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Driver charged in pedestrian's death




Police on Wednesday charged a man with drunken driving and manslaughter in a weekend crash that claimed the life of a pedestrian crossing the road.

Brandon Henry Staggers, 25, of 601 Belmont Ave. Southwest, is accused of hitting 64-year-old James Edwards Jr. with his 2000 Chevrolet Blazer around 7:20 p.m. Saturday. The crash happened on Hines Street near its intersection with Lodge Street in Wilson.

Staggers is charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated felony causing death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired.

Wilson police arrested Staggers on Wednesday. He was booked into the Wilson County Detention Center and released Wednesday afternoon on a $5,000 secured bond.

Edwards was crossing Hines Street near its intersection with Lodge Street when Staggers’ sport utility vehicle struck him, police said. Paramedics took Edwards to Wilson Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Staggers was not injured in the wreck. The police department’s Strategic Traffic Enforcement Patrol spent days investigating the crash before obtaining warrants for Staggers’ arrest.

Officer Kenneth Robinson of the STEP team said Staggers was noticeably impaired. His blood-alcohol level wasn’t known because police had sent a blood sample to the state crime lab in Raleigh for testing.

Involuntary manslaughter is a Class F felony carrying a maximum sentence of 1 year, 8 months in prison for an offender with no previous criminal convictions.

Aggravated felony death by vehicle is a Class D felony with a maximum sentence of 6 years, 8 months in prison, according to North Carolina’s structured sentencing laws.

An impaired driver with at least one prior DWI conviction who unintentionally causes the death of another can be convicted of the aggravated felony, according to state statute. Impaired driving must be "the proximate cause of the death,” the law states.

The N.C. Division of Adult Correction had no record of Staggers serving prison time or probation. Court calendars showed no pending charges in Wilson County.

Police reports give a last-known address for Edwards on Fountain Drive in Wilson. A woman at the home said Edwards did not live there.

corey@wilsontimes.com | 265-7821
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View Comments:Show/Hide(4 comments)
Queen said...

What if he didnt see the guy and when he looked up it was too late what if?Nobody knows.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM
brewery? said...

probably alot more drinking going on at home or at friend's than going on in bars.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Really? said...

What bar was this guy at again? I must have missed that in the story... Grow up. This man alone was responsible. Don't turn it into a witch hunt over a brewery.

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM
SEE Why? said...

& Wilson wants to open another Brewery ????? Go ahead waste our tax money cause the death/arrest toll will rise if this brewery opens. SMDH??

Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 12:04 PM
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