DA: Ticket speeding trooper
by John Boyle, SENIOR WRITER
published April 7, 2006 6:00 am
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FLETCHER - Henderson County District Attorney Jeff Hunt has directed the Fletcher Police Department to consider citing an N.C. Highway Patrol trooper who, police say, was driving 99 mph in a 45 mph zone while off duty.

“Based on my understanding of the initial facts at this time, I have advised Chief (Langdon) Raymond to direct his officer to issue a citation for any relevant and appropriate charges indicated by the facts as he understood them at that time,” Hunt said in a statement.

Raymond would not comment Thursday.

A Fletcher police officer stopped Sgt. Kevin Bray on Tuesday afternoon on Mills Gap Road, Fletcher Mayor Bill Moore said. The officer did not cite the trooper, who also did not have his driver’s license.

Bray continues to work for the Highway Patrol. He declined to comment Thursday.

“I’m under orders not to comment,” he said. Bray is an 18-year veteran of the Highway Patrol who frequently comments to the media on safety issues.

Capt. M.T. James, of the Asheville office of the Highway Patrol, said the agency has an investigation under way. Bray works out of the Asheville office.

If charges are filed, they likely would be for speeding and driving without a license, both misdemeanors. James said he could not talk about the specifics of Bray’s case but said that speeding by itself likely would not be cause for dismissal.

“If a trooper is involved in something serious like robbing a bank, he’s going to be dismissed,” James said. “If the infractions are misdemeanors, that’s looked at differently.”

Moore said Thursday that the Police Department has been directed to conduct more enforcement on the road because of speeding complaints.

A 25-year-old woman died in February after a crash in the same area on Mills Gap Road. That accident involved two vehicles racing on the two-lane road. The road has a long straightaway but also some sharp curves.

Moore said the town’s Police Department doesn’t give anyone a free pass on speeding.

“All we’re asking for is for our officers to do their jobs with integrity and enforce the law for everybody,” Moore said.
Contact John Boyle at 828-232-5847 or via e-mail at jboyle@ashevill.gannett.com