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Man who killed self was sought in robbery

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Rodney L. Silver

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Halifax County man with a prior record who took his life in rural Nash County earlier this week after a chase by law enforcement was wanted for the recent armed robbery of the Sheetz off Benvenue Road.

The deceased, Rodney L. Silver, 39, was the same man being sought for arrest for the July 23 holdup of the convenience store near Cobb Corners, city police Sgt. Brad Summerlin told the Telegram.

Capt. Eddie Moore of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that the sheriff’s office at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday was told the State Highway Patrol was pursuing a vehicle on U.S. 301 in Rocky Mount.

Moore said, however, that a short time later, the patrol discontinued the pursuit due to heavy rainfall and the motorist driving at a high rate of speed in the inclement weather.

Moore said about 15 minutes later, the sheriff’s office received word of a vehicle wreck on North Browntown Road, which is near Interstate 95 and between the Dortches and Gold Rock areas. The description of the vehicle on North Browntown matched the one the Highway Patrol had been pursuing.

He said as deputies headed to the wreck scene, they learned that even though there was heavy damage to the vehicle, the motorist was able to drive away.

He said a few minutes later, the sheriff’s office received word the vehicle was heading very slowly on N.C. 43 near Jernigan’s Food Store, which is near Aventon.

Moore said after deputies arrived at the scene, they activated their blue lights and tried to halt the driver. The driver exited and walked to the front of the vehicle, produced a handgun and shot himself in the head.

Moore said the gun was reported stolen in the Whitakers area.

Moore said the sheriff’s office learned that in addition to being wanted for the robbery in Rocky Mount, Silver, a convicted sex offender, was wanted in Halifax County for failing to notify law enforcement of a change of address.

Silver, as a convicted sex offender, was required to keep authorities updated as to where he lived.

State Public Safety records show Silver was convicted in October 2001 for committing second-degree rape in Nash County. As part of the conviction, Silver admitted he also had committed first-degree kidnapping, hit-and-run, forgery, uttering forgery, breaking and entering vehicles and larceny, all in Nash County.

The records also show Silver was convicted in June 2001 for driving while impaired, also in Nash County.

The records also show he was convicted in May 2016 for committing larceny from a merchant in Halifax County and in June 2017 for committing common law robbery in Wilson County.