Local News

Trial date set for Fla. man in N.C. trooper's death

Posted December 12, 2008 2:48 p.m. EST
Updated December 12, 2008 10:24 p.m. EST

— A trial date has been set for a Florida man charged in the fatal shooting of a Highway Patrol trooper in western North Carolina.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Friday that 37-year-old Edwardo Wong of Ormond Beach, Fla., will be tried Oct. 12. Wong is accused of shooting 24-year-old Trooper Shawn Blanton Jr., of Cherokee, during a traffic stop June 17 in Canton.

Blanton died two weeks after his wife gave birth to their premature son, who suffered from heart and neurological problems. The infant died in October.

Wong also is facing several other charges, including attempted murder for firing Blanton's gun at a sheriff's deputy who was pursuing him.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty. Defense attorneys said they need more time to prepare.