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No Verdict Reached in Assault Case Against Former Deputy

Posted April 4, 2007

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— A jury on Wednesday deliberated for about four hours without reaching a verdict in an assault case against a former Wake County deputy.

Christopher Roth is the first of three former deputies to be tried on an assault charge stemming from an altercation last August outside an Applebee's restaurant on U.S. Highway 70 in Garner.

Robert Wise said three undercover officers cursed and beat him in front of his wife and daughter because they were upset that he had taken up two parking spaces outside the restaurant.

Two weeks after the alleged incident, Roth and deputies Katie Broda and Kevin Hinton resigned from the Wake County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Donnie Harrison has since apologized for his deputies' actions.

During their deliberations, jurors asked to listen to a 911 call made by Wise's wife during the incident. They are expected to continue considering a verdict on Thursday.

Roth testified Tuesday that he didn't do anything wrong. He said he felt it was his duty to investigate why Wise was occupying two parking spaces.

Broda testified that Wise acted aggressively toward the deputies.

Wise, his wife and daughter testified that the deputies came running up to their vehicle without identifying themselves, yanked Wise out of the driver's seat and hit him and used pepper spray. Wise's daughter said she also was pepper sprayed during the incident.

"What is it about Mr. Wise that upset Deputy Roth so much?" Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby asked jurors during his closing argument Wednesday morning. "Was the situation so acute that you had to drag Mr. Wise out of the car and go through what he went through in order to control the situation?"

Defense attorney Hart Miles told jurors in his closing argument that a series of quick decisions snowballed into the altercation that never should have happened. But he said Roth based his actions on his experience and his actions were justified.

"The double parking is what initially drew the attention of the officers ... Mr. Wise's behavior out of that (vehicle) window is what made them approach," Miles said. "Real life, on the street, when you're an officer, happens very quickly, and you have to make quick decisions."

Roth and the other deputies didn't know if Wise had drugs or weapons on him, so they took the necessary action to gain control of the situation, Miles said.

Willoughby said the case comes down to whether Roth had reason to get into an altercation with Wise.

"The question is ... was there justification for what Chris Roth did or not. If there was justification for it, then he's not guilty. If there wasn't, then he's guilty of (assault)," he said.

353 Comments

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  • Friend Apr 6, 2007

    narc,I left you a note on the new post site, I did not know any one was on this one still. Good night it's been a long day!

  • Wildside Apr 5, 2007

    If they find him NOT GUILTY, will citys be destroyed like the LA riots? I hope not, but I feel it coming

  • mugofstout Apr 5, 2007

    Sounds like the jury knows Wise is lying, but the DA doesn't want to lose a voting block by letting it go.

  • Dayum Krazy Apr 5, 2007

    are you kidding me...the only people in this town who are in a hurry are the speeders lol

  • Heelz1 Apr 5, 2007

    chevy drop off a couple cheeseburgers by here

  • Corvette Sales Apr 5, 2007

    Im going to lunch also.

  • narck9 Apr 5, 2007

    It will pick up after lunch.

  • 2little2late Apr 5, 2007

    re:"We are at 358 post. We are doing well."..I've certainly tried to do my part

  • narck9 Apr 5, 2007

    We are at 358 post. We are doing well.

  • Corvette Sales Apr 5, 2007

    I wish they would hurry up.

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