KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - A man charged in the murder of his girlfriend's 10-year-old son made his first appearance in court Tuesday.
Eugene W. Mays, 39, was arrested Monday morning after investigators found the boy, later identified as Mark Ethan Alexander Stewart, and his 32-year-old mother, Christi Melisha Stewart, Sunday night during a welfare check at a home on South Ridge Avenue Sunday night.
The boy was deceased. His mother was injured in the incident, and was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast for treatment at, officials said.
In court Tuesday, Mays waived his right to an attorney and requested to be sentenced immediately. The judge took a 20 minute recess before appointing a standby counsel from the Office of the Capital Defender. Mays' next court appearance is scheduled for April 30.
The little boy is believed to be in the 5th grade, and attends Royal Oaks Elementary School. Cabarrus County school system officials said grief counselors would be at the school on Tuesday to help students cope with the loss of their classmate.
The superintendent, Dr. Barry Shepherd, released a statement after hearing the news which stated:
"We are now learning about this tragic situation, and although we do not have complete details, we are shocked and deeply saddened by this news. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family. There are no words to convey the depth of our sorrow. We will work together and provide support for our students and staff during this most difficult time."
Mays was located along Forbes Road in Gastonia around 2 a.m. Monday morning.
He was arrested on outstanding misdemeanor warrants for unrelated charges, police told WBTV. He was later transferred into their custody for further investigation regarding the homicide.
Mays was charged with first degree murder. Police say additional charges pending in the case.
A police spokesperson says officers collected evidence and interviewed witnesses.
Kannapolis Police requests anyone with information to call 704-920-4000 or Crime Stoppers at 704-932-7463 (CRIME). The department is offering a reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) in this case.
The public can also post or direct message Kannapolis police on Twitter, @kannapolis911, or by searching Kannapolis911 on Facebook.