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Police, family ask help to find man’s killer

SoVaNow.com / October 11, 2017


It was just before midnight, Oct. 12, 2016, when officers Carey and DeSantis responding to call of “shots fired” arrived on Washington Street in Chase City to find Michael Jerome Stewart of Clarksville lying face down in the street with a single gunshot wound to his face. EMS pronounced him dead at the scene.

He was 33 years old.

Now, a year later, police are still searching for his killer, and his mother is left wondering why someone would want to kill her child.

On Thursday, Chase City Police Chief Jay Jordan renewed his call for witnesses to come forward – even if done anonymously – to help solve this murder. He added there is a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of Stewart’s killer – at least $1,000 through crime solvers and possibly another $1,000 initially promised by an anonymous donor.

“Officers spent many man hours on this case, questioning persons of interest, still, we have no motive, no leads,” Jordan explained. “I hear from his mother at least once a month, wondering what is happening with her son’s case,” he said her calls motivated him to keep going to solve the case.

Jordan said he’s reached out to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, but they too have come up empty of answers to the questions, who killed Stewart and why.

On Thursday, Stewart’s mother, Regina Stewart, in a written statement read by her daughter Kendra Burwell, made a public plea for help solving this case. Regina wrote of the pain she as a mother feels and the loss her grandchildren must live with, growing up without their father. Stewart had three daughters.

Regina wrote, “We the family of Mike is sending out a plea to the community – a call for help in closing this untimely chapter of our lives. The death of a loved one is never easy, but when it’s unexpected and unnecessary, it brings unbearable pain.

The saying ‘time heals all wounds’ is far from true. I find it more difficult as time goes on. Being a mother, my feelings are that my children are to bury me and not the other way around.

I must be honest, when this first happened, revenge is all I wanted. I wanted Mike’s killer’s mother to feel the same pain I’m feeling. But, living with the pain, the empty sleepless nights I’ve experienced this past year, I’ve had a change of heart. No one deserves to have to deal with the loss of a child because someone out there feels as though he didn’t deserve to live.

Mike was deprived of seeing his three daughters grow up to be the amazing women they will become. So again, I ask the public to please get involved.”

Burwell added her own plea, “I feel the same way as mama feels. It’s not right for anybody to take a life.” Though, in Burwell’s words her brother was “a loudmouth,” liked by some and not others because of his mouth, he did not deserve to die. “It’s not like he took a life or did anything to harm them [the person or persons who shot Stewart].”

Later, over the phone, Regina Stewart added, “I am really suffering, I need someone to tell me what happened to my child. I need somebody to come forward.”

According to Burwell a woman living near the scene of the shooting on Washington Street initially said she witnessed the entire incident. That woman later recanted her remarks.

Jordan said, “we know that Stewart would often come to Chase City to visit family and a girlfriend, and we’ve ruled out robbery as a motive, but otherwise, “we’ve got nothing.” He acknowledges that the time of the shooting – around midnight – could be the reason there are few if any witnesses. He quickly adds, ‘this is a small town, people talk, someone knows something.”

A second murder that happened three months later, Jordan believes, is unrelated. In that case, Dwight E. Tucker Jr. was found slumped over in the driver seat of his vehicle, in the 1000 block of N. Boyd Street.

Anyone with information about the shooting of Michael Jerome Stewart is asked to contact the Chase City Police Department at 434-372-4244 or Crimesolvers at 1-877-676-8477. Tips can be anonymous.

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