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North Carolina Man Sentenced for Killing U.S. Marshals Task Force Officer

November 4, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
North Carolina Man Sentenced for Killing U.S. Marshals Task Force Officer Image courtesy of officer.com

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Lamont Deshawn Byrd was sentenced on Monday in federal court in Raleigh, North Carolina, to serve life in prison for committing first degree murder of an Officer of the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Byrd, 22, pleaded guilty on Aug. 4, 2014, to killing Warren Basco “Sneak” Lewis III with premeditation and malice on June 9, 2011.

Lewis was an investigator with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office who was also a sworn special deputy United States marshal assigned to the Eastern North Carolina Regional Fugitive Task Force.

The investigation began on June 2, 2011, in Kinston, North Carolina when officers responded to a shots fired call and found homicide victim Thomas Terrell Hinton fatally shot in the chest.

The investigation determined that Byrd, Kion Tyearl Dail and two additional juveniles murdered Mr. Hinton and then stole his bicycle.  Murder warrants were issued for the arrest of the aforementioned individuals and law enforcement began looking for the suspects.

On June 9, 2011, Kinston officers, along with U.S. Deputy Marshals attempted to locate the suspects utilizing warrants and executed a search warrant at 602-A West Lenoir Avenue, Kinston, North Carolina.  This address is a residence which has been converted into three separate apartments; one upstairs and two downstairs.

Although it appeared that the apartment had been inhabited,   However, two shotguns were located.  Laboratory testing revealed that Byrd had possessed the weapons.  Earlier Byrd and several others had moved to another apartment downstairs.

Later that day, after developing additional information, law enforcement officers went back to the Lenoir Avenue apartments.  While searching for the suspects, law enforcement officers announced their presence.

As Investigator Lewis was coming down the stairs from the upstairs apartment, Byrd shot three times through the closed door, striking the deputy all three times.  After realizing he had shot an officer, Byrd was heard to utter, “See what you made me do?”  Byrd then handed the weapon to another individual to hide.  After a 20-minute stand-off, the individuals came out.  The weapon, a Berretta .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, was found in a banker’s box in a closet, with Byrd’s DNA on it.  The weapon had been stolen from a residence three weeks prior.

Lewis was transported to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

“The death of Special Deputy Lewis is a tragedy for his family and all of us in the law enforcement community,” said U.S. Attorney Walker;

“Today’s sentencing is the result of a tragedy and loss of human life that was not necessary,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Wayne Dixie.  “Anyone that uses a firearm to commit a violent criminal act, especially the murder of a law enforcement officer, will be held accountable for their actions.  We will continue to use all of our resources to prosecute those that choose to commit this type of heinous act.”

According to the plea agreement, Byrd has also pleaded guilty to murder charges in state court and is awaiting sentencing.

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