State News

Judge approves death penalty trial in trooper's slaying

A judge ruled Friday in Haywood County Superior Court that prosecutors could seek the death penalty against the man charged with the shooting death of a Highway Patrol trooperJune 17.

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Edwardo Wong II
WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — A judge ruled Friday in Haywood County Superior Court that prosecutors could seek the death penalty against the man charged with the shooting death of a Highway Patrol trooper June 17.

Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr., 24, was killed June 17 during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 near Canton.

Edwardo Wong III, 37, of Ormond Beach, Fla.. Wong is charged with first-degree murder, among other charges.

Wong also is charged with attempted first-degree murder of Haywood County Sheriff's detective Bruce Warren. He also faces three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession with the intent to sell marijuana and possession with the intent to sell the psychedelic drug ecstasy.

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