Danielle “Dannie” Locklear was 15 years old when she disappeared on March 11, 2014, after leaving her grandparents’ home in Hope Mills, just outside Fayetteville, North Carolina. Three weeks later, on April 2, her body was found half-submerged in the South River. The high school freshman had been strangled, ABC11 reported.
It was only a few days after Locklear’s body was found that authorities zeroed in on her ex-boyfriend, Je’Michael Malloy, 17 at the time, and his best friend, Dominic Lock. Malloy confessed to the crime, telling authorities that they argued on March 11, 2014, and in the heat of the moment, he strangled Locklear and shoved a sock into her mouth and the 15-year-old choked to death.
Malloy’s friend Lock was about 70 yards away during the crime, and the two disposed of her body together, weighing it down with cinder blocks and throwing it into the river. Malloy was found guilty by a jury trial in 2016 and sentenced to 25 to 31 years in prison. Lock was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison for his part in Locklear’s murder.
It’s been seven years since Locklear’s disappearance and murder but a Dateline episode on March 19, 2021, is bringing the case back into the spotlight. Where is Malloy today?
Malloy Was Found Guilty of Locklear’s Murder & Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison
During his trial, his lawyer said Malloy was a well-behaved teenager who liked to hunt and fish and wanted to enlist in the Marines after graduating from high school, where he was a senior. He did not have any prior criminal history, ABC11 reported. In May 2016, he pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder charge and apologized for killing his ex-girlfriend.
Malloy, 24, is currently serving his sentence at Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor, North Carolina, where public records show his projected release date is May 31, 2041. Records show he has had a series of infractions in prison, including weapon possession and assaulting someone with a weapon.
Lock, 25, is serving his eight-year sentence at Scotland Correctional Institution in Laurinburg, with a projected release date of October 5, 2021.
Malloy Accepted a Plea Deal for a Second-Degree Murder Charge & Apologized to Locklear’s Family
Malloy accepted a plea deal for a second-degree murder charge in May 2016, which means he will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years. He apologized to Locklear’s family in court and said, according to CBS17, “I know there’s nothing I can do or I can say to bring her back. I do want to apologize for the actions I’ve made. I know sorry doesn’t cut it, but I do I want to say I’m really sorry.”
The outlet also reported that Rowna Fowler, Locklear’s mother, told Malloy in front of the court, “I can’t watch my baby get her high school diploma. I can’t watch her get married. That was my only one, I can’t have any more children, Je’Michael. You took that away from me. You ripped out my soul.” She said the apology did mean something to her but at the end of the day, nothing will bring back her daughter.
Malloy’s father also apologized on behalf of his son for his actions and said he was sorry about the situation and wished that it had never happened. Before the trial took place, WRAL reported that Malloy’s mother spoke about the case and said, “Who is this? This is not my child. He’s never been in a fight, he’s never been a bully, never been out there robbing and stealing.” She said nothing would get better or help heal the Locklears’ pain until he “goes to serve his time.”