Williamston Man Pleads Guilty In State Trooper's Death

A Williamston man will spend the next 35 years in a state prison for killing a state trooper during a high speed car chase.

Christopher Rodgers plead guilty Monday to second degree murder in Nash County for the death of Trooper Gene DeMuth.

DeMuth, who was stationed in Rocky Mount, was struck and killed while trying to deploy stop sticks on U.S. 64 near Spring Hope back on September 8, 2012.

Rodgers was being chased from Raleigh after being named as a suspect in a burglary, robbery and kidnapping case.

"We are pleased in the outcome of this plea agreement; however, we will never truly have "closure" in the death of Gene. I would like to personally thank the District Attorney's office for their dedication and diligence in this case as well as the Patrol's continued support and love. There is no way to fill the enormous void that Gene's death leaves in our family. We will always long for his infectious smile, outgoing personality, love, and compassion. Our hearts are forever broken by his death, just as our lives are forever blessed by his life," said Michelle DeMuth, the trooper's wife.

Last week Rodgers pleaded guilty in Wake County to first degree kidnapping and common law robbery.

DeMuth had been a state trooper for 12 years, and before that worked in Wilson and Edgecombe counties as a deputy sheriff.

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A Williamston man charged with killing a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper during a chase faces more than 13 years in prison on charges stemming from crimes that led to that death.

Christopher Rodgers was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to first-degree burglary, common-law robbery and two counts of first-degree kidnapping.

Wake County prosecutors say as part of his plea deal, Rodgers will plead guilty next week in Nash County to a murder charge. The 41-year-old from Williamston is charged in the death of Trooper Gene DeMuth.

DeMuth died Sept. 8, 2012, while putting out stop sticks to end the chase. Rodgers' estranged girlfriend had told officers that he locked her and her child in a bathroom and stole her ATM card.

Rodgers apologized in court for his crimes.

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