Local News

Hundreds expected at funeral of slain Moore County deputy

Posted December 11, 2011
Updated December 12, 2011

— Hundreds of mourners are expected to pack Owens Auditorium on the campus of Sandhills Community College Monday afternoon for the funeral of the first Moore County sheriff's deputy slain in the line of duty. 

Authorities say Deputy Rick Rhyne, 58, was shot and killed Thursday in a vacant house at 752 Morrison Bridge Road when he tried to arrest Martin Abel Poynter, 33, for an outstanding warrant for child support. Poynter then killed himself. 

A large crowd gathered at the Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines Sunday afternoon during the visitation for Ryhne's family. His patrol car was draped in black cloth and parked in front of the funeral home. 

Chief Deputy Neil Godfrey, of the Moore County Sheriff's Department, said Rhyne was a great example of what a sheriff's deputy should be. 

"Deputy Rhyne was the ideal law enforcement officer," Godfrey said. "He was the kind of officer that we used as an example for our younger officers to follow and model themselves after."

Rhyne's funeral begins at 1 p.m. Monday. Courts and the district attorney's office in Moore County will close at 11:15 a.m. Monday as a measure of respect and so that personnel can attend Rhyne's services. 

Following the service, Rhyne's casket will be drawn by horses in a procession from his funeral service to Abderdeen, where he will be buried. 

Two of the horses that will pull Rhyne's casket also pulled President Ronald Reagan's coffin during his funeral procession. Fire ladder trucks will raise an American flag for the procession to pass underneath. 

Rhyne had worked in law enforcement in the county since he was 21 years old, and acquaintances said he loved it too much to retire even when he could.

"It was in his blood, and he was a great police officer," said Foxfire Village Police Chief Mike Campbell, who was mentored by Rhyne. "He just loved it that much, and he enjoyed getting in that police car."

Rhyne started part-time work with the Moore County Sheriff's Office in 2007 after rising to the rank of police chief at Foxfire Village, where he spent 26 years. He began his law enforcement career in Pinehurst in 1974.

He is survived by a wife, a son and two grandchildren.

Moore County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Rhyne Slain Moore County deputy was 'great police officer'

Colleagues and friends remembered Rhyne as a friendly, joyful man.

"When I started here (on the Foxfire Village police force), he knew everybody by name, everyone who lived here," Campbell said.

 "Whenever you saw Rick, he was always personable. He loved everybody," Moore County Sheriff Lane Carter said.

A memorial fund in memory of Rhyne has been set up at First Bank. Anyone wishing to donate can make out a check to the "Deputy Rick Rhyne Memorial Account" and bring it to any First Bank branch or mail it to First Bank P.O. Box 125, Carthage, N.C. 28327.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 13, 2011

    laurenfedorov said, "May all who are affected allow the Lord to heal and comfort them."

    No, thanks. Why would you worship someone who allowed this to happen?

  • dimon Dec 12, 2011

    My heart goes out to the family and my prayers are with them.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Dec 12, 2011

    Law enforcement officers should not have to deal with civil matters like this, they should be out there fighting real crimes. An officer losing his life over something so trivial makes me sad.

    Not paying a monetary debt and then going to jail for it is a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition of involuntary servitude under the Thirteenth Amendment.

  • Nunya123 Dec 12, 2011

    ProudBlackSingleMother - child support isn't a private debt since it is court ordered. They are being arrested for failure to follow a court order and not the debt itself.

  • laurenfedorov Dec 12, 2011

    I was sorry to hear of this gentleman's passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family as well as that of the gunman/suicide, particularly the one who witnessed the shooting. May all who are affected allow the Lord to heal and comfort them.

  • barbstillkickin Dec 12, 2011

    My prayers are with this family and all his co workers that take their lives in their hands every single day. I will pray for the family to find closure and I hope the criminals will learn they must pay the price of a murder no matter what RACE THEY ARE.

  • Ambygirl Dec 12, 2011

    PBSM- What is so 1980's Soviet about making someone be legally and financially responsible for their children? If they are 'man' enough to have them, they should be man enough to pay for them too. Hope all your baby daddy are responsible theirs. If not, what course of action would you take? This man was doing his job! And this guy was committing a crime for which he was being arrested. He took the cowards way out and killed an innocent man. So our this law enforcement officer was dealing with a real crime............

  • lauraleigh Dec 12, 2011

    WRAL - You guys need an editor, and you need to make your facts CLEAR, since so many of your viewers and readers here are local to this funeral.

    The hearse will NOT be caisson-drawn from the funeral. A HEARSE will transport Rhyne's body from Sandhills Community College to a location more reasonably local to the cemetery (which is some 15 miles from SCC). At that location, the coffin will be transferred to the caisson, and the cortege will process the remaining several hundred yards to the church and cemetery.

    I got this information from one of the caisson team members, just a few minutes ago, when I visited the church and cemetery.

    I do hope that no one will be looking for that caisson around the traffic circle/Pinehurst area, at about 2:00 or 3:00 this afternoon, on the word of WRAL.

  • Here2tellya Dec 12, 2011

    So basically, he would rather kill a deputy and himself than pay child support to help raise his kid(s)? Well isn't he just dad of the year. This is the problem with youth today. Absent parents who cant even help raise their own kids. Disgraceful. My sympathies to the deputy's family for their loss of a HARD WORKING DAD to say the least. And my sympaties to the kids of the shooter. More youth without guidance. sigh.......

  • bombayrunner Dec 12, 2011

    "Why in the world are we risking our police officer's lives enforcing private debts... isn't this violating the constitution by creating a debtors prison? - ProudBlackSingleMother"

    If you think about it, they are keeping food in Kid's mouths (serving the public). And it appears people are willing to kill for it as in this result. Not to mention, look at the 'deadbeat' cowards behind this crime, wouldn't want them living next door to me.