Local News

Hundreds expected at funeral of slain Moore County deputy

Posted December 11, 2011 3:14 p.m. EST
Updated December 12, 2011 4:23 p.m. EST

— Hundreds of mourners are expected to pack Owens Auditorium on the campus of Sandhills Community College Monday afternoon for the funeral of the first Moore County sheriff's deputy slain in the line of duty. 

Authorities say Deputy Rick Rhyne, 58, was shot and killed Thursday in a vacant house at 752 Morrison Bridge Road when he tried to arrest Martin Abel Poynter, 33, for an outstanding warrant for child support. Poynter then killed himself. 

A large crowd gathered at the Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines Sunday afternoon during the visitation for Ryhne's family. His patrol car was draped in black cloth and parked in front of the funeral home. 

Chief Deputy Neil Godfrey, of the Moore County Sheriff's Department, said Rhyne was a great example of what a sheriff's deputy should be. 

"Deputy Rhyne was the ideal law enforcement officer," Godfrey said. "He was the kind of officer that we used as an example for our younger officers to follow and model themselves after."

Rhyne's funeral begins at 1 p.m. Monday. Courts and the district attorney's office in Moore County will close at 11:15 a.m. Monday as a measure of respect and so that personnel can attend Rhyne's services. 

Following the service, Rhyne's casket will be drawn by horses in a procession from his funeral service to Abderdeen, where he will be buried. 

Two of the horses that will pull Rhyne's casket also pulled President Ronald Reagan's coffin during his funeral procession. Fire ladder trucks will raise an American flag for the procession to pass underneath. 

Rhyne had worked in law enforcement in the county since he was 21 years old, and acquaintances said he loved it too much to retire even when he could.

"It was in his blood, and he was a great police officer," said Foxfire Village Police Chief Mike Campbell, who was mentored by Rhyne. "He just loved it that much, and he enjoyed getting in that police car."

Rhyne started part-time work with the Moore County Sheriff's Office in 2007 after rising to the rank of police chief at Foxfire Village, where he spent 26 years. He began his law enforcement career in Pinehurst in 1974.

He is survived by a wife, a son and two grandchildren.

Colleagues and friends remembered Rhyne as a friendly, joyful man.

"When I started here (on the Foxfire Village police force), he knew everybody by name, everyone who lived here," Campbell said.

 "Whenever you saw Rick, he was always personable. He loved everybody," Moore County Sheriff Lane Carter said.

A memorial fund in memory of Rhyne has been set up at First Bank. Anyone wishing to donate can make out a check to the "Deputy Rick Rhyne Memorial Account" and bring it to any First Bank branch or mail it to First Bank P.O. Box 125, Carthage, N.C. 28327.