Judge denies bond request for two suspects in robbery and murder - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Judge denies bond request for two suspects in robbery and murder of Marcus Kauffman

Tramel Devon Hart, 19. Tramel Devon Hart, 19.
Michael Dwayne Teasley Michael Dwayne Teasley

A Rowan County judge denied a bond reduction request from the attorneys for two of the four suspects in the case of the robbery and murder of Rowan County firefighter Marcus Kauffman on Friday.

Kauffman and his wife Maryanne, who is pregnant, were returning home on Dec. 2 from visiting family.

The Kauffman's noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near their home that appeared to be broken-down. Marcus dropped his wife off at a near-by friend's house, and returned to offer assistance.

Kauffman returned to discover that the people at the car appeared to be removing items from his home. Some of those items, including a computer and a hand gun officials say may have been used in the shooting, have since been recovered.

Kauffman called 911 to report the incident, but during the conversation, told the dispatcher that shots were being fired before the call was lost.

In court on Friday the prosecutor said that Kauffman's last words on the call were "they're shooting."

Investigators say suspect Khari McClelland had driven his car directly behind Kauffman's then fired five shots from Kauffman's own .45 handgun that he and suspect Jalend Turner had stolen from the house.

Kauffman was found in his car with a very severe gunshot wound to the back of his head.  The car had crashed into a tree.  Kauffman was taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center but died several weeks after the shooting.

In the following two weeks, four people were arrested in connection to the case.

Deputies say 18-year-old Tramel Devon Hart turned himself in at the Rowan County Magistrate's Office on three days later and was charged with accessory after fact.

Jalend Daquan Turner, 19, was arrested four days after the shooting and charged with attempted murder. Michael Dwayne Teasley, 25, was also arrested. He is charged with accessory after the fact.

Khari Dewayne McClelland, 23, was arrested in the Newton-Conover area a week after the shooting. He is charged with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, and felony larceny of a firearm. According to arrest warrants issued for McClelland, officials believe he stole the laptop computer, a desktop computer, an Xbox gaming system, and a firearm.

After Kauffman died, the charges on McClelland and Turner were upgraded to first degree murder. They received no bond.

The charges against Hart and Teasley were also upgraded to accessory after the fact to first degree murder.  Bond for Hart and Teasley remains at $1,000,000.

Teasley's attorney argued for the bond reduction, saying that his client was a "law abiding citizen," with the exception of charges for marijuana possession, carrying a concealed weapon, failure to appear in court, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Teasley has two young children and had been working for a tire store in Statesville before his arrest.   His lawyer said he was not a danger to the community.

Rick Locklear, the attorney for Tramel Hart, described his client as a "loving, caring individual," who was wanting to attend Mitchell Community College and eventually become a barber.

Locklear said that Hart had no idea that the shooting and robbery had taken place and only became involved when his brother, Khari McClelland, called him and asked him to come and pick him up.

Locklear pointed out that the normal bond guidelines for the charge facing Hart and Teasley is between $15,000 and $125,000.

"At a million dollars, the family simply can't make that bond," Locklear said after court.

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