Exclusive: Honey Malone’s family calls for justice after arrest in her 2012 murder

One man was arrested in the cold case murder that police called a “botched armed robbery” by multiple people. No other arrests have been made.
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:42 PM EST
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) – Published April 6, 2020 – In 2012, 18-year-old Flora Malone was killed after going to a friend’s house in Stone Mountain. Now, years later, her mother Flora talked with CSI Atlanta Investigators with CBS46 about the fight to find her daughter’s killer.

“I just want to wake up and hear the phone ring and a detective calling me saying we got him. We got him,” Flora said.

After nearly eight years, Flora Malone finally got that call. DeKalb County Police arrested 35-year-old Donald Ashe and charged him with second-degree murder in her daughter’s death.

Police said Ashe was one of several people inside the apartment that night. After years of frustration and grief, justice finally feels in sight for Malone, and her oldest daughter, Cassaundra Kennedy.

“I’m just grateful that I’m alive to see this coming because I worried about that sometimes that it just...wouldn’t happen,” she said.

Police said Ashe was taken into custody at his mother’s Stone Mountain home without incident. “We do believe that multiple people are responsible for this crime and the investigation is ongoing,” said lead detective, Sgt. Lynn Shuler. “We hope more arrests will follow.”

Donald Ashe was arrested and charged with the cold case murder of Honey Malone.
Donald Ashe was arrested and charged with the cold case murder of Honey Malone.(CBS46)

CSI Atlanta worked with Honey’s family and police for months to keep her case in public view. “I believe that’s what helped really solve the case,” said Kennedy. “I think you guys pushing the detectives and the DeKalb County Police department.”

CSI Atlanta shared new leads with DeKalb police, introduced them to the M-Vac system – a new forensic technology revolutionizing DNA collection and brought Honey’s story before a national audience last month on the Dr. Oz show in New York.

“They took the evidence that we have identified, the means of how we said you can extract DNA and today they got a hit. They made an arrest,” said CBS46 crime scene investigator, Sheryl ‘Mac’ McCollum.

But as the arrest was made, Honey’s family still didn’t have answers. “We want to know what really happened that night in that apartment,” Kennedy said.

The Case

On October 23, 2012, Honey told her mom she was going out for a little bit. She regularly hung out a friend’s nearby apartment – playing spades, laughing and chilling. Her friend’s apartment was next door to her Stone Mountain home.

Less than 30 minutes later, Flora said she heard a loud noise. “Sounded like gunshots or firecrackers or something. I called her and she wasn’t answering her phone,” she said.

It would be another three excruciating hours before police confirmed it was indeed Honey. She was found in a bedroom closet shot once in the back and again in her chest. According to police, before Honey arrived, several masked gunmen kicked in the door. They tied up Honey’s two friends who were inside the apartment and put them in the bathroom.

At the time of the shooting, DeKalb County police said Honey was at the wrong place at the wrong time – she’d interrupted a botched armed robbery, a drug deal gone bad.

“They drug a trail of blood of my sister on the carpet. And put her in the closet. You don’t take the time to do that if it was just a random robbery. That’s not a thing,” Kennedy said. “No one was pistol-whipped. Nobody was stabbed. Nobody was hurt.”

“Why would Honey be the only one hurt in that apartment. No one else was even slapped. But she’s shot twice. And she deserves to know why,” McCollum questioned.

Her case grew cold quickly after witnesses refused to cooperate with police.

At the time of Ashe’s arrest, Shuler wouldn’t say what role they believe he played in Honey’s murder and was tight-lipped on what evidence led to his arrest. “It was a culmination of reviewing the case file and looking at new evidence,” he said.

Ashe’s Criminal Record

Ashe was charged with second degree murder and concealing facts. He previously served time for aggravated assault and armed robbery.

Malone said Ashe goes by the nickname ‘Mercy’ and was an acquaintance of Honey’s. She pressed Ashe several times for answers about that night, and later pressured police to investigate him further.

“He never agreed to meet with me in person. He never would,” she said.

As Honey’s family waits for the truth, Malone said she still has work to do. “I have two jobs left,” she said. “One to get her justice, and one to keep her memory alive.”