Local News

Trooper slain on I-40 is laid to rest

Posted June 22, 2008 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Family and friends of a State Highway Patrol trooper, shot to death on Interstate 40, gathered Saturday to bid their final farewells at his funeral in Haywood County.

Friday night, more than 2,000 people attended a visitation for Trooper David Shawn Blanton. He was married and had one child.

The funeral was held at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska. He was buried in Thomas Memorial Cemetery in his native Cherokee.

The 24-year-old trooper, who lived in Cherokee, had pulled over a driver who is now accused of killing him Tuesday night. Court documents show Blanton had stopped a pickup truck towing a car trailer because the trailer and the car on it didn't have proper registration. The trooper was shot during a roadside altercation.

Authorities said Edwardo Wong II, 37, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was charged with first-degree murder in Blanton's death and a judge told him this week he faced a possible death sentence.

Police said Blanton's weapon was found in Wong's truck along with two other weapons, according to court documents. Officers also found marijuana, pills and an unknown white substance, authorities said.