WINSTON-SALEM, NC (WTVD) — One of the two men arrested in Burke County is now charged with the murder of a Wake County state representative Ned Byrd. Future arrests are expected.
Court documents uncovered Thursday morning confirm that Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, is charged with the murder of Ned Byrd. He is scheduled to appear in a Wake County court at 2 p.m. Thursday.
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 refused to confirm whether Marin-Sotelo was charged with Byrd’s murder. At that point, ABC11 crews went to the courthouse and uncovered the warrant, which confirmed that the murder charge was Byrd’s death. At 12 p.m., Sheriff Gerald Baker confirmed what ABC11 had previously reported and thanked all law enforcement for their work on the case.
“This agency and others have been working around the clock,” he said. He continued that the sheriff’s office did not release any information about the case to protect the investigation. “I’m committed to maintaining the integrity of our efforts to ensure we do this, and we’re doing it the right way and not through the media…we don’t want to compromise or impede our investigations and the things that are necessary.” , to make sure we get this job done.”
Arturo Marin-Sotelo was one of them two men arrested on Tuesday in Burke County on independent charges. A third man was later arrested at a different location.
Investigators said Marin-Sotelo was taken to the Graham Detention Center for questioning following his arrest in Burke County. After questioning, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office arrested him in the Byrd case.
All three men appear to be related. Currently, only Marin-Sotelo faces charges in connection with Byrd’s death. The other two men are being held on unrelated charges.
On Thursday afternoon, Marin-Sotelo made his first appearance on murder charges in a courtroom packed with employees of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. He was appointed equity defender and was given a next court date on September 8th.
District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said she would decide within the next 90 days whether to seek the death penalty.
“I think there’s no question that in an investigation like this we have a lot of things available to us today that might not have been available to us 10, 15, 20 years ago and those things include all sorts of things, but video plays a part certainly a very crucial role in this type of investigation and often in these murders,” Freeman said.
Freeman also confirmed that he is one of two people charged with the murder.
“We are currently working with federal officials to try to facilitate this warrant and also this first appearance,” Freeman said.
The name of this second person and their whereabouts have not been released citing the ongoing investigation, but they are in federal custody on federal prisoner charges.
Lt. Walter Adams of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office also said Thursday that more arrests are expected.
“Future arrests are expected. Our team is still investigating leads. I want to make it clear that this is an active investigation and we encourage 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.
Sources tell ABC11 the truck could lead investigators to some answers that could help break the case down.
Meanwhile, Byrd’s friends and family are preparing for a visit to be held Thursday from 3pm to 8pm at the Mitchell Funeral Home on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.
His funeral will then take place on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Providence Baptist Church. The Raleigh Police Department will close Glenwood Avenue at 10:30 a.m. and Byrd’s coffin will be taken to the church by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol’s Caisson Unit for burial.
Before the service begins, the Raleigh Police Department will begin closing side streets along Glenwood Avenue leading to Providence Baptist Church at approximately 10:45 a.m. The following roads will be temporarily closed: Delta Lake Drive, Commerce and Pleasant Valley Promenade to Duraleigh Road.
After the funeral, a recession will carry Byrd’s coffin to the Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St., Raleigh. The law enforcement motorcade proceeds down Glenwood Avenue, straight onto Hillsborough Road and then right onto St. Mary’s Street until it arrives at the Brown-Wynne Funeral Home. Most of the route will be closed via rolling roadblocks rather than full closures.
The crime scene
Sometime between 11 p.m. on August 11 and 1 a.m. on August 12, Byrd was shot multiple times.
He was wearing a body armor and had exited his unmarked SUV while on patrol on Battle Bridge Road near Auburn Knightdale Road. He got out of his vehicle to check on something, leaving his canine partner Sasha inside.
Investigators have videos from the crime scene. They previously released images showing a white truck (believed to be a Chevrolet Colorado or a GMC Canyon) that was at the scene at the time of the murder. Sources told ABC11 the truck was later found in Winston Salem.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story stated that Marin-Sotelo was not one of the two men arrested in Burke County. He and a third relative were arrested at another location.
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