JLF Piedmont Triad Blog

W-S police chief stands behind Womble investigation

I realized it was the prerogative to dismiss charges against state Rep. Larry Womble in the fatal head-on crash that killed Winston-Salem resident David Carmichael, considering the fact there were no aggravating circumstances—i.e. alcohol or drugs in Womble’s system.

But —call me a conspiracy nut —– I found it interesting that the basis for the dismissal was an 180-degree turn on original accident investigation — that it was actually Carmichael who crossed the center line and hit Womble head-on instead of the other way around, as Winston-Salem police initially determined.

But Chief Scott Cunningham is standing behind the original findings:

Cunningham responded to questions about the investigation Wednesday at a monthly law-enforcement press conference.

“The initial investigation was not wrong,” he said. “I stand by the investigation we did.”

He said the decision to drop the charge is a prosecutor’s prerogative and stressed that his department is not at-tempting to have the case reopened.

His intent, he said afterwards, was simply to let citizens know that the police department “acted competently, professionally and consistent with the highest ethical standards.”

Important to point out that Carmichael had a blood-alcohol content of .29 at the time of the crash. Bar receipts in Carmichael’s pocket indicated that he had been drinking at a commercial establishment downtown before the crash. So it seems to me that –if indeed Carmichael is at fault —- that legal action is warranted against those establishments. It will be interesting to see if Womble pursues such legal action.

3 Responses to “W-S police chief stands behind Womble investigation”

  • Dec

    As I recall and understand, the claim that Womble was going from his home to the WSSU campus better fits the computer re-creation. The police report would have Womble heading away from the WSSU campus. But I could be all confused. But it is important to know Womble’s point of origin and his intended destination for that trip.

  • Dec

    Yeah, that’s the way it appears, Ken. Police investigations have been botched before. Interesting situation.

  • Dec

    I read today for the first time the article in the Winston-Salem Journal Thursday December 6, 2012 about the police chief’s (apparently latest) comments. Looks as if my original comment was correct. The article states that receipts from a bar (downtown!) were found on the deceased driver showing that he had been served just 20 minutes prior to the collision. But the original police report would have his vehicle traveling back toward town at the time of the collision. So if the police report is correct, the deceased drove away from downtown and then turned around and was heading back when the collision occurred. The accident scene is not near downtown by a long shot. I am not a trained investigator by any means– but the police report just does not work for me.

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