Crime & Courts

Charlotte woman is denied bond in killing of her boyfriend

In August, a sobbing Shirley Martin told a Charlotte policeman that her fiancé might have given her AIDS.

Ten minutes later, prosecutors say, Martin put a bullet in Anthony Lamont Howie’s chest.

On Thursday, Martin, 23, of Charlotte stood in front of a Mecklenburg courtroom, accused of murdering Howie, the father of her two children.

While prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty against Martin, Assistant District Attorney Tim Sielaff opposed a defense request to release Martin on bond. Superior Court Judge Bob Bell agreed.

Howie died from a single gunshot wound on Aug. 18. Investigators say there were six witnesses.

Ten minutes before the shooting and a block and a half away, Martin ran a stop sign on a side street between Randolph and Monroe roads and was pulled over by police, Sielaff told the courtroom. She was sobbing behind the wheel.

Martin, according to the prosecutor, told the officer she had just learned her boyfriend was gay, might have given her AIDS and “had ruined her life.” (Howie’s family says none of Martin’s allegations are true, Sielaff said.)

After a few moments, Martin composed herself and was allowed to drive off.

Howie had played basketball earlier and was now relaxing with friends in the backyard of a home. When Martin walked up, she pointed a handgun at him, Sielaff said. Howie took it away.

Martin then walked back to her car, got another gun, and returned to the backyard. This time she fired, the prosecutor said. Neither weapon has been found.

During her hearing, the defendant stared straight ahead as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. Defense attorney Susan Weigand said her client has told her that Howie was very controlling and on occasion beat her up. Weigand said her client had no previous criminal record and asked Bell to consider a bond so Martin might get out of jail.

Sielaff said Martin has told police that she suffers from emotional problems and also has sent threatening texts to Howie’s family.

Before the shooting, Martin posted this comment on her Facebook page: “The only woman who knows where her husband is is a widow.”

Sielaff told Bell that Martin remains dangerous.

“There are two firearms out there in Charlotte waiting for her ... The risk is extremely high,” Sielaff said.

Martin will be back in court in March. In the meantime, she’ll remain in the Mecklenburg jail.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS