• Chilling details revealed in case of teen accused of killing man, dumping body in woods

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There were emotional moments in the courtroom Thursday as prosecutors detailed the case against a teen accused of killing a man and then dumping the victim's body.

    Jaime Melendez Suarez, 18, came to court hoping a judge would open the door for him to get out of jail on bond.

    Then, prosecutor Desmond McCallum revealed chilling details of the murder of 20-year-old Jacob Hernandez in April.

    McCallum said a woman told police she saw Melendez Suarez shoot Hernandez as they sat together in a car on South Boulevard, and that Melendez Suarez had sent chilling text messages to her moments before he pulled the trigger.

    “I'm going to, ‘Hit him in the head and put him in the trunk. This is not the first time I'm doing what I'm doing.  Cover your ears. It’s about to go off,’” McCallum said, reading the text message. “He, then in her presence, while she sat in the back seat, shot the victim inside of the car.”

    The woman got out of the car and, as promised, McCallum said, Melendez Suarez put Hernandez in the trunk and drove off.

    Somewhere along the way, McCallum said, Hernandez had desperately texted his girlfriend and told her what was happening.

    “Baby, call the cops. I've been shot. F.R. James shot me,” McCallum said reading the text.

    Police tracked Hernandez's cellphone and found the car days later with the body in the trunk in the woods off Rhyne Station Road.

    Hernandez's mother left the courtroom in tears, and it was enough to convince Judge Lisa Bell that Melendez Suarez should remain locked up.

    Past coverage

    The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is conducting a homicide investigation after a body was found Friday in a wooded area off of Rhyne Station Road in west Charlotte.

    [IMAGES: Scene of homicide in west Charlotte]

    A K9 unit located the body of Jacob Hernandez, 20, who was reported missing on Thursday.

    Hernandez was shot in the 4200 block of South Boulevard and was dumped in the woods, 12 miles away, police said.

    On Tuesday, police arrested Jaime Melendez Suarez, 18, in connection with the killing. He was charged with murder.

    Police have not released any other details about the crime.

    Joel Melendez Suarez

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