MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.C. — The man suspected of killing Allisha Watts was denied bond in court on Monday.
James Dunmore made his first appearance in Montgomery County Court, where a judge gave him no bond on his charge of first-degree murder.
The judge said his bond can be addressed again by an attorney at a later date.
Allisha Watts, from Moore County, was last seen leaving Dunmore’s University City home on July 16. Two days later, investigators say they found her car at the Polkton Department of Motor Vehicles, where Dunmore had passed out from an apparent suicide attempt.
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40 days later and 40 miles away, investigators say they found Watts’ remains in a rural area of Montgomery County.
Dunmore was also appointed an attorney on Monday. His next court date is on Sept. 14.
Channel 9 previously uncovered that Dunmore has a history of domestic violence and served time in prison for kidnapping.
Watts’ loved ones held a news conference outside of the Montgomery County jail after Dunmore’s hearing where they promised they would be in court every step of the way.
“Even though this is difficult, it is necessary,” they said. “It’s necessary to show what happens when a community stands behind a cause, when a community is committed to see justice is served.”
Watts’ loved ones also spoke to Channel 9′s Almiya White after the hearing ended.
“I mean, he didn’t have any emotions,” said Brenda Smith. She’s the god sister to Watts’ mother. “He wouldn’t look at us. He wouldn’t look up.”
Watts’ mom, Evex Franklin, wasn’t able to be there Monday. That’s why Smith stepped in on her behalf. She said she spoke to Franklin ahead of the appearance.
“She was just shaking her head ‘no bond, no bond, don’t give him a bond. We do want him walking the streets,’” Smith said.
And that’s how the judge ruled.
“We are here because Alicia would be here for us. We are Alicia,” said Dot Brower, a family friend of Watts’.
“She didn’t deserve it. The young lady did not deserve that. She was in the prime of her career,” Smith said.
“I’m glad that the closure is near for the family,” she added.
While there is still a long road ahead for the family of Allisha Watts, Smith said Watts’ mother believes Monday was a step in the direction of justice.
“If he is the one that did it, she said that he deserved to have his eyes closed, just like her daughter eyes are closed and never will be open again,” Smith said.
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