Latest News

When accused killer of Uber driver came to court, victim’s friends, family were waiting

The body of Mario Medina-Chevez, 44, was found in Rock Hill in late May 2017. He had been kidnapped, robbed and fatally beaten. On Thursday, Diontray Adams pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the killing. Co-defendant James Stevens is scheduled to be in court next week.
The body of Mario Medina-Chevez, 44, was found in Rock Hill in late May 2017. He had been kidnapped, robbed and fatally beaten. On Thursday, Diontray Adams pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the killing. Co-defendant James Stevens is scheduled to be in court next week. Observer files

One of two men accused in the fatal 2017 robbery and beating of a Charlotte Uber driver pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge on Thursday.

Diontray Adams, 26, entered his plea during a short appearance in a Mecklenburg County courtroom, witnessed by more than three dozen family members and friends of Mario Medina-Chevez.

Medina-Chevez, a 44-year-old Uber driver, was found along Mt. Gallant Road in Rock Hill. He had been missing for several days and had been so badly beaten that police needed dental records to identify him.

Murder Suspects.jpeg
Diontray Adams, at right, pleaded not guilty Thursday to the first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery of a Charlotte Uber driver. Co-defendant James Stevens, at left, is scheduled to be in court next week. Mecklenburg Jail

Adams and 21-year-old James Stevens were both charged with murder, robbery, kidnapping and series of other crimes, including possession of a stolen vehicle.

Read Next

Read Next

They were arrested in Maryland. Stevens is scheduled to appear in court next week.

In entering his plea, Adams rejected an offer from the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office under which he would have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He would have served 30 to 37 years in prison. But he would have avoided the mandatory life sentence without parole tied to a first-degree murder conviction.

The killing of an Uber driver in Charlotte drew national headlines, and Adams’ arraignment on Thursday drew a large crowd of supporters for Medina-Chavez.

They began filling the corridor outside the courtroom more than a hour before Adams was led before Superior Court Judge Bob Bell by deputies.

Afterward, they lingered together, hugging and talking. Some of them were in tears.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095; @MikeGordonOBS
  Comments