Darah Michelle Gardner was killed by her enraged housemate. He became angry and forced Darah to leave with him and he killed her by running over her with his SUV and then beating her and tossing her down a five foot embankment. Mr. Galloway a 34 year old married man, (married to Lynn Galloway) killed this young woman when he learned she was about to move out of the dwelling that they had shared for about one year, and she would no longer be paying him the $100 a week room and board.
We met Mr.Galloway when Darah's mother was a manager at a gas station (for 3 years) and had hired the 35 year old married man to clean the parking lot of snow and debris and he was also a daily customer at the store. Darah and her mother both lost their jobs when there was restructuring of the business after Darah's stepfather left the state to care for his ageing mother and became disabled and did not return to work as this job required two managers. Darah was an assistant/cashier and had worked 40 hours a week or more to assist the family opperated business for about one year. She and her mother lost their jobs in the month of May 13th, 2010, and both began to draw unemployment. Darah collected $150.00 dollars a week, a portion of her previous salary and had been living with a family friend named Mr.Smith and her many exotic pets, including a boa constricter, a chinchilla, an amozon parott, cats, a rat, a ferret, and a doberman just to name a few.
Mr. Smith's home was near the store and at times Darah had to walk to work if she could not find a ride. Darah's mother and little brother lost their home, and eventually the car as well, upon the loss of the job because they lived at the store where they worked. Upon loss of her job, Darah recieved an offer to move into the home with Mr. Galloway with an explanation that his wife had left him and he was fond of Darah and wanted assistance in paying his house and car as his wife no longer helped him financially. Darah was reluctant, but she knew that her mother and brother may be able to move into the space at Mr.Smith's home if she vacated with her many pets and it was difficult for her to find an affordable dwelling with the numerous pets in tow. Within 3 weeks of losing the jobs...Mom and little brother moved into Mr. Smith's home and Darah moved into the residence of Mr. Galloway making room for her family in the previous dwelling and paying Mr.galloway $100.00 dollars a week room and board. We trusted Mr.Galloway for the most part at that time. The week before Darah was killed, Darah informed her Mom that Mr.Galloway was going on vacation and his Mother had given him some free tickets to a theme park near Charlotte NC, and he had said she could go at one time with him and then said he could not afford the gas because he was losing his house to foreclosure and his auto would soon be repossesed. Darah's little brother was visiting family near Raleigh NC, and Darah's Mom was having transportation problems as well, so she asked Mr. Galloway to please take Darah with him and then go on to Fuquay Varina near Raleigh to pick up the little brother as a favor and it was very important to Darah to get to visit her family. He said he would do that IF he was paid enough to cover the gas and he would let Darah go to the theme park with him as well. Darah gave him $60.00 from her and her Mother and a promise to give him $10 more the next week. So when he got to Charlotte N.C., Darah called her Mother, She was very upset and said that he would not take her to see her family or pick up her little brother unless he got more money right then, and Darah's Mother called her Grandma and asked her to help with the expense so Darah could see her family, we didn't know it was for the last time on this earth. Grandma Honeycutt gave Mr. Galloway $200.00 dollars to bring Darah and pick up her little brother to take him home. Darah had one last treasured visit with her good friend and beloved family. Mr. Galloway had a mishap on the way back and hit a guard rail on the interstate scaring Darah and she told her Mom his driving had scared her and she didn't like riding with him very much because he seemed careless and it reminded her of a tramatic reoccuring nightmare she had been having.
Darah Michelle Gardner was an A/B honor roll student in school, she played in the school band, piano and the flute very well. She had recieved two "Good Citizenship" awards amoung her many accomplishments and "Best Defender plaque" from her H.S. school soccer team. She broke the school record for the fastest female runner. She took a summer college course in criminal justice and was interested in returning to school to continue her education and possibly work in law enforcement. She was talanted and smart. Darah was very loving, humble, caring and a compassionate person. Darah was only 24 years old and very dependable, hard working and an all around sweet person. She had volunteered her time during the summer of 2011 at a kid's summer camp and worked with horses for the children's rides. She was looking forward to getting her own apartment. She had planned to move to a safe and peaceful dwelling with the help of her mother and possibly her little sister who was having troubles due to drug abuse in W.Va. The plan was formulated in early August for the girls to obtain a low income apartment and assist one another with rent untill Darah could get her own place. We knew it would be easier for the little sister to get help because she had the two small children...and Darah had not seen her sister very often in 5 or 6 years except for one visit during holidays. So she was looking forward to building a relationship with her when she could become sober and clean. Darah had said "I don't think we can help her ( little sister) Mom. I think she needs professionals." It was the only way to help both girls quickly...to try to get them a place to live temporarily together. There seemed to be no other help available to us.
