Lake Wylie double homicide complicates another criminal matter involving victim

Police still looking for suspects in the murder of a Lake Wylie couple
Published: Oct. 29, 2014 at 2:34 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 at 4:05 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Wednesday afternoon, family and friends will gather for a Celebration of Life Service to remember Doug and Debbie London, the Lake Wylie couple shot to death in their home Thursday night.

York County investigators have not said much about the case, except that they don't believe this was a random crime.

This was a couple twice victimized by violent crimes.

In May, armed men tried to rob Doug London in the couple's Mattress Warehouse store on South Boulevard. Investigators say one of the robbers shot at Mr. London. Police arrested three men.

What happens in court to that case now that Doug London can't testify?

"Unless there is another witness who can come forward who was present at the time the robbery occurred, there's no case," said retired Assistant District Attorney Steve Ward. "There's nothing that can be done - simply by giving a statement to the police is not sufficient."

Ward prosecuted cases in Mecklenburg County for 30 years. He said this situation is "extremely rare."

Even though investigators likely collected evidence against the defendants, prosecutors needed Doug London.

"The defendant has a right to cross examine their accuser in court" Ward said. "And if their accuser is no longer available, usually that's the end of the case."

A spokesperson for the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office said one of the defendants, David Fudge, pleaded guilty in September to accessory after the fact, and to robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Cases are still pending against two other defendants.

Nana Adoma was scheduled to have a pre-trial conference on Wednesday, but it was continued for December 3.

Adoma was not in court. He was represented by his court appointed lawyer, Brent Walker.

Walker said after the brief hearing in front of the judge, he hasn't recently spoken to his client. Walker said he believes prosecutors asked for a continuance because there could be additional evidence.

As to a connection to the Lake Wylie couple, Walker said his client has been incarcerated since the alleged incident Memorial Day weekend and Adoma is not a man of means. He hasn't been able to make bond.

Jamell Cureton is on the docket for an arraignment - to enter a plea.

The District Attorney's office won't comment on specific cases.

But a spokesperson said "in cases involving victims who are unable to testify, prosecutors evaluate each matter on a case-by case basis and examine all the evidence available to determine how to proceed."

On Wednesday, just as the Londons are being remembered, the case against one of the men charged in the armed robbery at the Londons' Mattress Warehouse store will go before a judge.

The pre-trial conference is "when the case is reviewed and all parties ensure that no outstanding legal issues remain before trial."

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