Domestic Violence Will Not Be Tolerated

In light of recent events, please join us in sending the message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in our community.


Thursday, April 13, 2006
6:00 p.m. – Rain or Shine
Franklin Street Post Office, Chapel Hill

For additional information, please call (919) 929-3872.

Organized by the Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County and Family Violence and Rape Crisis of Chatham County



In case folks don't know, because the local news media has been (in my opinion) woefully inattentive to this story: on April 7th, Chapel Hill resident Keara Lynne Heart was stabbed to death by Damego Demon Lee. Heart and Lee had been a couple previously, and it was not clear at the time of her death whether they were still involved. Keara left behind 2 children. In a terrible ironic twist, Keara's mother, Darien Russell, has been an advocate for domestic violence survivors in Chatham County for many years.

Since Keara was killed, I have read one story in the N&O and one on, both published the day after her body was discovered. Since then, the local news media has been mostly silent. I wonder if the ongoing coverage of the issues in Durham--with similar themes of violence against women, sexism, and male privilege--has taken our local journalists' focus away from the very real, very devastating fact that Chapel Hill/Carrboro has the same problems. Not to imply that EVERYONE shouldn't be paying close attention to the Durham situation, but I've been distressed not to see more reporting about domestic violence, and other violence against women and children, in our own back yard. It just reinforces the myth that while Durham might be a violent place, Chapel Hill is not.

Those of you who are concerned about violence in our community and beyond, please come to the vigil at the downtown Chapel Hill Post Office tonight, and add your voice to others to say violence against women, or anyone else, is not to be tolerated, not ever.

Here is a link to the N&O story about Keara's death:

Elizabeth Waugh-Stewart
Board Member, Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County

Thanks for the info, Mark and Elizabeth. I'll be at the vigil tonight.

Good luck with the vigil. Maybe this event will snap some sense into the local media.

Elizabeth, I "Googled" his name and got the following:

Domestic Violence HomicideAt 1:12 this morning Damego Demon Lee was arrested and charged with First Degree Murder. ... His address is the same as Ms Hart's. Damego Demon Lee ... police/Press2006/prdvhomicide.htm - 4k - Cached - Similar pages

Daily Tar HeelPolice charged Damego Demon Lee, 32, of 800 Pritchard Ave. Ext., Apt. C-17, with the murder of 30-year-old Keara Lynne Hart, according to Chapel Hill police ... - 49k - Cached - Similar pages | Local & StateDamego Demon Lee has been charged in the first-degree death of his girlfriend who was found stabbed to death in her apartment. Updated: Apr. 7, 2006 10:53 ... - 84k - Cached - Similar pages

Chapel Hill News | NewsDays later, she recanted, telling authorities Damego Demon Lee hadn't forced his way into her apartment, hadn't forced her onto a love seat, ... news/story/2925595p-9372165c.html - 47k - Cached - Similar pages Man charged with roommate's murderThursday evening, Chapel Hill police discovered Keara Lynne Hart, 30, dead on the floor of the apartment she shared with Damego Demon Lee, 32. ... - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

Directory for ...Durham Herald Sun, NC - 20 hours ago ... dead on the floor of the apartment she shared with Damego Demon Lee, 32. ... Lee has faced a number of criminal ... Directory/Recreation/NorthCarolina/ - 35k - Cached - Similar pages

Ms. Waugh-Stewart,

I think that you will see that the media will cover the case agressively as soon as there is any break. I know that the DTH essentially ran two stories--there was an initial report online and then the later, more detailed sort of piece that Mr. Black linked to above, which I think is the version that ran in the hard-copy paper.

Until something else happens, there's not really much to do, because of the nature of the news business.

Thanks Fred and Ted, you really warm the heart by showing how concerned our community is about this domestic murder.

Some of my friends have been discussing why this has been getting so much less attention than the Duke rape case when this is a verifiable muder and not just an alleged assault. I think it's because the situation in Durham touches on race and class, and revealed a sick social culture pervasive among affluent white male students. It's easy to see how this impacts involves the whole community.

I hope people will take Keara Heart's murder seriously. This was a woman with a strong, supportive family and with a good awareness of domestic violence. We often think that "this won't happen to me" because I know better or I have more resources. Keara's murder shows that no-one is immune to the disease of domestic violence.


I fear that domestic violence will continue to be a problem as long as our society continues to portray the image of the strong male as the macho, physically-dominant male. And while I'd be the last person to advocate censorship, the crap that is on TV and in video games where violence is pushed to unimaginable limits only insures that domestic violence will continue to be with us for some time. At what point did "he who ends up with the most marbles wins" become "he with the most kills wins"?

Ruby, you are entitled to your own special brand of sarcasm and even immaturity, but why to do always seem to want to be negative, especially about something that was not negative?

I made no comment about how how concerned our community is about this domestic murder one way or another and you know it. Why must you be stuck on negative?

There were three pro video cameras, three or four still cameras, one consumer video camera, an audio mini-disc recorder, and several reporters with paper and pencil at the vigil last night. While I think publicity about this terrible event is important I'm not sure it will do much more than sell ads. Awareness and coverage is important but our criminal justice system working to protect victims from baterers is much more so.

As a smart man said last night at the vigil - I challenge all MEN to take this issue very seriously. Domestic violence isn't just a woman's problem. Men need to talk to their male friends and encourage a culture of love and nonviolence.

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence is an excellent group working very hard to stop domestic violence all over the state. Go to their website to learn more. A much better resource for info than any media outlet.


I think the Durham prosecuter's initial willingness to give press conferences may have fed the media frenzy. I think he may have tainted his case. It will be interesting to see if the Grand Jury hands down any indictments...


My family can finally close this chapter of our lives and hopefully, as my cousin so eloquently stated at yesterdays sentencing, 'begin to live the life that Keara would want us to have.'


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