Case of mom killed in gunfight crossfire goes to NCDOJ; Vigil planned

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office said it will be passing off the prosecution of three men charged in the death of a young mother who was killed after being caught in the crossfire in north Charlotte, after it was revealed the assistant district attorney's car was also hit in the shooting.

In a statement, District Attorney Spencer Merriweather requested the North Carolina Department of Justice and Attorney General Josh Stein to prosecute the charges in order to remain objective in the case.

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Officials said the assistant district attorney's car was hit while passing by the scene of the shooting. The statement said because of this, the ADA is both a "witness and a victim in the case and could be called to testify at a potential trial."


“Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer B. Merriweather III has requested that the North Carolina Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Josh Stein, prosecute the charges against Tychicus Dobie, Adonis Smith and Marquis Smith for the March 28 murder of Kendal Crank. During the incident, a projectile struck a vehicle driven by a Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney who was passing by the scene. As a result, this prosecutor is both a witness and victim in the case and could be called to testify at a potential trial in this matter. The Assistant District Attorney was not injured.

“For Ms. Crank’s family, the defendants and the entire community, it is essential that all have trust that the case is objectively and fairly prosecuted by the State. DA Merriweather and his prosecutors believe transferring this case to the N.C. Department of Justice is necessary to preserve impartiality and to ensure confidence in the judicial process.

“The N.C. Department of Justice will now make all case-related decisions, and any further questions about the prosecution of this case should be directed to the Attorney General’s Office.”

The three men charged in the death of 27-year-old Kendal Crank are Tychicus Dobie, Adonis Smith, and Marquis Smith.

The three appeared before a judge for the first time Monday.

Channel 9's Mark Becker was at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse and said the same emotion he saw at the chaotic scene last week was present in the courtroom.

Dobie, 22, was the first to enter and he didn't say much. Becker said the tears in his eyes spoke for him.

Adonis Smith, 17, was next and 24-year-old Marquis Smith followed.

(Tychicus Dobie, Adonis Smith, Marquis Smith)

The court appearance came just four days after the wild shootout on North Tryon Street that killed Crank and tore a hole in the heart of the community.

The words of Adonis Smith's stepgrandfather George Frank as he left the courthouse echo the pain and frustration of families reeling from the senseless violence.

"You got a 17-year-old kid -- his life is over. The young lady, innocent -- her life is over. What are we going to do about all of this? Somebody has to come up with a plan," said Frank.

Kendal Crank

(Kendal Crank)

Thirty-four lives have been taken in the past three months in Charlotte.

There were 10 homicides in the city at this point last year and 23 at this point in 2017, the year there were almost 100 homicides in Charlotte.

Friends, family and community advocates will meet Friday evening in north Charlotte to honor Crank. A vigil will be held on North Tryon Street at 28th Street, which is the same spot where she lost her life last week.

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