3 connected to death of 21-year-old not to face judge until after holidays

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The three people accused in a Charlotte man's murder won't face a judge till after the holidays.

Newtonight, a friend of the victim reached out to Channel 9 and told a eyewitness he made plans to hang out with Michael Shull for Christmas just days before he was killed.

Darrel Pearson says 21-year-old Michael Shull was one of his best friends. Both are deaf, a commonality that bonded them four years ago.

"There's no reason to murder him. He's a sweet person. He's No. 1 in America," said Darrel Pearson.

That's why Pearson says he was shocked when he found out his friend was slain by watching the news. In disbelief, Pearson stopped by Channel 9 to learn more about what happened.

Shull was found dead Friday in the front yard of home on Crestdale Drive, in North Charlotte. Police say he was beaten and stabbed, and that his phone and wallet were missing.

Eighteen-year-old Aveance Bryant, Davonta Turner, and 19-year-old Ashley Owens have all been charged with murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Police say the suspects were friends of Shull's girlfriend and only his acquaintances.

Pearson said he talked to Shull on Monday and agreed to meet in Charlotte before Christmas.

"My heart is already broken, because I have his Christmas gift," said Pearson.

A present for his friend that he now knows he'll never get. Pearson is glad the teens accused in the murder are behind bars but says it won't bring his friend back. Shull's family is now planning his funeral.

The teens set to go before a judge on Thursday. Shull's family members say he just got a Christmas bonus and the suspects were looking to take advantage of that.

Police say Shull's girlfriend didn't know what her friends were planning to do.