Charges filed in death of Nash deputy
Posted June 10, 2011 3:50 p.m. EDT
Updated June 10, 2011 7:54 p.m. EDT
Kinston, N.C. — 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.
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.