Darah had to move due to the abuse she began to experience from Mr.Galloway as time passed he began trying to controll her and the fact that he had hurt her physically leaving bruises on her arms and legs a couple of weeks prior to the week she was killed made the search for her a place to move to a top priority. Mr. Smith assisted Darah's mother in trying to relocate Darah, with mom even calling DSS and Mainstay of Hendersonville to get help (a domestic violence assistance organization) to find a safe and quick place for Darah to live. Mainstay repersentative told Darah's mom that there was no assistance unless Darah had pressed charges on this man for the abuse and recieved some court documentation.
We were at a loss as to where and how to quickly move Darah so we decided for her protection, and due to the recent physical attacks on Darah by her housemate Mr.galloway, to not inform him (Mr.Galloway) of the exact date she would be moving ...because Darah simply wanted to be safe, avoid confrontations with Mr.Galloway and not to cause this man more stress or problems than he already had, with going to court with his wife and supposedly having to pay her large amounts of money, (he seemed to always be broke and was in danger of foreclosure on his house and his auto was scheduled for repossesion in September 2011 when they came to his house to get it, but his mother was there and it was not taken at that time with a promise of payments to be caught up soon), and he had seemed to have been a friend in the past, and Darah wasn't a trouble maker, she was distressed at the uncomfortable position, that she had found herself in and she was at the same time eager to see her little sister and help her if possible find health and sobriety and help each other by shareing expenses of a shared apartment...so we followed the leads they gave us and checked on an apartment, just the week before Darah was killed. She was to go back with some proof of income paperwork the following week to try and get the low income apartment in "Kings Gate" in Hendersonville. Meantime she tried to keep her exact move date unknown to Mr.Galloway to avoid any confrontations with him.
The little sister was brought to NC in August 2011...three days before Darah was killed, because she had pleaded with her mother to "save" her life from the drugs and drug enviroment that was killing her, and there are many texts from the little sister that prove she was asking to move to NC and needed her mother and sister to help her recover from several years of drug and alcohol abuse. The 23 year old little sister had seen her older sister (only 13 months older) Darah... overcome experimentation with dangerous drugs and a love of alcohol from the age of about 17 to about 21, so the little sister was convinced with family support she could be healed like her big sister Darah, and become more able to cope and be able to live a sober life and properly care for her two small children and model succsess for her drug addicted and deathly sick Husband who had experienced pancreatic problems and been hospitalized at times.
Darah had accomplished much in her short life, and faced many difficult decisions, always considering the well being of others and not just herself. She had admired people who work hard and accomplished their goals and was wanting to work hard at her own goals to one day own a pet store and to work with dogs in law enforcement. I am so proud of her and so happy that she was my constant companion and we had shared so much time and enough love to make up for her few lost and rebellious years which we made up for in the last two years of her life. She was really starting to shine as I saw a more mature and sober Darah so goal driven and energetic and full of love and laughs Darah was my right hand and my" go to girl" for anything I needed her to help with at work or with her younger brother. She was setting higher goals for herself and giving to others as much as she could. Darah was active in participation and support of her baby brother's high school, going to meetings in support and helping her little brother stay focused on school. Darah admired the type of work tha took her outside even though she was great at helping in the office. She lifted my spirits during the tough times and I counted on her. Darah was a young woman with many possibilities and dreams. She began to have nightmares not long after moving into Mr.Galloways residence and she told her Mom. She became increasingly afraid of Mr.Galloway's bad temper and then reported the abuse to her mother in July 2011. She had concerns about her living situation and we began to look for a new place for her to live, just as her sister was calling and texting that she needed help. Mr.Galloway did not seem to have a problem with alcohol, or drugs at first, although we later learned that he did smoke marijuana and even later learned that he had alittle brother who was a drug addict according to several sources. Darah had reported that Mr. Galloway took pills alo, perhaps pain meds for his back aches, and she thought he may have been on some kind of meds.
Darah had worked hard to remove herself from the companionship of "friends" and people she knew who used illeagal drugs and/or abused alcohol. At times Darah had sheltered the homeless, fed the hungry, rescued the endangered and all the while she wanted to "leave a legacy" as she had told me..(.words from a christian rock song). She wanted much better for her life. Darah was an avid journal writer, almost daily record keeping of all kinds...and she was very good at it. Darah reported in April of 2011 to her mother that Mr.Galloway had become aware that she had many journals and was afraid she may have written things about him and he demanded that she not mention anything about him in her writings and took some of her journals away from her and demanded she not write anymore in his house. It was thearapy for Darah and she explains that in the one remaining hidden journal that her mother was able to get from the house after Darah was killed. Mr.Galloway and his father burned the rest of Darahs journals as wittnessed by 2 people when trying to retreve the personal belongings from Galloways residence.
