Second-degree Murder Charge in Raleigh Dwi Case

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Any alcohol related accident that results in injury or death will carry serious charges and penalties. After a drinking and driving related charge last year, a Raleigh, North Carolina man now faces second-degree murder charges. A Wake County grand jury returned a new indictment this week, however, reports did not indicate what precipitated the new charges.

According to police records, the accident occurred early in the hours on New Year’s Day in 2011. The alleged driver was behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger that struck and killed a 29-year-old man and his female passenger, who were pushing their Ford Explorer out of the Westbound lanes on Interstate 440 after it had broken down.

The male victim suffered a shattered leg in the collision. The female passenger died as a result of her injuries. Police records also state that the driver of the Dodge Charger fled the scene, but was caught a short distance away with a blood alcohol content of .21, more than two and a half times the legal limit. He has been in jail on a $2.3 million bail since the accident.

The 45-year-old driver had previously been charged with felony by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, driving while impaired, and driving while license revoked. He had also been convicted of a DWI in 1993 in Wake County and was sentenced to one year of probation, community service and ordered to surrender his licensed. A second DWI charge in 1995 was dismissed.

Most likely, the alleged drunk-driver will face if he is convicted of second-degree murder. It was not reported why charges have been upgraded or what facts may have influenced the grand jury’s decision.

Source: News & Observer, “Charges in Raleigh DWI case upgraded to second-degree murder,” Thomas McDonald, May 17, 2012.