Suspect charged in fatal trooper chase

Christopher McCoy Rodgers (Image courtesy of Nash County)
September 12, 2012 6:01:04 AM PDT
Authorities have charged a man with murder in connection with the death of a state trooper who was hit while trying to deploy stop sticks in Nash County Saturday morning.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said the chase began in Raleigh and ended in a crash in Nash County.

Raleigh police attempted to stop a 1995 Nissan 200SX on US 64 east near Hodge Road around 7:44 a.m.

The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit ensued traveling into Nash County where troopers attempted to deploy stop sticks. During the deployment, Trooper Bobby Gene DeMuth was struck and killed.

The suspect's vehicle continued a short distance before the driver, 40-year-old Christopher McCoy Rodgers, of Williamston, was taken into custody.

Raleigh police said they originally tried to stop Rodgers after an alleged robbery.

A female victim reported that Rodgers forced his way into her residence in the 5400 block of Morning Creek Way just after midnight Saturday.

The woman said Rodgers then restrained her and her 21 month old and barricaded them into a room before leaving the scene.

Authorities were able to issue warrants for Rodgers charging him with burglary, common law robbery, two counts of kidnapping, assault on a female, assault on a child, and obtaining property by false pretense. That's when law enforcement officials were warned to be on the lookout for Rodgers' vehicle.

Just after 7:30 a.m. a Raleigh police officer spotted Rodgers' vehicle in the vicinity of New Hope Road and Rogers Lane. The officer followed the vehicle onto US 264 Eastbound and requested additional units to help stop the car.

When additional units arrived, a known-risk stop was initiated near the intersection of US highways 264 and 64 near Wendell.

Nash County authorities have charged Rodgers with felony murder, felony flee/elude arrest with a motor vehicle, misdemeanor resisting public officer and traffic driving while impaired. He has been transferred from the Nash County jail to central prison for safekeeping.

Trooper DeMuth was a 12-year veteran stationed at the Rocky Mount, Troop C District 1 Highway Patrol Office.

The funeral service for Trooper DeMuth will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Englewood Baptist Church, located at 1350 Winstead Ave. Rocky Mount. Burial will follow at Red Oak Cemetery.

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