FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- The teen charged with killing 15-year-old Danielle Locklear, and dumping her body into a river, stood before a judge Wednesday in cuffs and a jumpsuit.
Police believe Locklear's ex-boyfriend, 17-year-old Je'Michael Malloy, killed her in the heat of the moment in a crime of passion. Because of that, he is only charged with second-degree murder because the murder was not premeditated.
Police say Malloy confessed to strangling Locklear on March 11 during an argument, then dumping her body in the South River near the Cumberland/Sampson County line.
It was an emotional scene outside the courtroom Wednesday. Danielle Locklear's family left in tears. Many of them were too distraught to talk, but others were too outraged to hold it in.
Some held signs, reading "Justice for Danielle."
The Locklear family was extremely close to Malloy, who even participated in those community-wide searches for the girl. Now, Malloy is accused of her murder, and Locklear's family feels betrayed.
"It's been a month-long nightmare and I feel like they've been around us. They've been in our home. He's walked with us on searches. We're disgusted," said Locklear's aunt, Chena Simmons. "And to find out that the perpetrator, or the person who took her life allegedly is her own boyfriend, is a lot to take. It's a lot. We can't deal with it."
Malloy faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Malloy's friend, 18-year-old Dominic Lock, is also charged with second-degree murder for being an accomplice in the disposal of Locklear's body.
Prosecutors told the judge that Lock's second-degree murder charge is likely to be downgraded to aiding and abetting the murder.
Both Lock and Malloy are due back in court on April 29.
So far, there are no funeral plans for Locklear.