Raleigh, NC – The defense attorney for one of the two men charged in the shooting death of Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd told a judge Thursday afternoon that he has not been able to get information from investigators to help build his case.
For about 30 minutes, attorney Jay Ferguson questioned Deputy Sheriff Craig Chapcoat about evidence he told his client, Arturo Marin Sotelo, was “crucial.”
Arturo and his younger brother, Alder Alfonso Marin Sotelo, are being held without bond on charges of first-degree murder in connection with Byrd’s death in August. Byrd was found shot in the back of the head around 1:06 a.m. on Aug. 12 outside a patrol vehicle parked on the side of Battle Bridge Road in southeast Wake County.
In affidavits and search warrants related to the case, Arturo Marin Sotelo points to his brother, saying he was in a field not far from the shooting.
Ferguson sought to obtain evidence to support that claim. He repeatedly asked Chapcoat what the phone location data and Google GPS showed from the two brothers’ phones. He also asked about video from Byrd’s dashboard camera from a surveillance camera at a gas station near the shooting scene.
Ferguson described dashcam video as showing a man with a flashlight in a field as Byrd’s car approaches. Chapcoat noted that the angle of the camera and the car only shows Byrd and some shadows. Chapcoat said the gunshots were captured on a dashcam and a muzzle flash was captured on a gas station camera, but did not clearly show the individuals involved.
“Efforts are still ongoing to locate the exact location of the phone,” Chapcoat said.
Ferguson asked the judge for a “rolling discovery” order, requiring the prosecution to release information as it becomes available. “We believe there is evidence to show that my client was not at the scene of the shooting,” Ferguson said.
“The location of the two brothers’ phones is critical to my client.”
Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway postponed any decision on Rolling’s discovery until the middle of next month, noting that the case will receive another update at a homicide status hearing scheduled for Dec. 15.
“Videos and phone data are huge and cannot be easily transferred,” he said.
He warned the prosecution that it would have to make a plan to share some of the requested data by that date.
There is no bond negotiable for the suspect, who is being held in immigration detention
After the prosecutor pointed out that Arturo Marin Sotelo was in the United States illegally and was being held in an immigration detainer, Ferguson decided not to seek a bond hearing for his client.
Arturo and Alder Alfonso Marin Sotelo face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.