One man is charged with murder and another arrest is expected as officials continue investigating the killing of a Wake County deputy one week ago.
District Attorney Lorrin Freeman expects to see another man charged with murder this week and said she will decide in the next 90 days whether her office will seek the death penalty or life in prison in the case.
Just before Freeman’s comments, a judge denied bail for Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, who was charged Thursday with killing Deputy Ned Byrd late Thursday night, Aug. 11. Byrd was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds outside his SUV early the next morning in southeastern Wake County.
Marin-Sotelo was led into the Wake County courtroom wearing a striped orange jumpsuit surrounded by about seven deputies and officers who wore black strips over their their shields in Byrd’s honor.
The many law enforcement officers in the room were solemn as District Court Judge Damion McCullers explained the seriousness of the charges to Marin-Sotelo through a translator, appointed an attorney for him and ordered him to be held without bail.
Sheriff Gerald Baker announced the arrest at a five-minute, news briefing but didn’t take any questions.
“It’s been round the clock work by this agency and others,” Baker said. “Now we ask for your patience.”
Baker did not explain how Marin-Sotelo is connected to Byrd’s death. But Tuesday, Marin-Sotelo and his brother were taken into federal custody in Burke County after the State Bureau of Investigation asked the Burke County’s Sheriff’s Office to help stop two men traveling westbound on Interstate 40.
Baker confirmed that a truck believed to be connected to the killing was found in Winston-Salem Wednesday.
“We are working on some very, very necessary other components to this case,” he said. “The work continues.”
People with information are asked to call the department’s 24-hour tip lines at 919-306-6931 and 919-306-7748.
K-9 Sasha still in the SUV
Byrd, 48, was found dead outside his unmarked Sheriff’s Office SUV around 1 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12, near a gas station on Auburn Knightdale and Battle Bridge roads in southeastern Wake County. At the time of the shooting, Byrd was wearing a protective vest.
Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Eric Curry said Byrd, a K-9 officer, had responded to a domestic incident in that area around 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. After deputies respond to a call, they typically pull off to a safe location and enter their notes from the incident, which Byrd did, Curry said.
At some point, dispatch tried to check in with Byrd, but he didn’t respond, Curry said.
After a couple of attempts, another deputy was sent to the location where the vehicle was tracked and found Byrd’s body, Curry said. Byrd’s canine partner, Sasha, was still in the SUV.
On Monday, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office released images of what appeared a light-colored truck caught by the deputy’s dashboard camera.
On Wednesday law enforcement officers in Winston-Salem seized a red truck and brought it back to Wake County.
Earlier this week, the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those involved Byrd’s shooting.
Two men taken into custody
On Tuesday law enforcement officials followed Marin-Sotelo and his brother driving a Black Chevrolet Tahoe and a gold Cadillac Escalade on Interstate 40 in Burke County.
“SBI is requesting assistance in stopping the suspect, actually two suspect vehicles from the Wake Deputy,” Burke officials said, according to a Broadcastify recording of the interaction first reported by WRAL.
The dispatcher appears to tell a deputy trailing the vehicles that there is one person in each vehicle.
“And they are both believed to be suspects,” he said.
Funeral set for Friday
Byrd, a New York native, started working for the Sheriff’s Office in 2009 as a detention officer transporting inmates. He became a deputy in 2018.
The visitation was scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Mitchell Funeral Home in Raleigh.
His funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Providence Baptist Church, 6339 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. It will be livestreamed on the funeral home’s Facebook page.
The Raleigh Police Department plans to close Glenwood Avenue near the church at 10:30 a.m.Friday. Members of the Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Unit will serve as pallbearers.
“He lived his life to the fullest, he was helpful, kind, and very much loved,” Byrd’s obituary stated. “Ned was a friend to all, and family to many.”
Byrd is one of five area law enforcement officers shot in North Carolina in recent weeks — two of them fatal.
“[Byrd] was the true definition of what it meant to serve others. He was the first person to show up and help, even when he wasn’t asked,” Joel Schlieman, a longtime friend, told The N&O last week. “He just did it because that’s the kind of guy he was. I think that’s what he was doing when he was working.”
Staff reporters David Raynor and Tyler Dukes contributed to this report.
This story was originally published August 18, 2022 10:00 AM.
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