Tuesday, August 4, 2020

List Series: Dangerous Duos Vol. II

As noted in the original Dangerous Duos list, many criminals do not act alone. There are numerous cases in which two people plot together to kill someone for a variety of different reasons--and there are also cases where criminals get help concealing the crime after-the-fact. Below is a list of 7 more cases of murder committed and/or concealed by two people. Some of these cases are still ongoing.

7. Brian & Jarlyn Sluss
From left to right: Brian Sluss, Monica Moynan, Jarlyn Sluss
Monica Moynan vanished at the age of 22 in April 2019. She was last seen by 44 year-old Brian Sluss--her boyfriend and father of her two children. The couple lived together at an apartment in Holly Springs, North Carolina. From the months of April to June 2019, Monica's family members continued to receive texts from Monica's phone, so they were unaware that she was missing. However, in early July 2019, the apartment manager at Monica's apartment building called her mother to express concern. The manager had reportedly seen Brian Sluss at their apartment numerous times, but had not seen Monica at all since late March 2019. A welfare check was requested, and when police were unable to pinpoint Monica's whereabouts, she was reported missing. When police questioned Brian, he told them Monica had run away after getting hooked on heroin. 

As the investigation continued, Brian's story seemed less and less likely. He admitted that it was he who had been sending text messages from Monica's phone after her disappearance--not Monica herself. Additionally, investigators found evidence of a crime scene clean-up inside Brian's apartment. Tiles from his kitchen floor were removed, and investigators determined that a large amount of blood had been present between the tiles and cracks on the floor. That blood was later determined to belong to Monica.From that point forward, authorities began to investigate Monica's case as a murder. Brian and his ex-wife Jarlyn Sluss were named as persons of interest, but initially no arrests were made. 

Months later, in May 2020, Brian was finally arrested and charged with Monica's murder. Just days later, Jarlyn was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and accessory to murder after-the-fact. Authorities said that Jarlyn had information about Monica's disappearance for months, yet she did not make any effort to help the investigation. Instead, she opted to assist in covering for Brian. Both Brian and Jarlyn remain behind bars as their charges are pending. Monica's remains have still not been found. [read more]

6. Keith & Valeria 'Shavon' Smith
From left to right: Kevin Smith, Jacquelyn Smith, Valeria 'Shavon' Smith
Jacquelyn Smith was stabbed to death after a night out with her husband, Keith Smith, and her stepdaughter, Valeria 'Shavon' Smith on December 1st, 2018. The three went out that night in Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate Shavon's 28th birthday. On their way home, Jacquelyn was stabbed several times in the torso as she sat in passenger seat of Keith's car. Keith told police that Jacquelyn had been stabbed by a panhandler after she had rolled down the window to give a woman her baby some money. Paramedics transported Jacquelyn to the hospital, where she later died.
Both Keith and Shavon provided police with a description of Jacquelyn's alleged killer. Detectives initially began to look for this man, however throughout their investigation, they realized that this man actually did not exist at all. At this point, detectives shifted their investigation to the last known people to have seen Jacquelyn before she was stabbed: her husband Keith, and her stepdaughter, Shavon.

In late February 2019, investigators received word that Keith and Shavon were planning to cross the border into Mexico. Before they were able to leave the country, authorities tracked them down in Texas. Keith and Shavon were subsequently arrested on March 3rd, 2019. At that time, both were arrested and charged with murdering Jacquelyn. Very little information about a motive was revealed. Months later, in June 2019, it was announced that the murder charges against Shavon were dropped. Instead, prosecutors pursued charges of accessory to murder after-the-fact . In September 2019, Shavon pleaded guilty to those charges. Keith is still maintaining his not guilty plea for the murder charges and is expected to go to trial within the next year. [read more]

5. Barron Brantley & Jordyn Jones
Roommate & boyfriend indicted for strangling, smothering Clark ...
From left to right: Jordyn Jones, Alexis Crawford, Barron Brantley. (image source: crimeonline.com)
Alexis Crawford was murdered at the age of 21 on October 30th, 2019. Prior to her death, Alexis was a student at Clark Atlanta University located in Atlanta, Georgia. She lived with her roommate and best friend Jordyn Jones. The two girls were frequently visited by Jordyn’s boyfriend, Barron Brantley. Just days before Alexis' was killed, she was reportedly sexually assaulted by Barron. She reported the assault to police on October 27th, 2019. Barron denied the allegations.

Alexis' family members reported her missing on October 31st, after being unable to get ahold of her. Jordyn and Barron were inevitably questioned, but both initially denied any knowledge of her whereabouts. Jordyn told police that she last saw Alexis in their apartment at 12:30am on the morning of October 30th. The two were questioned numerous times over the following week, until finally one of them told authorities that Alexis' body could be found at Exchange Park in Decatur. After police found Alexis, they arrested Barron and charged him with her murder. The following day, Jordyn was arrested and charged with murder as well.

An autopsy later confirmed that Alexis died of asphyxiation. Once behind bars, Barron reportedly confessed to killing her. He said that Alexis and Jordyn got into a physical altercation at their home on the night of the murder. At some point, Barron intervened and choked Alexis to death. Afterwards, Barron and Jordyn put Alexis’ body in a plastic bin and then disposed of it in the woods at Exchange Park.

