Local News

Prosecutor in Zahra Baker case charged with DWI

Posted June 21, 2011
Updated June 22, 2011

— The lead prosecutor in the Zahra Baker murder case has been arrested and charged with driving while impaired on the North Carolina coast.

The Hickory Daily Record and The Charlotte Observer report that police in Sunset Beach arrested Catawba County lead prosecutor Eric Bellas early Tuesday morning for driving while impaired.

An official says Bellas taken to the Brunswick County jail around 2 a.m. and released nearly six hours later.

A source close to Bellas to the Charlotte Observer it was a bicycle incident.

The N.C. District Attorneys' Summer Association Meeting is being held at a conference center in Sunset Beach.

A message left on an answering machine seeking comment from Bellas wasn't returned Tuesday night.

Bellas is the primary prosecutor in the disappearance and death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker. The girl's stepmother, 43-year-old Elisa Baker, is charged with second-degree murder in Zahra's death.

47 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ncpilot2 Jun 22, 2011

    Dear deutschgirl89, First, I NEVER condemned anyone for drinking. My problem is in being drunk around other people that can lead to a number of problems and issues for the individual and the people they are around. There is a huge difference between having a drink and being drunk.

    Plus, as far as your personal attack on my social life, which is typical of liberals to just personally attack rather than state a case, I have a great social life thank you. One that involves people who don't believe you have to be drunk to "have fun." If that is the only way you can socialize, then I sincerely feel sorry for you.

  • misterprecedent Jun 22, 2011

    He's lucky he didn't weave into traffic, causing a law-abiding car driver to have to swerve to avoid killing him, leading to a fatal collision. DWI laws, like traffic laws, pertain to bikes for a reason. Throw the book at him.

  • TheDude abides... Jun 22, 2011

    It's OK. He knows the DA in town.

  • Common Sense Man Jun 22, 2011

    "ncpilot2 -- Just like anything in life, people can choose to abuse substances, children, themselves, or act irresponsibly. Yet, there are millions who DO NOT abuse any of those things and DO act responsibly. Having some wine or a beer with friends while you cook out or want to tailgate in a group setting is not ridiculous, nor is it ridiculous to enjoy a drink on your own terms."

    The argument was being drunk in public, not enjoying a drink or two. You changed your argument. Fail.

  • Shelley Cooper Jun 22, 2011

    he'll sue the pole for aggravated assault

  • Hater like Darth Vader Jun 22, 2011

    I know everyone is saying DWI should only be on motorized vehicles, and I agree. My brother (college student) got a DWI on a bicycle in his driveway. But the general statute clearly defines vehicle and a "horse" is the only exemption, so theoretically, if you are in a horse drawn carriage, or on a mule, you are subject to the legal limit.

  • njacobs317 Jun 22, 2011

    Just How Impaired was he?? .08,09,10,or above. At What level did he think separated Stupidty from Impared.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Jun 22, 2011

    ncpilot2 -- Just like anything in life, people can choose to abuse substances, children, themselves, or act irresponsibly. Yet, there are millions who DO NOT abuse any of those things and DO act responsibly. Having some wine or a beer with friends while you cook out or want to tailgate in a group setting is not ridiculous, nor is it ridiculous to enjoy a drink on your own terms. People die or get killed in life from more things than drunk drivers or, in this case...bike riders. Not that I think that is right or try to demean it in any way -- but stop trying to control things you can't. If you don't like drinking...good for you; then don't drink. Nobody here is forcing you! But with that attitude I doubt you have much of a social life to begin with considering you seem to be afraid of everything. Should people be told "NO" to everything just because of fear from people like you or because some dingo doesn't know when to stop? I think not.

  • rguerra49 Jun 22, 2011

    Cops missed an opportunity to get rid of more of these crooked/holier than thou lawyers by not staking out this drunken gathering. no surprises here in the good old boy south. bet nothing happens to this fine upstanding citizen. but pull over a minority and its THROW THE BOOK AT THEM TIME. I am done with ranting because nothing will change this corrupt system.

  • johnnyboy Jun 22, 2011

    this is no surprise. I would think the real news story would be for any State/municipal official to be found to NOT be under the influence. if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and smells like alcohol, it's probably some kind of politician.

More...