State News

Jurors cry as they hear shooting of state trooper

Posted September 10, 2010 7:40 a.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2010 2:26 p.m. EDT

— Jurors in the trial of a Florida man charged with killing a North Carolina state trooper cried when they heard a recording of the trooper’s screams when he was shot.

Multiple media outlets reported that jurors in the case of Edwardo Wong Jr. of Ormond Beach, Fla., watched a visual recording from the trooper’s patrol car camera and heard audio of the shooting Thursday.

Wong is charged with first-degree murder in the June 17, 2008, death of Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr., 24, who was killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 40 near Canton.

Blanton was shot outside the view of the patrol car camera, but he was wearing a microphone. He’s heard pleading with the man not to shoot him again because he has a wife and child.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that trucker Gary Bowes, of Pensacola, Fla., testified Friday that he used his rig to force Wong off the road. Bowes said that as Wong drove away from the scene of the shooting, he pulled his truck onto the shoulder, forcing Wong off an exit ramp to an intersection and onto a dead-end road.

Bowes said that he stayed with Blanton and called 911 but believes he didn’t do enough to help.

Blanton was a native of Sylva and a two-year veteran of the patrol. He was married and had a premature, newborn son, who died of heart complications four months after his father.

Records from the Florida Department of Corrections indicate Wong has 19 criminal convictions dating to 1996 and was incarcerated in Florida from 1998 to 2005.