Local News

Suspected drunken driver charged with murder in Raleigh crash

Posted July 31, 2012

— Police on Tuesday upgraded charges against a suspected drunken driver who caused a fatal crash in Raleigh over the weekend.

David Lawrence Coker Jr., 32, of 2607 St. Mary's St., was being held without bond at the Wake County jail on second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury charges.

Police say Coker was drunk when he ran a red light and struck a Dodge sedan at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and T.W. Alexander Drive around 4:40 a.m. Saturday.

The Dodge driver, Kossivi Akpene Gadegbeku, 42, of Raleigh, was killed. His passenger, Laura Cecilia Galdamez, 32, of Durham, was seriously injured.

Her condition as of Tuesday was not released.


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  • sinenomine Aug 1, 2012

    The fact that a car can be a deadly weapon is common knowledge. Anybody who doesn't know that a car can be defined as a deadly weapon at times has been living in a hole all of his or her life.

  • oscarb Aug 1, 2012

    Coker used to come in the bar I worked at for years. He always got wasted out of his mind and a toxicology report would be something good to run on him as he had another habit as well which is so obvious if you know him.

  • Gnathostomata Aug 1, 2012

    DWI is weaving across the line. Premeditated gives you "murder one". Manslaughter is when you weren't paying attention and made a (very bad) mistake that took someone's life. Driving so drunk that you cannot control a ton of steel or obey the law is not a mistake; it is criminal. And when the decision to drive a ton of steel while totally impaired to the point that you do not value the lives of other drivers is criminal, not a mistake. This man clearly does not think the law applies to him. He chose to drink until he was impaired; he clearly chose to drive among others in that state; he ran through a light and killed one person and injured another. None of this was a mistake; it *was* murder. Sending him to classes as punishment is ridiculous. It was just a matter of time before he took DWI to this level, and he deserves a charge of murder in the second degree just as surely as if he had brandished a weapon and fired it into a crowd.

  • not my real name Aug 1, 2012

    Simply put: there is no excuse. He should be charged and do some serious time. He can make his own wine in prison where he wont have a car to drive.

  • Pepe Silvia Aug 1, 2012

    mrlee3, cars have been referred to as 'deadly weapons' in MANY cases, but don't turn this political...

    Deadly weapon - any weapon which can kill. This includes not only weapons which are intended to do harm like a gun or knife, but also blunt instruments like clubs, baseball bats, monkey wrenches, an automobile or any object which actually causes death.

  • promethazine codeine lover Aug 1, 2012

    How come the guy who has (2) DWI/DUI's in 1 week isn't charged with attempted murder the second time around. Instead, was released on a promise to show up in court.

  • sinenomine Aug 1, 2012

    I am wondering why the upgrade in the charge(s) at this time. Did the DA or the police discover that the defendant had one or more previous DWI convictions? That explanation would appear to put this case on all fours with the matter involving former doctor Raymond Cook, the guy who drove drunk and killed the ballerina Elena Bright Shapiro on Strickland Road a couple of years ago.

  • mrlee34 Aug 1, 2012

    I didnt realize cars were considered deadly weapons now two. I bet the left would like to see them banned right along with the guns.

  • sinenomine Aug 1, 2012

    The answer to NotAgain's posting @ 8:23 AM August 1 is - yes, it is murder. While there may be no specific intention to kill anyone the act itself is so reckless, so inherently dangerous, and so likely to result in death to another individual that that reckless state of mind which is heedless of the lives of others substitutes, if you will, for premeditation. In other words, exactly the same (at least in legal theory) as a murder charge arising from a DWI.

  • promethazine codeine lover Aug 1, 2012

    It most definitely is murder when a life is taken due to DUI. - jacoadams73

    So does that mean anyone who is DUI/DWI is 'attempted murder'?