Prosecutors will seek death penalty in killing of restaurant manager

Prosecutors will seek death penalty in killing of restaurant manager

Prosecutors will seek death penalty in killing of restaurant manager

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by CLEVE WOOTSON & ERIC FRAZIER / The Charlotte Observer

WCNC.com

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 11:02 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mecklenburg prosecutors announced in court Thursday morning that they are seeking the death penalty against the man accused of slaying Ballantyne restaurant manager Danielle Watson in January.

Watson, a 25-year-old manager at the Flying Biscuit Cafe, was killed Jan. 13 at the restaurant off Rea Road in the StoneCrest shopping center. She was two months pregnant.
 
Mark Anthony Cox, a former co-worker, has been indicted in her murder and the death of her unborn baby. Cox was in court for the death-penalty announcement, as were friends and relatives of Watson, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg homicide investigators.
 
Cox, a 22-year-old convicted felon, has been indicted on charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, robbery with a dangerous weapon and felonious larceny.
 
Cox was released from prison in November after serving time on robbery and breaking and entering charges, according to N.C. Department of Correction records.
 
The police department's 911 system came under fire after Watson's body was found behind a Dumpster about six hours after her boyfriend, Keith Smith, called police saying he thought a robbery was happening at the Flying Biscuit Cafe.
 
When Smith called 911, the call-taker typed in the wrong address. The call-taker was placed on administrative leave. The responding officer searched a business park near the erroneous address but not the Flying Biscuit, located about four miles away.
 
The department changed its policy to require 911 call-takers to confirm addresses.
 
After Watson's slaying, the Flying Biscuit Cafe also came under criticism for hiring Cox.
 
Cox told his sister he had killed the café manager, then left his bloody clothes and a butcher knife in his apartment before fleeing, according to a search warrant.
 
Cox told his sister he stabbed Watson multiple times during an argument inside the café, the warrant says.
 
Cox was arrested at a friend's house in the Fayetteville area.

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