Warrant: Shotgun casing found at Kenly man's home
Posted December 3, 2008 5:09 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2008 7:41 p.m. EST
Smithfield, N.C. — 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.”