Sheriff's Deputy Found Dead in Courtroom

The Lenoir County Sheriff's Department is mourning the loss of one of its own after he collapsed in the county courthouse Thursday afternoon.

Department spokesperson Major Chris Hill says deputy Ray Early was found around 3:30 in the afternoon. He was rushed to Lenoir Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Early worked for the department for the last six years after retiring from the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

Deputy Early's funeral has been scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Kinston Performing Arts Center.