LAWMEN: Shootout Suspect Left Two Notes

A man who authorities say killed his girlfriend, a deputy sheriff and wounded another deputy left two notes behind.

Clarence Douglas Phillips was killed himself in a shootout with Lenoir County deputies early Wednesday morning.

Captain Joe Heckman with Craven County says one note was found on the body of Cindi Knighten. Heckman says in that note Phillips admitted to killing Knighten. The second note was found in his home where Phillips apologized to his family.

Knighten's body was found in her Craven County home as deputies in Lenoir County were encountering Phillips in the woods off Tick Bite Road. Craven County went to Knighten's home after being alerted that Phillips had driven her car to Lenoir County.

Heckman says the woman was first struck by Phillips' fists and then hit with a hammer.

Deputy Allen Pearson was killed in the shootout with Phillips, while Deputy Ryan Dawson was wounded in the neck.


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  • by Chris Location: Windsor on Apr 12, 2009 at 06:26 AM
    These tragic things do happen in small rural america, and unlike our bigger city departments we have to handle these situations with less officers, less equipment, and less resources from command. We will never know what made this thug "snap", but I am forever thankful that Deputy Pearson's family does not have to endure the circus we call "court" with this thug! They can rest at night knowing that he will never hurt anyone else thanks to the efforts of their son,brother, husband. RIP Deputy Pearson!
  • by Pam Location: Newport on Apr 12, 2009 at 05:35 AM
    The only good that I can find in this entire situation is knowing that the State of NC will no be burdened with the expense of giving this monster a trial and a life time in a prison cell. My heart aches for his family and the pain that they are experiencing. May they find comfort and blessing from God, as well as friends and one another.
  • by hello Location: goldsboro,nc on Apr 11, 2009 at 04:18 PM
    The only thing I can say is NO COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!May God bless the family of Allen Pearson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Ian Location: Kinston on Apr 11, 2009 at 06:17 AM
    I salute the sacrifice made by the Lenoir County Deputies. This is just an example of what all Local Law enforcement faces everyday. While we enjoy the peace and safety of everyday life in Lenoir County and the rest of Eastern North Carolina, we should all remember those who spend their time defending us against those who would do us harm. Deputy Pearson will not be forgotten. Ian
  • by cop's wife Location: greenville on Apr 10, 2009 at 09:54 AM
    this whole thing makes my skin crawl. just goes to show that these horrible things can happen here in Eastern NC, not just big cities. My heart and sincerest condolences go out to the families and friends of those involved. These officers went to work just like any other day, only to have their families lives forever changed.
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