Local News

Man pleads not guilty in Concord police chief's daughter death

Posted August 4, 2011 7:53 p.m. EDT

— The man charged in the death of the daughter of Concord's police chief pleaded not guilty on Thursday. 

Michael Neal Harvey, 34, of 7321 Pebblestone Drive in Charlotte, was arrested last year in Niagara Falls, N.Y., on a murder charge in the death of Valerie Hamilton.

Harvey has maintained his innocence saying Hamilton overdosed in her sleep. 

Hamilton, 23, of Charlotte, was the daughter of Concord Police Chief Merl Hamilton. She was reported missing in September after she failed to show up for work, and police found her body days later at a mini-storage facility in Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a statement that Hamilton didn't seem to die of any apparent physical trauma and that medical examiners "found evidence of drug usage."

Police also reported that witnesses said Hamilton "appeared to need immediate medical attention" when she was last seen but that Harvey ignored their requests that he get her help.

Harvey was convicted in 1996 of felony first-degree sexual abuse of a woman in Niagara Falls and was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

North Carolina Department of Correction records show that he was sentenced to probation in 2006 after being convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in this state.