Local News

Cumberland County Man Crashes Into Yard, Breaks Into Home, Dies During Struggle

Posted January 12, 2003

— The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Saturday-morning death of a man who crashed his vehicle in the front yard of a home, forced his way into the home and then died after a struggle with someone inside the home.

According to deputies, a woman identified as Mary Knowles called 911 around 5 a.m. Saturday to report that a man had forced his way into her home after wrecking his vehicle in her front yard. Knowles said the individual was violent and was being restrained by her son-in-law.

When deputies arrived at the home, they discovered Kevin Barry Jones lying on the floor near the front door being restrained by Chuck Esswein, Knowles' son-in-law.

When Esswein handed Jones over to deputies, according to deputies, Jones was not responsive.

Emergency personnel were then dispatched and pronounced Jones dead at the scene.

Deputies said Knowles does not live in the home but was there taking care of her elderly mother, who owns the home.

Esswein reportedly lives nearby and was called by Knowles to come help her.

Investigators said that, when Esswein arrived, Jones assaulted him, and they began to struggle. It was during the struggle that Knowles called 911.

The incident took place at 9945 Hwy 210, Autryville, N.C.

Jones' body was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy to determine cause of death.

No criminal charges were filed as of Saturday afternoon.

"We believe it happened exactly as (Knowles and Esswein) reported," Cumberland County sheriff's Lt. Sam Pennica said, adding investigators "have nothing that makes us think they had been anything but truthful."

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