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A Step Toward Justice In Vanessa “Honey” Malone Murder Case: Dekalb County Police Make Arrest In 2012 Georgia Teen Slaying

It was a typical night on October 23, 2012 in Stone Mountain when Flora Malone got into her car to make a routine trip to the mall and pick up her youngest daughter Vanessa Malone from work. They arrived back home a short time later, and then “Honey” as she is affectionately known to her family and friends, told her mother that she was stepping out of the house for a few, and would be right back. “I love you Mom” she says, as she walked out of the door of her home, which would be the last time the mother and daughter would ever speak to each other again.

Honey was on her way to some friend’s apartment where India Smith lived with her boyfriend Travares Benford. They say that Honey walked in on a home invasion in progress, but while there were three other adults at the apartment at the time, Honey’s life was senselessly and tragically struck down through gun violence. If you are new to this story, you can read about the events of that fateful night when Flora Malone lost her baby girl here: Friends Account Just Doesn’t Add Up In Pretty Georgia Teen Slaying .

While I have raised my own personal suspicions regarding what might have happened to young “Honey,” its apparent that police authorities were also on the same path about who most thought may have been an intricate player in the Malone homicide case. If you’ve read some of the many articles I’ve written about this horrific story, then you most likely already know that this mysterious character they call “Mercy” has always been a person of interest in the Malone killing, in my eyes, and now the police as well.

On April 3, 2020 around 4:30 p.m. EST the Dekalb County police took Donald “Mercy” Ashe (34) into custody for the 2012 killing of Vanessa Malone. Initially the authorities remained tight lipped on what broke the case, but during a recent bond hearing state prosecutors revealed that at least two independent witnesses had told police, Ashe admitted to them that he had allegedly killed the Malone teen. Those statements in conjunction with critical DNA evidence provided by CSI Atlanta, helped link Ashe to the Malone Homicide. Its a sudden turn of events that may now be taking positive steps towards justice for the slain young woman, and may also culminate into the closure her grieving family has long sought after.

For nearly seven and a half years (71/2) Flora Malone along with her oldest daughter Cassaundra Pierce-Kennedy, and a volume of “Honey’s” friends have been beating the streets of Stone Mountain, in an effort to obtain leads from within the community from anyone who knew something about the homicide case. Their efforts had fallen short until just recently, when these two unidentified witnesses came forward. You could make the argument that people knew all along what happened and their silence denied the slain woman and her family justice, but that would be beating a dead horse, and instead, we should all be watching closely to learn as much as when can about this tragic story regarding the untimely demise of one of Stone Mountain’s young people who was just starting out as a young adult in her life, to insure that those who are rightfully responsible for her death are brougt to justice.

In the initial period when her case was fresh in the media, there were rumblings and unfounded rumors that the young lady had met her end because of her own deceitful behavior, which some say was the result of setting people up to be robbed. Those negative comments most likely came from within the community from individuals who apparently sought to justify what happened to the pretty teen, but the perverse hyperbole they spewed failed miserably, as a volume of people who knew “Honey’s” character rallied around her family to dispel these erroneous and false allegations against her.

There were also those in the community who threatened violence against me on social media, for suggesting that “Mercy” had something to do with her killing, and I believe these kind of scare tactics are what may have prevented people with information about her killing, from coming forward sooner out of fear of retaliatory violence from those sympathetic to the killer(s) involved with senselessly snuffing out the young woman’s life. In fact, some of the very same people who promoted violence when the time came for justice in “Honey’s” case, are now facing charges of their own in unrelated homicide cases. The irony of it all though!

In my mind though, I knew that things just didn’t add up and “Mercy” was at the center of it all. The stories given to police during the night of her killing, alone are compelling related to the honesty and credibility of Travares Benford and India Smith who say they were victims of a home invasion, that resulted in young Vanessa being slain. For two people who say they were laying in bed together when the front door of the apartment was allegedly kicked in, their accounts of what actually happened couldn’t be more contrasting. He said that there were three gunman, while she told cops that there were four to six armed masked men who stormed into their Hampton Village Apartments in Stone Mountain on October 23, 2012. The pair also claim to have been tied up and forced to lay down in the bathtub, while the gunmen ransacked the apartment. There was also a third person allegedly in the apartment that night, and we now know that his name is Donald “Mercy” Ashe. Although he was also an alleged victim of the home invasion, the initial account of what allegedly happened that was given to police by Benford and Smith, offered no indication of “Mercy’s” whereabouts while the home invasion was in progress. This aspect of the case has always bothered me. They only offered the rationalization that he fled the scene because he had an outstanding arrest warrant for an unrelated crime.

