants.

Clark was arrested less than 24 hours after emergency personnel responded to 345 Dulin Ave., the home of Melanie Anita Clark, whose death was initially called in as a cardiac arrest. Sheriff’s detectives responded to assist medical personnel on March 26 at the home, located off Mount Hope Church Road in southeastern Rowan County.

Clark is charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The last time anyone saw Melanie Clark alive was the Saturday before he body was discovered. Family members became concerned when she did not show up for church on Sunday. They entered her home through an unlocked back door and discovered her body, which was seated on a couch with an apparent gunshot wound, the warrant said.

There were no signs of forced entry into the home and no sign of a struggle or physical assault, the warrant said.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Creaig Wilson Helms Jr. and Cory Wayne Harrington were spotted using a debit card belonging to Melanie Clark at an ATM. Helms was arrested April 4; Harrington was arrested a day later after a foot chase with law officers. Both are charged with felony identity theft.

A search warrant issued April 4 and obtained by the Post says that Joshua Clark interviewed with Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chad Moose and Detective Carl Dangerfield. He told them he fired the gun four times.

The warrant doesn’t specify how many shots hit Melanie Clark. Her grandson told detectives he got the gun from a friend, who has not been charged in the matter.

The warrant said that after he shot his grandmother, Clark stole her purse. He drove Harrington and Helms to several ATMs to use his grandmother’s bank card to withdraw money. Clark handed over a digital media storage card from his cellphone, the warrant says.

Investigators searched the home where Clark and a number of other people were staying at 225 Happy Lake Road. Detectives found Harrington and Helms at the Rockwell home.

Harrington was wearing the same clothes shown on surveillance video at Wells Fargo bank, the warrant says. Bank video shows a man of the same build using Melanie Clark’s bank card at ATMs in the China Grove area. The video also showed the slim man trying to hide his face from the ATM camera.

During a search of the Rockwell home, detectives seized a 9mm handgun and 9mm ammunition.

The warrant said Joshua Clark initially denied any involvement in his grandmother’s death.

Several people lived at the home on Happy Lake Road and it appeared to be “a place were drugs were commonly used,” the warrant said.

In a warrant issued March 27, a day after Melanie Clark’s body was discovered, authorities seized a number of items from the Happy Lake Road home, including a bag that had a jacket, ball cap and bandana belonging to Harrington.

There were a number of guns at the home, including a Cz-USA made in the Czech Republic and a Federal 9mm, as well as ammunition and a Remington Golden Saber, the warrant says.

A separate search warrant issued April 2 requests the seizure of cellphones that belonged to Joshua Clark and Melanie Clark as well as the cellphone media storage device from his phone.

Detective Moose also requested a search warrant to obtain two cheek swabs from Joshua Clark to have his DNA tested. That warrant was issued April 2.

In a search warrant issued April 5, detectives requested Facebook records of a number of people who communicated regularly with Clark online, including Helms and Harrington.

The warrant said detectives are looking for subscriber information, email addresses, and time and date stamps as well information in their most recent logins.

Clark remains in the Rowan County jail without bond.

Harrington remains in the Rowan County jail under a $60,000 secured bond.

Helms has since been released from the jail.

Clark is expected in court April 18 for a probable cause hearing.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

Crime

Man faces charges in juvenile’s shooting on West Bank Street

Education

RSS gets clean audit, firm says no misappropriations of school funds

News

Rowan County recalibrates plans for Woodleaf Community Park after missing out on grant funding

News

NC NAACP elects first woman as president; Salisbury’s Black finishes third

Coronavirus

FDA OKs Pfizer vaccine for young kids

News

State news roundup: Davidson County parents charged in abuse of 6-week-old

Coronavirus

COVID spread down substantially in North Carolina, state data shows

Sports

ACC eyes new headquarters options outside Greensboro

Local

Rabid raccoon break-in forces Dan Nicholas Park staff to euthanize three animals

Business

Real estate agent takes advantage of hot High Rock Lake market, earns award for $10 million in transactions

High School

High school girls golf: Mustangs finish 4th in 3A state tournament

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office will hold fundraisers, grow beards to help Marsh family

Crime

Blotter: Four charged with contributing to neglect of minor

Business

Umami Downtown aims to bring bold flavors to Main Street

Education

RSS Board of Education discusses latest draft of school justice partnership

China Grove

Touting experience, Don Bringle looks to retain seat on China Grove Town Council

Crime

Jury selection begins in trial of man charged with killing father

High School

High school football: Freeman a surprise weapon for Hornets

News

North Carolina’s $25 reward helped boost COVID vaccinations

Education

RSS makes masks optional, plans to revisit decision in November

Elections

Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly GOP host U.S. Senate forum in Gold Hill for registered Republicans only

Crime

Juvenile shot Saturday expected to make full recovery

Crime

Blotter: Homeless man jailed after throwing rocks through woman’s front door

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan County elections supervisor speaks out after debate to replace him