4 arrested in connection with death of Edgecombe Co. deputy

Crime Tracker

Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of an Edgecombe County deputy who was killed in a traffic collision on March 11.

Deputy David Manning lost control of his vehicle and crashed head-on into traffic as he attempted to pull over an intoxicated driver.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol asked for the Alcohol Law Enforcement’s help in the investigation into the fatal crash.

ALE special agents gathered evidence at Melanie’s Place, an ABC permitted business in Tarboro, officials said.

That investigation revealed Richard Howard Walters, 33, of Pinetops, spend six hours drinking at the establishment on the day of the accident.

Officials said Walters crash his vehicle just .02 miles from where Manning crashed.

“We obtained evidence that Walters purchased and consumed the equivalent of 16 malt beverages before driving away from Melanie’s Place,” said Eric Swain, special agent in charge of ALE’s Greenville district. “Even though Walters was in an intoxicated state, he was served malt beverages until the bar closed.”

Melanie Johnson, of Melanie’s Place and another employee,  Cindy Mendenhall, said to have “tried to minimize the truth of Walters’ intoxication.

Both were charged with obstruction of justice.

Walters was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while impaired.

Kristen Harrell, 35, of Pinetops was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mendenhall, 34, of Tarboro was charged with common law obstruction of justice, sale to intoxicated, and aid and abet DWI.

Johnson, 47, of Tarboro was charged with common law obstruction of justice and allow the violation to occur.

“This great investigative work is an example of the commitment our state law enforcement agencies have each and every day, said Fst. Sgt. G.E. Rhew. “Our approach at bringing these individuals to justice is based on the collaborative efforts of multiple agencies to ensure that this and every case is treated with the utmost attention.”

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