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Charges filed in death of Nash deputy

Posted June 10, 2011

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— Charges have been filed against four men detained in the shooting death of a Nash County sheriff's deputy in Kinston Thursday night. 

Investigator Warren "Sneak" Lewis, 38, who was assigned to the U.S. Marshals Service, went to a house at 602 W. Lenoir Ave. around 7 p.m. to serve outstanding warrants for murder, authorities said. Someone opened fire as Lewis and another marshal approached the house. WNCT-TV reported that Lewis was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time. 

Authorities detained five people, including two wanted in the June 2 death of Thomas Hinton, 31, who was shot in the chest at West Lenoir Avenue and Mitchell Street. Four of those people were charged in Lewis' death. 

Lamont D. Byrd, 18, Kion Tyearl Dail, 16, Devine Slade, 17, and Maretto Byrd, 26, are each charged with murder. Byrd and Dail are also charged with murder in Hinton's death. 

U.S. Marshals have taken over the investigation. They were assisted by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Friends remember fallen Nash deputy Friends remember fallen Nash deputy

Lewis, of Middlesex, had served with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office for more than nine years. He had been on the Eastern North Carolina Fugitive Task Force, a cooperative venture between the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement agencies, for the past three years.

He is survived by his wife, Shannon, and daughters, Lauren, 14, and Ashley, 11.

"He would talk to you about NASCAR, and he would talk to you about skiing, taking his girls skiing, teaching them," Nash County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Keith Corbett said Friday. 

Friends said Lewis loved the job of tracking down fugitives and had wanted to be in law enforcement since he was a teen.

"He more than a deputy. He was a great dad and a great son and a great husband, and he's going to be missed," Corbett said.

Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins described Lewis as a "gentle soul and would go out of his way to give you the shirt off his back, if he thought you needed it. He will definitely be missed, and he leaves a void at this office that will never be filled."

Gov. Bev Perdue ordered state flags in Nash and Lenoir counties to be lowered to half-staff through sunset Sunday in honor of Lewis. She issued a statement encouraging private businesses and residents to do the same.

U.S. Attorney George Holding, who oversees the Eastern District of North Carolina, expressed his condolences to Lewis' family.

"The law enforcement community has lost one of its finest, and my office stands ready to assist in anyway in this matter," Holding said in a statement.

Funeral services for Lewis will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Southern Nash Senior High School, where Lewis graduated 20 years ago. Burial will follow at Hollywood Cemetery. 

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  • Card Player Jun 13, 2011

    Cushy prisons make prison time easy. They come out with street cred and a badge of honor.

    Remove the TVs and recess and put prisoners on a chain gang (with actual chains) and make them turn big rocks into small rocks all day, every day. Make it unpleasant to go to prison and they'll start thinking twice about some of their actions.

    This country needs to wake up...you could be the next person they decide on as a target.

  • sweetrose Jun 13, 2011

    The Middlesex community will never be the same.

    Prayers to all those that knew and loved Warren, you will be missed greatly.

  • CanAm Jun 10, 2011

    This is such a tragic situation...I can't understand why Byrd was on the streets to begin with since his arrest record shows numerous arrests and time served for assaults...armed and unarmed. I wonder when the average citizen will have as many rights as the criminal? God Bless the Lewis family.

  • twc Jun 10, 2011

    Those whose hearts bleed for the bad guys please consider the wife and 14- and 11-year-old daughters whose lives have been shattered. There is never a right time to lose your Dad but this is probably as bad an age for his kids as could be.

    Getting them off the street has no doubt saved lives unknown.

    The officer is definitely a hero. He is one of many who put their lives at risk every day. Prayers for his family. They are paying part of the price for our safety

  • twc Jun 10, 2011

    Some day concern for the safety and treatment of the bad guys will be outweighed by the concern for the safety of people who try to protect other people from evil.

    Some day evil lives will not be seen as worth preserving. That day is coming! Some day we will realize that not all life is precious!

  • commonsensical Jun 10, 2011

    silencedogood: Please read the article before commenting. The deputy was serving the warrants for the US Marshals, therefore he was working for them at the time. It would be logical, then, for them to take over the investigation / prosecution.

  • pintonbeans Jun 10, 2011

    When innocence civilian got k!lled by cops, you will hear a public outcry. And when a cop get killed by gangsters, the sympathies from the public are the same.

  • 1 awesome Dad Jun 10, 2011

    For once this just leaves me a loss of words personally. :

  • silencedogood Jun 10, 2011

    RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman - That could just mean that they didn't want the SBI to taint yet another investigation?

  • PanthersFan45 Jun 10, 2011

    I never liked the death penalty and would never want to be on a jury to decide that fate of someone accused, but when I see a LEO killed in the line of duty it makes me angry. These guys do an extremely brave job and when a criminal takes their life it bothers me. If proven guilty these 4 deserve the maximum penalty, whatever that may be.

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