Donald "Mercy" Ashe
Police authorities believed that Donald “Mercy” Ashe (pictured) is allegedly responsible for the brutal slaying of 100 pound teen Vanessa Malone back in 2012.

Now with state prosecutors claiming to have two independent witness who say Ashe confessed to them of allegedly having killed the young woman, and coupled with DNA evidence allegedly connecting him to her slaying becomes very problematic for Smith, Benford, and potentially others who were living in the Hampton Village apartments that night, around the time that the crime occurred. So, the Dekalb County Police are possibly going to make additional arrest in the Malone homicide case. The possibility of criminal charges for others may stem from the discovery of newly found evidence in the case, that emerged roughly three years after Malone was murdered.


“The rationalization that “Mercy’s” disappearance was surrounding an attempt by him to elude police capture for an unrelated crime is perhaps plausible to an extent, but the willingness of others to aid in this guy’s intentional avoidance of having an encounter with the police that night, may be indicative of him being involved in the crime that took place in the apartment directly below where he was allegedly hiding from cops.”

–The People’s Champion Blog

TPC learned several years after the homicide that “Mercy” had not actually fled the scene that night as originally thought. He was allegedly in the apartment directly above the one where Malone was killed. Its unknown whether this allegation was ever confirmed, but it should have served as a pivotal moment in the case, that reportedly may have shed new light on the entire matter, and should have directly challenged the credibility of Benford and Smith, regarding statements they gave police that fateful night. Let’s face it, did Benford and Smith know that “Mercy” was held up in the apartment directly above the apartment where the Malone teen was killed, while the cops where there conducting their investigation? More importantly, if “Mercy” was also a victim of the alleged home invasion, why would Benford and Smith lie about where another victim in the crime whereabouts was? The rationalization that “Mercy’s” disappearance was surrounding an attempt by him to elude police capture for an unrelated crime is perhaps plausible to an extent, but the willingness of others to aid in this guy’s intentional avoidance of having an encounter with the police that night, may be indicative of him being directly involved in the crime that took place in the apartment directly below where he was allegedly hiding from the cops. Read my article on the newly discovered information in the Malone Homicide here: The Fight For Justice In Georgia Teen Slaying Continues Three Years Later With New Information

Knowing what we all know now, why on earth would anyone believe what these people had to say regarding what went on in that apartment the night young Vanessa was killed? Therefore, if the authorities don’t think that “Mercy” was a victim at all in the home invasion and now believe him to be the actual killer, its more than likely safe to assume that they also know that Benford and Smith may have lied to police about what happened to Malone that night. As a result they both could be criminally charged at the very least, with providing false information, conspiracy, accessory to murder after the fake, and potentially murder itself if its proven that they participated in anyway that resulted in her death (i.e. calling her to lure her to their apartment knowing that potential harm may have awaited her).

Additionally, if the tenant(s) who lived above the crime scene were in fact interviewed by cops that night, and its proven that they held information regarding the case from police, they could be criminally charged as well. Either way, I stand by my original posture regarding this tragic story, that young Vanessa Malone was lured to that apartment, after potentially being accused of something, and for the purpose of violence. Similar perspectives are offerred on the True Crime Daily Podcast embeded below.

The above true Crime video shows a clip of “Honey’s” mother Flora Malone describing the odd manner in which her daughter was behaving prior to leaving the home that last night. The way the mom describes it, it appears almost as if it was a final goodbye, that wasn’t fully realized until she was summoned to those apartments after having been told that her youngest child had allegedly been killed. I can’t personally even imagine the feeling that she must have endured, and nearly 8 years later the family is only at the begining of finding closure.

While the arrest of Donald “Mercy” Ashe appears to be a step toward justice in the Malone homicide, we must be cautioned that he has only been charged and suspected with having killed her. True justice is far from certain in any case, but I believe that once some of the basic questions that I’ve offered surrounding this case are answered, I believe not only will we know exactly what happened, justice will prevail, and young Vanessa “Honey” Malone may finally rest in eternal peace. This is what I believe and this is what we should all pray for. May God continue to comfort the Malone family as they relive this horrible nightmare again while seeking justice. God speed.

