Man pleads guilty to killing Nash sheriff's deputy
Posted August 4
Raleigh, N.C. — A man arrested for killing a Nash County sheriff's deputy trying to make an arrest in a murder case pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting.
Lamont Dashawn Byrd, 21, admitted to shooting Deputy Warren Basco "Sneak" Lewis III three times on June 9, 2011, while Lewis – working as a sworn special deputy U.S. Marshal – was serving an arrest warrant at a home on West Lenoir Avenue in Kinston.
Federal prosecutors told the court that Byrd shouted, "See what you made me do?" right after the shooting and then ordered friends to hide the murder weapon, a stolen Beretta .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol.
Sentencing has been set for Nov. 3. Under the law, he faces life in prison. He is expected to plead guilty Tuesday in Lenoir County to state charges in the case.
Lewis's friends and family members, as well as law enforcement officers who worked with him, packed the federal courthouse in Raleigh Monday morning to show their support and to see justice served.
"He was a nice guy. He's the kind of guy you'd want your son to be like. He loved what he did," Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said. "I think today is just another step in the process of conclusion, and hopefully that will come soon for the family."
Lewis, 38, had served with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office for more than nine years and had been on the Eastern North Carolina Fugitive Task Force for three years.
On the day of his death, Lewis was investigating Byrd and four other people in connection with the June 2, 2011, shooting death of Thomas Terrell Hinton, who prosecutors say was fatally shot in the chest.