NC may pursue 2nd degree murder charges in crash


Ronald Eugene Graybeal, 50, of Newport, Tennessee is charged with one count of felony death by vehicle, two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle, DWI, and possession of methadone, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

His bond was initially set at $500,000, but then increased to $600,000. On Friday a judge set it at $1 million. The increase was based on the judge finding Graybeal a danger to the community.

Graybeal was expected to return to court Wednesday for an initial appearance on the remaining charges.

Troopers say Graybeal was driving his big rig on I-40 West just west of the U.S. 15-501 exit in Durham about 4 p.m. Thursday when he failed to react to slowing traffic and plowed into three smaller vehicles - killing the drivers of all three.

Graybeal was not injured.

Prosecutors said in court Friday that they "may pursue it as a second degree murder case."

Graybeal's next court appearance is set for August 1.

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