To be continued…

The People’s Champion

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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It was a typical night on October 23, 2012 in Stone Mountain when Flora Malone got into her car to make a routine trip to the mall and pick up her youngest daughter Vanessa Malone from work. They arrived back home a short time later, and then “Honey” as she is affectionately known to her family and friends, told her mother that she was stepping out of the house for a few, and would be right back. “I love you Mom” she says, as she walked out of the door of her home, which would be the last time the mother and daughter would ever speak to each other again.

Honey was on her way to some friend’s apartment where India Smith lived with her boyfriend Travares Benford. They say that Honey walked in on a home invasion in progress, but while there were three other adults at the apartment at the time, Honey’s life was senselessly and tragically struck down through gun violence. If you are new to this story, you can read about the events of that fateful night when Flora Malone lost her baby girl here: Friends Account Just Doesn’t Add Up In Pretty Georgia Teen Slaying .

While I have raised my own personal suspicions regarding what might have happened to young “Honey,” its apparent that police authorities were also on the same path about who most thought may have been an intricate player in the Malone homicide case. If you’ve read some of the many articles I’ve written about this horrific story, then you most likely already know that this mysterious character they call “Mercy” has always been a person of interest in the Malone killing, in my eyes, and now the police as well.

On April 3, 2020 around 4:30 p.m. EST the Dekalb County police took Donald “Mercy” Ashe (34) into custody for the 2012 killing of Vanessa Malone. Initially the authorities remained tight lipped on what broke the case, but during a recent bond hearing state prosecutors revealed that at least two independent witnesses had told police, Ashe admitted to them that he had allegedly killed the Malone teen. Those statements in conjunction with critical DNA evidence provided by CSI Atlanta, helped link Ashe to the Malone Homicide. Its a sudden turn of events that may now be taking positive steps towards justice for the slain young woman, and may also culminate into the closure her grieving family has long sought after.

For nearly seven and a half years (71/2) Flora Malone along with her oldest daughter Cassaundra Pierce-Kennedy, and a volume of “Honey’s” friends have been beating the streets of Stone Mountain, in an effort to obtain leads from within the community from anyone who knew something about the homicide case. Their efforts had fallen short until just recently, when these two unidentified witnesses came forward. You could make the argument that people knew all along what happened and their silence denied the slain woman and her family justice, but that would be beating a dead horse, and instead, we should all be watching closely to learn as much as when can about this tragic story regarding the untimely demise of one of Stone Mountain’s young people who was just starting out as a young adult in her life, to insure that those who are rightfully responsible for her death are brougt to justice.

In the initial period when her case was fresh in the media, there were rumblings and unfounded rumors that the young lady had met her end because of her own deceitful behavior, which some say was the result of setting people up to be robbed. Those negative comments most likely came from within the community from individuals who apparently sought to justify what happened to the pretty teen, but the perverse hyperbole they spewed failed miserably, as a volume of people who knew “Honey’s” character rallied around her family to dispel these erroneous and false allegations against her.

There were also those in the community who threatened violence against me on social media, for suggesting that “Mercy” had something to do with her killing, and I believe these kind of scare tactics are what may have prevented people with information about her killing, from coming forward sooner out of fear of retaliatory violence from those sympathetic to the killer(s) involved with senselessly snuffing out the young woman’s life. In fact, some of the very same people who promoted violence when the time came for justice in “Honey’s” case, are now facing charges of their own in unrelated homicide cases. The irony of it all though!

In my mind though, I knew that things just didn’t add up and “Mercy” was at the center of it all. The stories given to police during the night of her killing, alone are compelling related to the honesty and credibility of Travares Benford and India Smith who say they were victims of a home invasion, that resulted in young Vanessa being slain. For two people who say they were laying in bed together when the front door of the apartment was allegedly kicked in, their accounts of what actually happened couldn’t be more contrasting. He said that there were three gunman, while she told cops that there were four to six armed masked men who stormed into their Hampton Village Apartments in Stone Mountain on October 23, 2012. The pair also claim to have been tied up and forced to lay down in the bathtub, while the gunmen ransacked the apartment. There was also a third person allegedly in the apartment that night, and we now know that his name is Donald “Mercy” Ashe. Although he was also an alleged victim of the home invasion, the initial account of what allegedly happened that was given to police by Benford and Smith, offered no indication of “Mercy’s” whereabouts while the home invasion was in progress. This aspect of the case has always bothered me. They only offered the rationalization that he fled the scene because he had an outstanding arrest warrant for an unrelated crime.

