Man pleads guilty in death of North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Gene DeMuth


Prosecutors said Trooper Gene DeMuth, 42, died while trying to stop 41-year-old Christopher McCoy Rodgers in a police chase that went from Wake into Nash County September 8, 2012.

Rodgers was charged with murder in Nash County and nearly a dozen other charges in Wake. Prosecutors said as part of a plea agreement, Rodgers will plead guilty to murder in Nash County next week. He'll spend about 35 years behind bars.

In 2012, police in Raleigh had been looking for Rodgers after he tied up an ex-girlfriend and her infant child. After the woman freed herself and called 911, police put out a bulletin on Rodgers. When he was spotted, police gave chase.

After the chase crossed out of Wake and into Nash County, the SHP decided to use stop sticks to end the chase by flattening Rodgers' tires. As Trooper DeMuth laid the sticks on U.S. Highway 64, investigators claimed Rodgers swerved and hit the officer, killing him instantly.

The incident was caught on video from the dash cam of a Nash deputy's car. Apparently investigators believe the swerve may have been intentional and that's what led to the murder charge.

DeMuth was survived by his wife, son, mother, sister and brother. Dozens of fellow troopers were in the courtroom Wednesday for the sentencing hearing.

"We felt we needed to be here to support the DeMuth family during this thing.  You know, the fact our troopers do a, do a very dangerous job every day should not be forgotten.  Gene died protecting the citizens of this state and the, we are, we remain indebted to his family and to him for his sacrifices," said Highway Patrol leader Colonel William Grey.

As the troopers listened, Rodgers stood and apologized to his family - especially his daughter - and to the Patrol.

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