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Charlotte cafe homicide, robbery suspect nabbed in Fayetteville

Posted January 16, 2012
Updated January 17, 2012

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— A man accused of killing a pregnant Charlotte restaurant manager, discarding her body behind a dumpster and then stealing her car was arrested in Fayetteville Monday, authorities said.

Fayetteville police assisted a criminal apprehension team from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department in tracking the suspect, 22-year-old Mark Anthony Cox, to a home at 770 Hedgelawn Way, where he was taken into custody around 1 p.m.

The victim's car was found at a nearby apartment complex.

Cox faces first-degree murder charges and two counts of armed robbery. He was transferred to Charlotte Monday night following the arrest.

The manhunt for Cox began Saturday morning after the body of Danielle Marie Watson, 25, was found by a waste service company employee who was emptying a dumpster near the Flying Biscuit Cafe, at 7930 Rea Road in Charlotte. Officers were on the scene investigating reports that the cafe had been robbed when the body was found.

Danielle Marie Watson Man charged in pregnant Charlotte cafe manager's death

Cox and Watson were co-workers at the Flying Biscuit, police said.

Watson's fiancée Keith Smith said the two planned to get married next Sunday and that she was two months pregnant.

"She wanted to be a mom so bad. She wanted to have so many kids," he said. "I don't think this guy realized what he did. I mean, he took two lives. He took three; he took mine."

He told a 911 dispatcher that he received a call from Watson around 10:15 p.m. Friday. He heard commotion on the other end and Watson hung up abruptly, he said.

After several attempts to contact her by phone and text message, and without a car to check on her, Smith said he called 911 shortly after midnight.

He told the dispatcher he thought the restaurant was being robbed. 

"(I said), 'My girlfriend works there. She called me and hung up abruptly and I could hear her yelling in the background,'" he told 911.

Smith gave them the correct business name, but the wrong address by one digit.

Officers were dispatched to a non-existent business called Plum Biscuits, at 3930 Rea Road. When they arrived on scene, they determined the address was a private home and didn't respond to the Flying Biscuit for about six hours.

According to court records, Cox was released from prison on robbery with a dangerous weapon charges two months ago. In July 2010, he was convicted of felony breaking and entering and larceny.

He was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon in March 2009 and robbery with a dangerous weapon in August 2008, but those cases were dismissed.

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  • nanasix Jan 18, 2012

    He should never have been on the streets. This is a good example of what our legal system does in allowing people to hire attorneys that can buy their client's freedom so they can continue their crimes. It's no different than DWI's being calendared for several years, with the driver being charged repeatedly, and nothing being done about it. The courts (DA's) and judge's open the door for them to kill citizens in not putting them behind bars for their crimes. This girl and her child would be alive today had the courts (judicial system) done their job. WHAT A SHAME. My prayers are with her family and loved ones.

  • Wendellcatlover Jan 17, 2012

    I hope they will use "Ethan's law" and charge this guy with 2 murders. He needs to be put away for life or get the death penalty. I prefer the latter in cases of cold blooded murder.

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 17, 2012

    "Guns are almost non existent in the UK..." - haggis basher


    Uh, if they don't have guns, then how can they be used as a data point about using guns in self defense?


    I'm saying your stats of downplaying guns used as self defense and stopping crime are not accurate. Why won't you address the missing data points I'm talking about?

  • haggis basher Jan 17, 2012

    "Myth, (at least the "MUCH more" part) because you're PURPOSELY leaving out the data points of where guns were used for defense, but it didn't result in the criminals death. And you're not acknowledging the thousands upon thousands of missing cases NOT reported to police."

    Trouble is that data from other countries with broadly similar rates of crime suggest that this is not the case. Guns are almost non existent in the UK and other crime rates are much the same showing guns have little or no deterrent effect. And one must also take into account the the reason why criminals often have guns here is because they are laughably easy to get, store insecurely and resell.

  • Hammerhead Jan 17, 2012

    "Might this be a hate crime? Ask the Rev."

    Seriously? Your view of race is just as corrupt.

  • just-wondering Jan 17, 2012

    Officers were dispatched to a non-existent business called Plum Biscuits, at 3930 Rea Road. When they arrived on scene, they determined the address was a private home and didn't respond to the Flying Biscuit for about six hours.

    Ok call me crazy but do the police that were called not know the area in which they patrol?? And where did Plum Biscuits come from if he gave the correct name?? I don't know but seems that if given the wrong address but on the same street that they might think...wait there is a biscuit place up the road maybe we should check it out? Not sure it would have helped in this case but that seems odd.
    In the case of the fiance' who's to say what you would do? When reading I thought well I would have called the police first and then tried calling her back but in reality would I?? Maybe I would like to have thought that it wasn't what I thought and she was ok...just saying

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 17, 2012

    "Really?" - haggis basher


    Yep. They have the same agenda as you, to skew the stats to be anti-gun.


    "the gun lobby" - haggis basher


    Don't trust them for the stats either. But it only takes common sense to see through your ruse and realize you're leaving out data points to skew the results.


    "Yes of course guns can be used for defense" - haggis basher


    Yet you never acknowledge it. You always want more details, claim we weren't there, etc.


    "those same guns can and much more often are used to commit suicide, domestic murder" - haggis basher

    Myth, (at least the "MUCH more" part) because you're PURPOSELY leaving out the data points of where guns were used for defense, but it didn't result in the criminals death. And you're not acknowledging the thousands upon thousands of missing cases NOT reported to police.

  • edwh14 Jan 17, 2012

    Might this be a hate crime? Ask the Rev.

  • storchheim Jan 17, 2012

    Instead of fighting about gun ownership, let's stick to the story.

  • storchheim Jan 17, 2012

    I thought the same thing about "fiance". He called her right at the time the attack by someone he very easily could have been acquainted with (as opposed to a stranger bursting in) started and waited two hours before calling 911.

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