CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have arrested the teenage brother and sister of a deaf Conover man’s girlfriend, along with a third teen, for his murder in northwest Charlotte Friday night.
Michael Shull, 21, was found dead in the front yard of a house on Crestdale Drive late Friday, after he had gone to pick up his girlfriend there for shopping.
Shull’s family said Shull agreed to give his girlfriend’s brother a ride somewhere, and that brother, his sister, and the brother’s girlfriend attacked and robbed Shull and stabbed him to death.
Davonta Turner, 18, Ashley Owens, 19, and Aveance Bryant, 18, are charged with murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit robbery. They are in Mecklenburg County Jail with no bond.
NBC Charlotte is not naming Shull’s girlfriend because she has not been charged with a crime. Shull’s family identified the suspects as his girlfriend’s family and friend Sunday.
But Shull’s family also made it clear that they wanted to focus on what Shull accomplished in his short life – and the obstacles he overcame to become a responsible adult.
“You never saw him without a smile on his face,” said brother Nicholas Capito, who is nearly 11 years older than Michael. “Everything he did just made you feel so much better, that he was going to make it through life.”
Shull was born deaf, and struggled early in his life to walk and communicate. But his big brother and sister said he adapted, and so did his family and friends.
“He was everybody's favorite in this family,” said Samana Delashmit, who is nine years older. She and Capito talked about Shull accompanying Capito to high school band practice as a toddler, listening to the beat of the music, and becoming the band’s unofficial “mascot.”
Capito said Shull graduated from the North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton in 2011, got a job working on cars – something he had a gift for-- and was paying his bills, including a new car, insurance, and a cell phone.
“My parents always worried about what he was going to do with his life, how he was going to take care of himself,” said Capito, “but he was doing it.”
He also had a girlfriend – a former classmate at the School for the Deaf. Capito and Delashmit said Shull dated the girl on and off for three years, the last year steadily. They said it was not a good match.
“There was something about her nobody liked,” said Delashmit. “We knew she'd break his heart, but we didn't know it would end like this.”
Delashmit and Capito said Shull would often buy groceries for his girlfriend’s family and help them pay bills. He paid for his girlfriend’s school clothes, cell phone, and senior class trip. He was generous to anyone who needed help.
That’s why they can’t understand why anyone who knew him, would try to rob him.
“It just causes rage knowing that someone would do something to him, knowing he would have helped them if they'd asked,” said Capito.
They have no words for the suspects, but believe justice will prevail.
“I have faith in the justice system,” said Delashmit. “They'll get theirs here, and they’ll get theirs when they finally meet their maker.”
But most of all, they want people to remember the generous heart and happy spirit of their little brother.
“He was a really good boy,” said Capito. “You couldn't ask for anyone better to be a little brother and have somebody look up to you like he did.”