Local News

Warrant: Shotgun casing found at Kenly man's home

Posted December 3, 2008

— Investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation seized a spent shotgun shell and shotgun from the home of a Kenly man whom a Johnston County sheriff's deputy killed Nov. 22.

In an affidavit for a warrant to search Reginald Lee Witcher's home, investigators said Witcher fired a gunshot at deputies from inside his residence and through the front door.

Deputy Sgt. J. K. Garner was on the front porch of the home and was struck in the face by broken glass and debris from the blast, the affidavit stated.

Garner returned fire, striking the 54-year-old, who was found dead inside the house, according to the affidavit.

Authorities seized one fired shotgun casing, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and several other items from the residence, they reported.

Citing the ongoing investigation, the Johnston County Sheriff's Office has declined to comment about the shooting and maintains Witcher shot at the deputies.

Witcher's family attorney, Richard Hunter, however, said the shotgun shell doesn't prove Witcher fired at the deputies.

Wayne Mooney, a neighbor who was at Witcher's house that night, noted he saw a spent shotgun shell in Witcher’s front yard, Hunter said, because the Witchers had some areas for target practice on their property.

"Don't read too much into items recovered from the scene," Hunter said. “Mr. Witcher was an outdoorsman. He was a hunter and fisherman. He had guns in his house for hunting and protection.”


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  • pebbles262004 Dec 4, 2008

    The good church going men I know do not have parties at their homes , with alot of drunks..........if they do I do not want to hear anything they have to say in the church..jmo

  • doubletap357 Dec 4, 2008

    I will be glad when the SBI investigation is completed so we can move on. My personal belief based on what information that has been made available is that this was a justified and proper shooting.

  • thepeopleschamp Dec 4, 2008

    yellow hat: "I sincerely hope I am wrong"

    Hang in there, I'm sure your wish will come true.

    yellow hat: "I am betting the "debris" in the face is from the deputies shot, or fabricated"

    Where do I get some of that betting action? A sawbuck says you are wrong.

  • yellow_hat Dec 4, 2008

    leo-nc - I am not a conspiracy theorist at all. As I said - I sincerely hope I am wrong – nobody likes to see the supposedly good guys’ screw-up. This whole incident has smelled bad since it happened and I believe there is something fishy here, but I do not know what happened - neither do you.

    I am curious as to why some people automatically defend the police, i.e. they just assume they are always right? Being overly defensive causes doubt in the public’s mind.

    One quick way to resolve all the suspicion is to simply have a qualified 3rd party administer a polygraph test to both deputies and release the results.

  • yellow_hat Dec 4, 2008

    Politically-correct - tell you what, you do a little research & get back to me. While the majority of the debris will follow the trajectory of a bullet, the low pressure area on the entrance side will cause some to flow in the opposite direction. Check-out some high speed photography. I'll wait here.

  • Politically Honest NOT PC Dec 4, 2008

    "Looks like the family's theory about him being a "good church going man""

    He is a good church going man. He just wanted to go in a hearse, that's all.

  • Politically Honest NOT PC Dec 4, 2008

    ""leo-nc - I am betting the "debris" in the face is from the deputies shot, or fabricated."---

    Not very intelligent are you. Next time you have the opportunity, fire a weapon through a piece of glass and pay real close attention to which way the fragments fly. I am willing to bet the farm that they fly AWAY from the source(i.e. the weapon) as opposed to flying towards the source.

    Do you have any other theories on the matter Einstein?

  • 911girl4life Dec 4, 2008

    To anyone who believes the deputy overreacted - if this man or anyone was standing with a gun pointed at YOU and a deputy was standing beside you, would you want him to wait and let the criminal with the gun to act first before he reacts? I doubt it!!! Thank you to all our law enforcement officers who protect us every day!!! The truth will be told whatever it may be after the SBI finishes their investigation and not a minute earlier. Most of what you read before an investigation is finished is mostly opinion or hear say anyway.

  • BeHappy Dec 4, 2008

    After listening to the 911 recordings it's not very hard to figure out what happened. Alcohol and a weapon were the causes of what happened. Mr. Witcher armed himself with a gun and two deputies did what they had to do to protect themselves. I hope I have the chance to sit on this jury if it ever goes to trial.

  • leo-nc Dec 3, 2008

    "leo-nc - I am betting the "debris" in the face is from the deputies shot, or fabricated."---

    Oh please. Another conspiracy theorist.