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Suspect in Lake Wylie kilings fights extradition

One of two North Carolinians charged last week with killing a Lake Wylie couple at their home in October could remain in a Charlotte jail for weeks if he continues to fight extradition to South Carolina.

And arrest warrants against the second suspect allege the 19-year-old woman took part in the brutal shootings. The deaths of Debbie and Doug London went unsolved for months before investigators used statements by people involved in the case – and other evidence police have declined to disclose –to charge both suspects.

However, court records show Malcolm Jarrell Hartley, 21, was required to give a DNA sample to police in 2013 when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery in connection with the 2012 robbery of a Domino’s Pizza branch in Charlotte.

Hartley is being held without bond, but police and prosecutors in York County have to go through an extradition process before he can be brought to York County, said Willy Thompson, 16th Circuit Deputy Solicitor. South Carolina police cannot bring Hartley into the state unless he waives extradition or a judge orders his transfer, Thompson said.

If he continues to fight extradition, Hartley would be appointed a lawyer in Charlotte for court hearings. No timetable has been made public for how long that might take, and extradition fights are rarely successful. Hartley is scheduled for a Feb. 12 extradition hearing on the fugitive warrant against him, said Meghan Cooke, spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.

Hartley, of Charlotte, and Briana Johnson, 19, of Concord, were charged last week in connection with the Oct. 23 shooting deaths of the Londons at their Tioga Road home in an upscale neighborhood on Lake Wylie. The Londons were victims of a robbery in May at their south Charlotte mattress store. During the robbery, Doug London shot one of the suspected robbers, Jamell Cureton. Cureton, 22, and his brother, Nana Adoma, 19, both of Charlotte, are in jail facing federal robbery charges.

A third man facing federal charges in connection with the robbery admitted having ties to the Bloods gang, court documents show. Federal agents allege David Lee Fudge, 21, is a high-ranking member of that gang. He pleaded guilty last year to state charges of being an accessory in the robbery and was freed on probation. But last week, federal prosecutors indicted Fudge, and he is again jailed without bond.

Police and prosecutors say the the killings of the Londons and the robbery of their mattress store are connected. They also say that the shootings of the Londons stem from another crime, but they have declined to name that crime. FBI agents admit that after the Londons were killed, federal officers started investigating both the robbery and the murder, along with York County deputies and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives.

Police and prosecutors have declined to say what evidence links Hartley to the London’s killings, but police do have a DNA sample from his previous conviction. Hartley was sentenced to three years in prison for that robbery, but that sentence was suspended on 30 months of probation, court records show.

Hartley was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in November, and it remains unclear why his probation from the 2013 guilty plea was not revoked when he was re-arrested in Charlotte on that drug charge.

Arrest warrants alleging Hartley’s role in the killings have not been served because he is in jail in Charlotte.

In arrest warrants obtained by The Herald Monday, police say Johnson with, “malice aforethought,” played a role in the killings of the Londons. York County deputies recovered evidence in the three months since the shootings, but have declined to say what links Johnson to the crimes.

Johnson was brought to the York County jail Thursday and remains there without bond. She applied for a court-appointed lawyer and was approved. Sixteenth Circuit Chief Public Defender Harry Dest said his office has been told of the case, but he declined to comment further.

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