RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — One of 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 discovered Thursday morning confirm 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 was arrested Thursday morning in Graham, where he was taken to the Alamance County Detention Center.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office initially declined to confirm whether Marin-Sotelo was charged with Byrd’s murder. That’s when ABC11 crews went to the courthouse and discovered the arrest warrant confirming the murder charge on Byrds was dead. At noon, Sheriff Gerald Baker confirmed what ABC11 had already reported and thanked all law enforcement officers for their work on the case.
“This office is pleased to announce this morning that one of the suspects we believe was implicated in the death of Deputy Ned Byrd in that case has been charged with murder,” Baker said in a statement. briefing. “This agency and others have been working around the clock,”
Baker added that the sheriff’s office did not release any information about the case to protect the investigation.
“I am committed to maintaining the integrity of our efforts to ensure that we are doing this and we are doing this the right way and not through the media… we want our research and the things needed to ensure that we get this job done,” said Baker.
The sheriff said “future arrests” were expected and urged the public to come forward with additional information that may be helpful. He said tiplines are set up at (919) 306-6931 or (919) 306-7748. Those lines are manned 24 hours a day.
Arturo Marin-Sotelo was one of two men arrested Tuesday in Burke County on unrelated charges. A third man was later arrested at a different location.
Investigators said Marin-Sotelo was taken to the Graham detention center for questioning after he was arrested in Burke County. After questioning, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office arrested him in the Byrd case.
All three men appear to be related. At the moment, only Marin-Sotelo is being charged in connection with Byrd’s death. The other two men are being held on unrelated charges.
On Thursday afternoon, Marin-Sotelo first appeared on a murder charge in a courtroom filled with Wake County Sheriff’s Office staff. He was named main defender and was given a next hearing date on September 8.
District attorney Lorrin Freeman said she would decide in the next 90 days whether to seek the death penalty.
“I think in a study like this there’s no question that there are a lot of things that we have at our disposal today that we might not have had 10, 15, 20 years ago, and those things include all kinds of things, but video certainly plays a very critical role in this kind of investigation and often in these murders,” Freeman said.
ABC11 spoke to neighbors in a mobile home community that Marin-Soleto previously lived at 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 fire his gun into the air “for no reason.”
More arrests expected
Freeman also confirmed that he is one of two people being charged in connection with 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.
The name of that second person and where they are have not been released citing the ongoing investigation, but they are in federal custody on federal charges. Freeman declined to confirm whether the brother is the second suspect.
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.
Lieutenant Walter Adams of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office also said on Thursday that more arrests are expected.
“Future arrests are expected. Our team is still following the lead. I want to make it very clear, it is an active investigation and we are urging the public to provide additional information,” he said.
Early Thursday morning, the pickup truck that investigators saw on video at the scene of Byrd’s murder was found in Winston Salem.
Paying respect to Deputy Byrd
Meanwhile on Thursday night, at Byrd’s visitation to Mitchell’s Funeral Home on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, the mood on Thursday night was emotional and gloomy.
Family, friends and colleagues came to pay their last respects to the K-9 Deputy Sheriff.
Friends said Byrd was a kind soul who loved his job, his family and his K-9, Sasha.
A friend, Ryan Schmidt, said he and Byrd were gym buddies turned roommates and that he will be praising his friend on Friday.
“In the end, he gave his life for a greater cause than himself to serve friends and family in our community,” Schmidt said. “Those small acts of kindness and loyalty to people he met briefly.”
Schmidt said he was grateful to have 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 you got in an instant.”
Good Trip Gallery’s Christopher Evans picked up his brushes Thursday to honor Deputy Byrd in his own way outside the Wake County Justice Center.
“I like to use my art to help the community reach and touch people in different ways. When I feel that I should be, that I should be using my art to do something, I do it,” Evans said . “I just felt like I had to do my part to honor him a little bit.”
His funeral will take place Friday at 11 a.m. at Providence Baptist Church. The Raleigh Police Department will close Glenwood Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and Byrd’s casket will be led to the church for burial by the Caisson Unit of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Before the service begins, the Raleigh Police Department will begin closing side streets along Glenwood Avenue that lead to Providence Baptist Church around 10:45 AM. The following roads are temporarily closed: Delta Lake Drive, Commerce and Pleasant Valley Promenade to Duraleigh Road.
After the funeral, a recession will bring Byrd’s casket to Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St., in Raleigh. The police motorcade proceeds down Glenwood Avenue, right onto Hillsborough Road, then right onto St. Mary’s Street and arrives at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home. Most of the route is closed via rolling roadblocks rather than hard closures.
SEE ALSO: $100K Reward Offered For Information On Whom Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd. has killed
The crime scene
Sometime between 11 p.m. August 11 and 1 a.m., 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 something and let his canine companion, Sasha, in.
Investigators have video footage of the crime scene. They previously released images of a white truck (presumably a Chevrolet Colorado or a GMC Canyon) that was at the scene around the time of the murder. Sources told ABC11 that the truck was later found in Winston Salem.
READ MORE: ‘Never Seen Something Like This’: Wake Sheriff Candidates Talk Grief, Solutions After Deputy Killed
Editor’s Note: The first draft of this story stated that Marin-Sotelo was not one of two men arrested in Burke County. He was, and a third family member was arrested at a different location.
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