Darah had recently redevoted her life to God and was so happy to go to church with her Mother and brother whenever there was transportation, and she told me the Sunday before she was killed that she had enjoyed going to our church that day and it was "the best sermon" she had ever heard and that she had "needed" to hear it. It was on the subject of how we are more loved by God than all of his other many wonderfull creations and we are not to worry, because " worry is unfaithfulness, and unfaithfulness is sinfulness" so don't worry. She repeated that saying to me several times in the two days before her death. Darah even tried to include and be a witness to Mr.Galloway, by inviteing him to attend church with us.
To this day Mr. Jason Galloway has refused to return Darah's personal property and the well being of most of the pets is presently unknown. Only the one journal , the parot and the dog were able to be obtained from Mr. Galloway, while family was present at the home, after Darah was killed. Darah's artwork, paintings and award winning sculpture, remaining journals and photo baby book, her personal effects and remaining pets were never returned to Darah's family.
Darah had called her Mother late at night on Tuesday Aug.23,2011 at 10:37 p.m. to ask for help when the angry man which was her housemate was trying to attack her. Her Mother told her to go outside and try to put distance between her and the attacker that was clearly heard screaming and looking for her. No one got there in time to help Darah in time to save her life, and she had been dragged in the dirt driveway as evidenced by the marks her feet made in the dirt and rocks...and he pulled her by her twisted (like a rope) Tshirt onto a paved highway and ran over her. He then beat her and this was also heard on the phone all the while an intoxicated and drunken little sister was screaming "Stop! Stop hitting her You are hurting her! Stop! Stop! Stop! She can't breathe with you hitting her so hard! Stop!Stop!" I heard the air come out of Darah twice as she was hit and it sounded as if Dessa was close to her sisters body and holding the phone down near her side as she yelled at Mr. Galloway to stop hitting her sister and then just dull but loud thumps as he continued to hit her many times, I knew he was killing my child. She had already been run over by Mr. Galloway's SUV, and then beaten very hard, and THEN...he tossed her body down the hill. Then he demanded that the little sister give him Darah's purse. I heard him then throw things as hard as he could...a can, and I heard it hit pavement...I couldn't understand WHY was he doing these things and WHY did he hurt my child.
The Investigators Sergeant Anderson and Jhonny Duncan seemed to ignore facts...and WE saw Sergeant Anderson put his hand in the eyewitnesses face and say "Stop! That didn't happen. Watch what you say, because IF we have to charge him with anything , we will charge you with the same thing." So the little sister, deathly afraid of going to jail and intoxicated and in shock...sat back away from his hand and said "OK" and she has not wanted to risk being charged and has not been willing to speak up since this horrific incident that ended that night with her sister being murdered. They even said they would charge her with purgery if she tried to change the statement that they claimed was hers. The little sister suffers from mental and emotional disabilities, made worse by drugs and alcohol and she was not willing to tell them what she told us as we stood beside of the ambulance that night and the EMT's placed Darah's body into it, and then on the way to the hospital and she told others in the family.
During the days that followed the entire family was in shock and Darah's mother recieved a phone call from a Nationwide rep.Mr. Thomas Nye. He said he wanted to inform the family that Mr. Galloway was going to be collecting money in association with and due to Darah's death and her being covered because he had added her to the policy in the spring of 2011, when he had given her a ride to the DMV to get her DL reinstated after she had missed a traffic court date and had to pay a fine, even though she had no car, and Mr. Galloway had offered to do her a favor to save her money and said it would only cost her $9 more per month and she could use his auto to go to work and run errands for him... and he was the policy holder...on the vehicle that ran over her and he was the driver. Mr. Galloway anounced at the time of the funeral that his insurance policy was " going to pay him good. it didn't matter if she was getting in, or getting out, if I ran over her or someone else did...as long as she died within 50 ft of my automobile, it will pay me good" Darah's family was in shock and overcome with grief and sadness that a precious member had been so violently and cruelly been taken from us.
There were never any charges filed by the law enforcement in this case and this man lied and was allowed to go free. Please remember the murdered victim and prosecute this case of murder and domestic violence. Darah would have done this for you...please sign and share this petition for JUSTICE FOR DARAH! Thank-you!