The two Danville men accused in the Oct. 10 shooting death of Mellisa White-Luna waived their preliminary hearings Wednesday and their cases will be presented to a Boyle County grand jury next month.
Lamar Stallworth, 27, is charged with murder in the shooting of White-Luna as she stood just inside the front door of her apartment on Longview Drive. David J. Harlan, 23, who police said was involved in an altercation that led to the shooting, is charged with complicity in the murder.
Public defender Susanne McCollough said the defendants decided to waive their hearings because Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Bottoms allowed them to meet with Danville police officers outside the courtroom and shared information about the investigation with defense attorneys.
During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must put on enough evidence to convince a judge that probable cause exists and the case should be handed up to a grand jury for possible indictment.
Discovery was provided to defense attorneys in the backroom meeting, making the hearings unnecessary, McCollough said.
According to arrest citations in the case, Stallworth and Harlan went to Luna-White’s apartment, where they got into a fight with another man, identified as Derrick Ball, on the front steps. As Harlan was scuffling with Ball, Stallworth fired two shots toward the front door where Luna-White was standing.
Police said Stallworth admitted to firing the shots but have not revealed the rest of Stallworth’s account of the shooting. Versions of the incident supplied by Stallworth and Ball, who has not been charged, do not match up, police said.
The murder weapon has not been found, but one bullet was recovered from Luna-White’s body, and one shell casing from a semi-automatic weapon was recovered near the scene of the shooting, police said.
Police have not said whether it was Luna-White or Ball who was the intended target of the gunshots.