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Four arrested in connection with Edgecombe County deputy death

(WITN)
Published: Mar. 21, 2018 at 6:00 PM EDT
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Four people have been charged in connection with the death of an Edgecombe County deputy earlier this month.

Deputy David Manning died March 11th after his cruiser crashed while chasing a vehicle on NC-111 about three miles south of Tarboro.

Richard Walters, 33, of Pinetops, has been charged by state troopers with DWI, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities say Manning spotted Walters' vehicle and turned around to chase him when he crashed his cruiser head-on into another vehicle. Troopers say Walters ended up wrecking his vehicle about two-tenths of a mile from the deputy's crash and ran away.

A news release says Walters had been drinking for six hours on the day of the crash.

"We obtained evidence that Walters purchased and consumed the equivalent of 16 malt beverages before driving away from Melanie's Place," said Eric Swain, special agent in charge of ALE's Greenville district. "Even though Walters was in an intoxicated state, he was served malt beverages until the bar closed."

Alcohol Law Enforcement agents have charged the bar owner and another employee in the case as well.

ALE says employee Cindy Mendenhall helped jump-start Walters' vehicle because of a dead battery, and that she and owner Melanie Johnson tried to minimize just how intoxicated the man was.

Mendenhall was charged with obstruction of justice, sale to intoxicated, and aid and abet DWI. Johnson is facing charges of obstruction of justice and allowing a violation to occur.

Kristen Harrell of Pinetops was also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. ALE says she is Walters' girlfriend and was found with the pot when agents went to his home to interview him.

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