Mountain Island woman charged in fatal, domestic shooting

Traci Bell

A 24-year-old Mountain Island Lake woman has been charged with murder in the shooting death of the 26-year-old man with whom she was living.

Authorities are holding Traci Annette Bell without bond on a charge of felony murder in the death of Andrew Alan Nichols. The two lived in the 7200 block of Mount Holly Road, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police did not provide an exact address.

In a news release, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the case is “domestic related,” but officials did not explain the relationship between the two. Police officials also said, “Child Development-Community Policing is on scene to provide assistance for the children located at the residence,” but they did not elaborate on the number of children and if Nichols and Bell are their parents.

Officers in the department’s Freedom Division were called to the house on Mount Holly Road about 3:45 a.m. March 22, a Tuesday, and found Nichols outside the house with a gunshot wound. Emergency medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

Andrew Alan Nichols

According to the Mecklenburg County jail website, Nichols was charged on Sept. 23, 2010, with misdemeanor assault on a female without aggravated physical force.

After Nichols’ death and Bell’s arrest, the Domestic Violence Advocacy Council invited the public to march at the Square in Uptown Charlotte March 31 from 12:15 to 1 p.m.

The council, which advocates for victims of domestic violence and tries to raise the public’s awareness about domestic violence, reported that Nichols pleaded guilty to the September charge of assaulting Bell, and a judge placed him on probation. The council also said Nichols had been convicted of domestic battery in Florida, though the victim in that case is unclear.

“The march is intended to broaden the public’s awareness that help is available, including programs and services offering safety planning,” the council said. “This is not a memorial.”

This is the first Mecklenburg County domestic violence-related homicide of 2011, the council said. Last year, nine people died “at the hands of their intimate partner or due to domestic violence,” the council said.

The council organizes awareness marches the Thursday following the determination that a death in Mecklenburg County was due to domestic violence. The council includes: victim advocates, child advocates, housing advocates, mental health professionals, police, prosecutors, courts, substance abuse providers, education professionals, medical professionals, batterers’ intervention programs, shelters, animal control, legislators, colleges, local companies, local churches, survivors and interested community members.

For more information on the effects of domestic violence in the community, call the Mecklenburg County’s Community Support Services Women’s Commission at 704-336-3210 or the Shelter for Battered Women’s 24-hour hotline at 704-332-2513.

Find more information on the Domestic Violence Advocacy Council at its website, www.DVACCharlotte.com.

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