Kinston man pleads guilty to killing Nash deputy

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

0 Comments | Leave a Comment

A 21-year-old Kinston man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday in the 2011 shooting death of a Nash County deputy who was serving with the U.S. Marshal Service.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer Don Connelly said Lamont D. Byrd, 21, pleaded guilty in federal court in Raleigh to first-degree murder of an officer of the United States. A sentencing hearing was set for Nov. 3, and Connelly said the punishment for conviction likely will be life in prison.

The other suspects — Kion Tyearl Dail, Maretto Byrd and Devine Slade — in the June 9, 2011, death of Nash County Investigator Warren “Sneak” Lewis have court dates scheduled for August and September in Lenoir County.

“There were two different jurisdictions, so double jeopardy doesn’t apply,” Connelly said. “It doesn’t happen often, but a suspect can be charged federally and by state agencies for what a lot of people interpret as the same crime.”

He said he could not comment on the status of other federal investigations, but said there were no court dates published for charges against the other suspects.

Lamont Byrd is expected to plead guilty this week in Lenoir County in connection with Lewis’ death, and also the death and robbery of Thomas Hinton, which led Kinston police to call in the U.S. Marshal’s Eastern North Carolina Violent Fugitive Task Force that included Lewis.

The task force members executed a search warrant in connection with Hinton’s death earlier on the afternoon of June 9, but Lewis and several others went back that night. Despite wearing body armor, Lewis was shot by the suspects who were hiding in an upstairs apartment of a house. The bullet proved fatal to the Bailey father of two, who died later that night.