Local News

Family Of Slain Police Chief Had No Doubts Case Would Be Solved

Posted April 25, 2003

— After authorities made an arrest this week for the murder of Rich Square police chief Joe White three years ago, White's widow said she never doubted the case would be solved.

White was gunned down with his own weapon during a traffic stop in July 2000. Police said Friday they have a suspect in custody.

White's widow, Joyce, credited the arrest to investigators who never let the case get cold.

Friday, Joyce White got her first look at the man charged with killing her husband of 41 years. Police picked up Jason Hebert in Lafayette, La., Thursday.

Deputies brought Hebert from Louisiana back to Northampton County late Friday. One lawman said Hebert may have to be kept in his own cell, because the other inmates thought so highly of Chief White.

From the moment Chief White's murder was discovered, the State Bureau of Investigation and police from all over North Carolina fanned out in search of the killer. Investigators said Hebert was a suspect early on.

Authorities wouldn't discuss details of the case Friday. But they said the arrest came after years of digging.

"It was a result of a long hard struggle and a lot of manpower from dedicated officers."

Joyce White said she won't demand the death penalty. But the family believes it's fair for a man accused of taking someone else's life to pay with his own.

"If it's a jury trial and they say the death penalty, I'm going to go with it," Joyce White said. "I don't want him to ever walk free on this earth again."

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