Ned Byrd murder arrest: One of the men arrested in western NC now charged in killing of Wake deputy

Friday, August 19, 2022
Man charged with murder of Wake County deputy Ned Byrd
Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, is charged with the murder of Wake County deputy Ned Byrd. Authorities say more arrests are expected.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- One of the two men arrested in Burke County is now charged with the murder of Wake County deputy Ned Byrd. At least one more arrest is expected.

Court documents uncovered Thursday morning confirm that Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, is charged with the murder of Ned Byrd.

Marin-Sotelo's mugshot appeared on the Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification website with a murder charge. The website said he had been arrested in Graham on Thursday morning where he had been taken to the Alamance County Detention Center.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office initially refused to confirm whether Marin-Sotelo was charged with Byrd's murder. That's when ABC11 crews went to the courthouse and uncovered the arrest warrant that confirmed that the murder charge was for Byrd's death. At 12 p.m. Sheriff Gerald Baker confirmed what ABC11 had already reported and thanked all law enforcement for their work on the case.

"It gives this office great pleasure ... on this morning to be able to share that one of the suspects that we believe is involved in the death of Deputy Ned Byrd has been charged with murder in that case," Baker said at a media briefing. "It's been around the clock work by this agency and others,"

Baker added that the sheriff's office was not releasing information about the case in order to protect the investigation.

"I'm determined to preserve the integrity of our efforts to make sure that we do this and we do this the right way and not through the media...we don't want to jeopardize or hinder our investigation and the things that are necessary to make sure we get this job done," Baker said.

Court documents uncovered Thursday morning confirm that Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, is charged with the murder of Ned Byrd.

The sheriff said "future arrests" were expected and urged the public to come forward with any additional information that may be of help. He said tiplines have been set up at (919) 306-6931 or (919) 306-7748. Those lines are manned 24 hours a day.

Arturo Marin-Sotelo was one of the two men arrested Tuesday in Burke County on unrelated charges. A third man was arrested at a later time at a different location.

Investigators said Marin-Sotelo was taken to the detention center in Graham for questioning after he was arrested in Burke County. After questioning, Wake County Sheriff's Office arrested him in the Byrd case.

All three men appear to be related. At this time, only Marin-Sotelo is charged in connection with Byrd's death. The other two men are being held on unrelated charges.

On Thursday afternoon, Marin-Sotelo made a first appearance on a murder charge in a courtroom packed with Wake County Sheriff's Office personnel. He was appointed a capital defender and given a next court date of Sept. 8.

District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said she would decide in the next 90 days whether to seek the death penalty.

"I think there's no question that in an investigation like this there are lots of things that we have available to us today that we may not have had available to us 10, 15, 20 years ago, and those things include all kinds of stuff but video certainly plays a very critical role in this type of investigation and often in these homicides," Freeman said.

ABC11 spoke with neighbors at a mobile home community Marin-Soleto previous lived off of Johnson Pond Drive in Southern Wake County. They described him as a "violent" person and abusive to his then wife. Another neighbor said Marin- Soleto would shoot his gun in the air for "no reason".

More arrests expected

Freeman also confirmed he's one of two people facing charges related to the case.

"We are currently working with federal officials to try and facilitate that service of that warrant and that first appearance as well," Freeman said.

That second person's name and where they are have not been disclosed citing the ongoing investigation, but they're in federal custody on federal detainer charges. Freeman would not confirm whether the brother is the second suspect in question.

When Marin-Sotelo was arrested in Burke County on Tuesday, his brother, Alder Alphonso Marin, was with him and was also arrested. The brother is in federal custody on an unrelated charge.

Lt. Walter Adams with Wake County Sheriff's Office also said Thursday that more arrests are expected.

"Future arrests are expected. Our team is still following up leads. I want to make it very clear, it is an active investigation and we urge the public to come forward with any additional information," he said.

Early Thursday morning, the pickup that investigators saw on video at the scene of Byrd's murder was found in Winston Salem.

Paying respects to Deputy Byrd

Meanwhile on Thursday evening, at the visitation for Byrd at Mitchell's Funeral Home on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, the mood Thursday night was emotional and somber.

Family, friends and colleagues arrived to pay their final respects to the K-9 deputy.

Friends said Byrd was a kind soul who loved his job, his family and his K-9, Sasha.

One friend, Ryan Schmidt, said he and Byrd were gym mates turned roommates and that he will eulogize his friend on Friday.

"He ultimately gave his life for a greater purpose than himself serving friends and family in our community," Schmidt said. "Those small acts of kindness and loyalty to people who he met briefly."

Schmidt said he was grateful to have had Byrd as a friend.

"If you met Ned or Deputy Byrd for more than a minute, you'd remember him," Schmidt said. "The kind of person that would be there, got you in a heartbeat."

Christopher Evans of Good Trip Gallery took out his paint brushes Thursday to honor Deputy Byrd in his own way outside the Wake County Justice Center.

"I love to use my art to help the community to reach out and touch people in different ways. Whenever I feel that I should be, that I should use my art to do something, I do it," Evans said. "I just felt like I should do my part to kind of honor him."

His funeral will take place Friday at 11 a.m. at Providence Baptist Church. Raleigh Police Department will close Glenwood Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and Byrd's casket will be led to the church for the funeral by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol's Caisson Unit.

Before the start of the service, the Raleigh Police Department will begin closing side streets around 10:45 a.m., along Glenwood Avenue leading to Providence Baptist Church. The following roads will close temporarily: Delta Lake Drive, Commerce, and Pleasant Valley Promenade to Duraleigh Road.

After the funeral, a recessional will carry Byrd's casket to Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St., in Raleigh. The law enforcement motorcade will proceed down Glenwood Avenue, right on Hillsborough Road and then right onto St. Mary's Street, arriving at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home. Most of the route will be closed via rolling roadblocks, instead of hard closures.

SEE ALSO: $100K reward offered for information about who killed Wake County deputy Ned Byrd

The scene of the crime

Sometime between 11 p.m. Aug. 11 and 1 a.m. Aug. 12, Byrd was shot multiple times.

He was wearing a protective vest and had gotten out of his unmarked SUV while on patrol on Battle Bridge Road near Auburn Knightdale Road. He got out of his vehicle to check on something and left his canine partner, Sasha, inside.

Investigators have video from the scene of the crime. They previously released images showing a white truck (thought to be a Chevrolet Colorado or a GMC Canyon) that was at the scene around the time of the killing. Sources told ABC11 that the truck was later found in Winston Salem.

READ MORE: 'Never seen anything like this': Wake sheriff candidates talk grief, solutions after deputy killed

Editor's note: The initial version of this story said Marin-Sotelo was not one of the two men arrested in Burke County. He was, and a third relative was arrested at a different location.