CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mark Anthony Cox, the man who killed his co-worker at the Flying Biscuit Cafe in south Charlotte last year, pleaded guilty to first degree murder and murder of an unborn child in a Mecklenburg County court on Thursday morning.
Cox killed 25-year-old Danielle Watson on January 13, 2012 at the Flying Biscuit Cafe off of Rea Road at the StoneCrest Shopping Center.
Cox received two consecutive life sentences for the murder of Watson and her unborn child, who was seven to eight weeks old. The plea deal spares Cox of the death penalty.
According to the search warrant, Cox and Watson got into a heated argument that led Cox to stab her several times. Cox confessed to his sister that he murdered Watson the night of the incident.
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Cox told his sister he stabbed Watson several times during an argument inside the cafe, according to the search warrant. After stabbing Watson, Cox went home to change his bloody clothes then returned to the restaurant to clean the scene and dump Watson's body in a nearby dumpster.
“Cox continued to confess to (his sister) that after Cox killed his manager, he dumped her body in a dumpster," the warrant said.
At court on Thursday, Watson's fiance, Keith Smith, called Cox a coward and said he prays that Cox suffers in prison. Cox's action are not forgivable, Smith added.
"Sad to say but he's not really a human being. I’m sorry that's not polite, but he took our daughter," said Denise Watson, the victim’s mother.
Cox had a troubled past even before the restaurant hired him. He had just gotten out of prison for robbery. Watson was his supervisor, and prosecutors say that the two didn’t get along and that Cox didn’t respect her authority.
Cox did not apologize to the family, nor did he even look at them. The 23-year-old took an Alford Plea, which means he didn’t have to acknowledge guilt.
"That's totally his choice. Every defendant in North Carolina has the right to plead guilty without saying the words 'I did it,'" said prosecutor Jay Ashendorf.
Watson’s mother and fiancé got the last word in court. They called Cox a monster and said they hope he suffers in prison. They also told him about the life he took.
"She was a loving, caring person and going to be a mother and wife and that's just hard as a parent to have your child taken away from you," added Watson's mother.