Harnett County deputy charged in deadly chase waives court appearance

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Monday, May 22, 2023
Harnett County deputy charged in deadly chase waives court appearance
Deputy Kevin Letarte is charged with manslaughter after allegedly crashing into a pick-up truck during the chase.

HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Harnett County deputy was expected in court today, but waived his first appearance.

The crash happened on March 3 while deputy Kevin Letarte was chasing after a suspect's vehicle. Investigators said the chase started when Latarte tried to make a traffic stop. The official crash report stated that Latarte did have his lights and siren turned on during the pursuit.

Letarte and the suspect were reportedly traveling at speeds up toward 95 miles per hour. They were heading south on NC-210 when the crash happened.

A couple inside the truck died.

Court documents show 47-year-old Jimmy Lewis White of Lillington is the man who led Deputy Letarte on the chase. He is also facing charges related to the wreck, but the district attorney said warrants have not been served on White yet.

Letarte is currently on paid leave. His next court date will be sometime during the week of July 17.

ABC11's I-Team took a deeper look at crashes involving Harnett County sheriff deputies. The numbers show the incidents are costing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. The I-Team obtained liability claims from the county that detail more than a hundred vehicle accidents involving deputies between 2012 and 2022.