Bloodstained money led officers to home where Brevard stabbing suspects were arrested

Nioka Faye Metcalf has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Saul N. Ayala. (Photo credit: Transylvania County)

A search warrant related to a fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old in Brevard last week indicates blood-covered money used at a convenience store led authorities to the arrest of four murder suspects.

According to the warrant, the vehicle Nioka Faye Metcalf, 34, drove also had blood on its interior.

Police said Metcalf told them she'd given a ride to Chadley Norris and Connell Hawkins, two of the people accused in the fatal stabbing, earlier that day.

Hawkins, Norris, and James Ray have been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Saul N. Ayala, a former Brevard High School student. On Tuesday, police also charged Metcalf with first-degree murder.

Ayala was stabbed to death early Thursday, July 20, 2017. The Brevard Police Department said it received a 911 call at 2:45 a.m. Thursday, reporting a fight in front of a home on Washington Avenue.

Later Thursday, the warrant said, a clerk at a convenience store called police to report she had received money covered in what looked like blood. When police arrived, the clerk identified Metcalf as the woman who had given her the money.

The clerk said Metcalf had been in the store with a man.

Metcalf told officers Norris asked her to give three people --Norris, Hawkins, and an unnamed man -- a ride from West French Broad Street about 2 a.m. Thursday. The residence at West French Broad Street is where Transylvania County Special Response Team made what they call a "high-risk entry," where one of the people accused of killing Ayala was arrested.

Metcalf said she took the men to the Pine Crest neighborhood on Unity Drive in Brevard, where she picked up a fourth man. Metcalf said she took the men to a street off Carolina Avenue in Brevard and all four men got out of the vehicle.

She said that after several minutes, the original three occupants got back in and she took them back to West French Broad. That was sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m.

The warrant said that after the interview with Metcalf, authorities began surveillance of the home at West French Broad Street.

The warrant also said a man who had been at the residence the night of the stabbing told officers Norris entered the home in the early morning hours and washed a red substance off his hands. He said Norris' pants appeared to be stained with the same red substance.

The man also said he saw a large knife between the cushions of a chair.

During a search of the West French Broad Street house, authorities seized four cell phones, a kitchen knife, and swabs from a sink drain.

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