Both Barron and Jordyn remain behind bars while their cases are pending. [read more]

4. Maliek Kearney & Dolores Delgado
From left to right: Maliek Kearney, Karlyn Ramirez, Dolores Delgado
Karlyn Ramirez (24) was murdered by her husband Maliek Kearney on August 24th, 2015. Karlyn and Maliek were both in the US Army and they had a four month-old daughter together. However, they were estranged at the time of Karlyn's murder and were stationed in different places. Karlyn was stationed in Maryland, while Maliek was in South Carolina. Maliek was also having an affair with Dolores Delgado.

Despite having an affair, Maliek was reportedly angry about the fact that Karlyn wanted a divorce. Maliek told Dolores that he was going to try to reconcile with Karlyn, and if she refused, he was going to kill her. On the day of Karlyn’s death, Dolores gave Maliek a gun and allowed him to borrow her car to drive to Karlyn’s home. She also agreed to lie to investigators by telling them that Maliek was with her at the time Karlyn was killed. Dolores claimed that she thought Maliek and Karlyn would actually end up reconciling, but instead Maliek did what he originally planned to do, and shot Karlyn multiple times. Karlyn’s body was found by the police the next day, with their four-month-old baby laying in her arms. The baby was fortunately not harmed.

It took investigators over a year to gather evidence, but both Maliek and Dolores were finally arrested in October 2016. Maliek was charged with Karlyn's murder, while Dolores was charged as an accomplice. In August 2017, Dolores pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. A year later, in August 2018, Maliek was found guilty of crossing state lines to commit domestic violence resulting in the death of Karlyn Ramirez. He was sentenced to life in prison. [read more]

3. Deltravious & Delgardo Howard
From left to right: Deltravious Howard, Jayla Thomas-Smith, Delgardo Howard
Jayla Thomas-Smith (21) was found dead inside her vehicle on February 24th, 2019. Her car was found crashed in a ditch on Piedmont Highway in Greenville, South Carolina. Investigators initially believed that Jayla died as a result of the car accident, but upon closer examination, it was revealed that Jayla had been shot.

In April 2019, two brothers named Deltravious and Delgardo Howard were arrested in connection with Jayla's murder. Deltravious has been charged with her murder, while Delgardo has been charged with lying to police about the case. Investigators stated that Deltravious shot Jayla during a 'domestic dispute' before abandoning her body in her vehicle. Delgardo reportedly had information about Jayla's death from the beginning, but lied to police in attempt to cover for his brother.

Both men remain behind bars as their charges are pending. [read more]

2. Bryer Schmegelsky & Kam McLeod
From left to right: Bryer Schmegelsky, Chynna Dease & Lucas Fowler, Kam McLeod
Chynna Deese (24) and her boyfriend Lucas Fowler (23) were found shot to death on the side of the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, Canada on July 15th, 2019. The couple had been taking a two-week long road trip across Canada at the time at the time of their murders. Days later, on July 19th, 2019, Bryer Schmegelsky (18) and Kam McLeod (19) were reported missing after a vehicle they were travelling in was found completely burnt out in an area close to where Chynna and Lucas were found. The body of a man in his 50s or 60s was found nearby the vehicle as well. Authorities initially feared that Bryer and Kam were killed by the same person(s) who killed Chynna and Lucas... but just a few days later, it was announced that Bryer and Kam were actually suspects in Chynna and Lucas' case. It was also believed that they killed the man found near their vehicle as well.

Bryer and Kam were later spotted in northern Saskatchewan. Authorities then released an alert, urging the public to be on the lookout for the two teens--but they warned that the two were believed to be armed and dangerous. Over the following weeks, the search for Bryer and Kam continued. Then, in August 2019, authorities found items belonging to the two in an area near the Nelson River. The thick, dense brush in the area was searched shortly thereafter, and eventually Bryer and Kam's bodies were found. Their deaths were ruled a suicide. A motive for their crimes has never been released. [read more]

1. Owen & Gary Shover
Aranda Briones missing case in Moreno Valley: 2 brothers arrested ...
From left to right: Owen Shover, Aranda Briones, Gary Shover
Aranda Briones (16) vanished in Moreno Valley, California on January 13th, 2019. She left her home that day after telling her family she was going to spend the day with a male friend from school. Aranda never returned home that evening and has never been seen or heard from again. The male friend (who was later identified as 18 year-old Owen Shover) stated that he dropped Aranda off at Moreno Valley Community Park between 6 and 6:30pm. However, investigators looked at footage of the park, and Aranda was not seen at any point that day. Additionally, the Owen said that he saw Aranda get into a four-door grey sedan. Aranda’s family reportedly does not know anybody with a car of that description, and said car was not seen on the park’s surveillance footage either.

Aranda's family members were suspicious of Owen's story from the beginning. Investigators did not reveal Owen's identity until weeks later, when both he and his older brother Gary Shover were arrested in connection with Aranda's case. Owen was charged with Aranda's murder, while Gary was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Both were charged with the special circumstance of lying-in-wait before reportedly killing Aranda. This means that the Owen and Gary qualify for the death penalty if the prosecution decides to pursue it.

Aranda's body has never been found. A motive for the killing has not been released. Both brothers have pleaded not guilty and they remain behind bars as their cases are pending. [read more]

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