Donald "Mercy" Ashe
Police authorities believed that Donald “Mercy” Ashe (pictured) is allegedly responsible for the brutal slaying of 100 pound teen Vanessa Malone back in 2012.

Now with state prosecutors claiming to have two independent witness who say Ashe confessed to them of allegedly having killed the young woman, and coupled with DNA evidence allegedly connecting him to her slaying becomes very problematic for Smith, Benford, and potentially others who were living in the Hampton Village apartments that night, around the time that the crime occurred. So, the Dekalb County Police are possibly going to make additional arrest in the Malone homicide case. The possibility of criminal charges for others may stem from the discovery of newly found evidence in the case, that emerged roughly three years after Malone was murdered.


“The rationalization that “Mercy’s” disappearance was surrounding an attempt by him to elude police capture for an unrelated crime is perhaps plausible to an extent, but the willingness of others to aid in this guy’s intentional avoidance of having an encounter with the police that night, may be indicative of him being involved in the crime that took place in the apartment directly below where he was allegedly hiding from cops.”

–The People’s Champion Blog

TPC learned several years after the homicide that “Mercy” had not actually fled the scene that night as originally thought. He was allegedly in the apartment directly above the one where Malone was killed. Its unknown whether this allegation was ever confirmed, but it should have served as a pivotal moment in the case, that reportedly may have shed new light on the entire matter, and should have directly challenged the credibility of Benford and Smith, regarding statements they gave police that fateful night. Let’s face it, did Benford and Smith know that “Mercy” was held up in the apartment directly above the apartment where the Malone teen was killed, while the cops where there conducting their investigation? More importantly, if “Mercy” was also a victim of the alleged home invasion, why would Benford and Smith lie about where another victim in the crime whereabouts was? The rationalization that “Mercy’s” disappearance was surrounding an attempt by him to elude police capture for an unrelated crime is perhaps plausible to an extent, but the willingness of others to aid in this guy’s intentional avoidance of having an encounter with the police that night, may be indicative of him being directly involved in the crime that took place in the apartment directly below where he was allegedly hiding from the cops. Read my article on the newly discovered information in the Malone Homicide here: The Fight For Justice In Georgia Teen Slaying Continues Three Years Later With New Information

Knowing what we all know now, why on earth would anyone believe what these people had to say regarding what went on in that apartment the night young Vanessa was killed? Therefore, if the authorities don’t think that “Mercy” was a victim at all in the home invasion and now believe him to be the actual killer, its more than likely safe to assume that they also know that Benford and Smith may have lied to police about what happened to Malone that night. As a result they both could be criminally charged at the very least, with providing false information, conspiracy, accessory to murder after the fake, and potentially murder itself if its proven that they participated in anyway that resulted in her death (i.e. calling her to lure her to their apartment knowing that potential harm may have awaited her).

Additionally, if the tenant(s) who lived above the crime scene were in fact interviewed by cops that night, and its proven that they held information regarding the case from police, they could be criminally charged as well. Either way, I stand by my original posture regarding this tragic story, that young Vanessa Malone was lured to that apartment, after potentially being accused of something, and for the purpose of violence. Similar perspectives are offerred on the True Crime Daily Podcast embeded below.

The above true Crime video shows a clip of “Honey’s” mother Flora Malone describing the odd manner in which her daughter was behaving prior to leaving the home that last night. The way the mom describes it, it appears almost as if it was a final goodbye, that wasn’t fully realized until she was summoned to those apartments after having been told that her youngest child had allegedly been killed. I can’t personally even imagine the feeling that she must have endured, and nearly 8 years later the family is only at the begining of finding closure.

While the arrest of Donald “Mercy” Ashe appears to be a step toward justice in the Malone homicide, we must be cautioned that he has only been charged and suspected with having killed her. True justice is far from certain in any case, but I believe that once some of the basic questions that I’ve offered surrounding this case are answered, I believe not only will we know exactly what happened, justice will prevail, and young Vanessa “Honey” Malone may finally rest in eternal peace. This is what I believe and this is what we should all pray for. May God continue to comfort the Malone family as they relive this horrible nightmare again while seeking justice. God speed.

To be continued…

The People’s Champion

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

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