Police who went to two Cary apartments last month found the mother of Brandon James Lee in a bathtub with ice and his girlfriend on the floor of her apartment after the Cary man told a 911 operator he had choked both of them to death, search warrants revealed Wednesday.
The warrants gave detectives permission to search the apartment where Christa Lassiter Lee, 58, lived with her son and the apartment where Krystal Juell Hylton lived, the papers said. Brandon Lee called 911 from Hylton’s apartment to confess to killing both women, the papers said. They spell out that the 911 caller was identified as Brandon Lee.
The search warrants, with lists of evidence police collected, were issued Dec. 20, the day Lee was arrested, and were returned to a court clerk Wednesday.
Brandon Lee, 34, is charged with murder in each death. He is being held without bail in the Wake County Detention Center.
Officers who went to Christa Lee’s residence at 24203 Havers Drive, in the Legacy Crossroads complex, got a key from a manager to open the apartment door, Detective L.R. Hamlin told a magistrate. Brandon Lee told the operator that she was in the bathtub, and the officers broke open the bathroom door and found Christa Lee.
They “located Christa Lassiter Lee in the ... tub deceased. Officers reported Lee was fully clothed (and) lying on her side with fresh ice on and about her body.”
Brandon Lee admitted he killed the women when questioned after his arrest. He said his mother was trying to kill herself and him with a knife when he choked her and put her in the tub on the previous Sunday or Monday, according to the call to the town’s 911 center.
Police who went into Hylton’s apartment at 1115 Parktop Drive, where the door was open, arrested Brandon Lee and found her body, the search warrant said.
Outside Hylton’s building were her car and Christa Lee’s 2014 Volkswagen Passat, which Brandon Lee said he had been driving for about seven days since his mother’s death, the warrant says.
The Passat had the New Jersey license plates Christa Lee got for it before moving to Cary. Hylton’s 2015 Volkswagen had a temporary North Carolina tag, the warrant said. It allowed police to search both cars for evidence.
From Hylton’s cars and her apartment in the Lofts at Weston Lakeside Apartments, Hamlin wrote that police had taken a knife, bedding, a scarf, an iPad mini, a phone and clothing as well as other items.
The caller to 911 said Hylton had been “seeing someone else and lying to me, and I ended up choking her, too.”
The search warrant does not say if police believe the scarf they took from Hylton’s apartment was involved in her death.
From the Havers Drive apartment, the search warrant said, police took Apple and Compaq computers, documents from the Wake County Detention Center and from court, a New Jersey driver’s license and carpet cleaner and a sponge.
In asking for the search warrant, Hamlin did not say if officers found any wounds on Christa Lee’s body or any blood in the apartment.
The 911 call says that Christa Lee “came at me with a knife, and I ended up choking her. My mother wanted to kill herself. I couldn’t let her kill herself because that is an unforgivable sin, and she was trying to kill me at the same time.”
Court records show that Brandon Lee is scheduled for a court appearance Monday, Jan. 11, on the murder charges. He also has appearances scheduled on Jan. 15 for a charge of injuring personal property that Cary police made on Nov. 22; and March 8 on charges of trespassing and communicating threats on which Morrisville police arrested him on Dec. 14.