Three charged in fatal in wreck
Three High Point women face murder charges in connection with a fatal wreck that occurred on Wednesday.
High Point police said a 1998 Saturn driven by Delonia Juwanna Slaton was going east in the 2400 block of English Road about 2:15 p.m. when it crossed the center line and struck a westbound 2003 Chevrolet Tracker operated by Nickey Len Jacobs.
The impact caused the Chevrolet to overturn. Police said Jacobs, 37, of Trinity, “was not properly restrained,” and was taken to High Point Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators reported that after the crash, Slaton and her passenger, Rachel Denise Jones, ran away from the scene. Slaton then called police to report a hit-and-run accident and then called her mother, Catherine Mae Slaton, who drove to the scene. After police arrived, Catherine Slaton told officers she was driving the car at the time of the crash and was injured. She was taken to the hospital, where she submitted to a blood test after being charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.
At that point, Catherine Slaton stated that her daughter was driving at the time of the wreck. Delonia Slaton later came to the hospital emergency room and was taken into custody.
After conferring with prosecutors, investigators charged Delonia Slaton, 27, of Barker Avenue, with second-degree murder, felony hit and run and driving while impaired. Catherine Slaton, 47, of True Lane, was charged with second-degree murder and filing a false police report. Jones, 22, of Rockspring Road, was charged with second-degree murder.
Authorities don’t often bring murder charges in cases involving a traffic fatality because it can be difficult to prove intent and malice on the part of the person at fault.
According to police Capt. Mike Kirk, several factors warranted such a charge in this case. He said that Delonia Slaton’s driver’s license was suspended in connection with a prior DWI case, and that she was allegedly impaired at the time of Wednesday’s crash. In addition, she and the other suspects allegedly tried to cover up a fatality, first by falsely claiming that there had been a hit-and-run crash in which they weren’t involved, and then by having Catherine Slaton pretend to be the driver.
“Based on the case law, with all those aggravating circumstances, under those conditions, we can charge second-degree homicide,” said Kirk.
The charges were brought against all three suspects on the legal theory that they were “acting in concert” in carrying out the alleged crimes.
“That’s not saying when it’s all shaken out and done how things are going to work out, but right now, we have every legal reason and probable cause to go ahead and charge them with the principle of the crime,” said Kirk.
Delonia Slaton’s criminal record includes convictions for common law robbery, breaking and entering, larceny and other offenses going back to 2004. She was jailed under bonds totalling $1,000,500.
Jones’ record includes a conviction for a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 6-year-old girl at a school bus stop on Montlieu Avenue in 2007. According to prosecutors, Jones was driving a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser when it struck the child as she stepped off the school bus. She drove from the scene and the car was found the next day. Jones pleaded guilty to felony hit and run, felony passing a stopped school bus resulting in personal injury and driving while impaired in that case.
After her arrest Thursday, Jones was jailed under a $500,000 bond. Catherine Slaton was jailed under a $250,000 bond.
Police this morning announced three arrests in connection with Wednesday's fatal wreck on English Road.
Police said their investigation revealed that a 1998 Saturn operated by Delonia Juwanna Slaton, 27, was traveling east on English Road when it crossed the center line and struck a 2003 Chevrolet Tracker driven by Nickey Len Jacobs, 37, about 2:15 p.m.
Jacobs' vehicle overturned as a result of the crash and Jacobs, who was not properly restrained, died at the scene, police said.
Slaton and her passenger, Rachel Denise Jones, 22, fled the scene on foot.
Shortly afterward, Slaton reported a hit and run at this location and telephoned her mother, Catherine Mae Slaton, who then drove to the scene. Catherine Slaton told police she was driving the car and was injured. She was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and was taken to High Point Regional Hospital, where she submitted to a chemical analysis. At that point, she stated that her daughter was driving at the time of the crash. Delonia Slaton later came to the hospital and was taken into custody.
After conferring with the District Attorney, investigators charged Delonia Slaton with second-degree murder, hit and run and driving while impaired. Catherine Slaton was charged with second-degree murder and filing a false report. Police have drawn warrants for Rachel Jones, who has not yet been located. Delonia Slaton was jailed under a $1,000,050 bond. Catherine Slaton was jailed under a $250,000 bond.
One person was killed n a wreck in southwest High Point Wednesday afternoon.
The driver of a black Chevrolet Tracker was killed after his vehicle collided with a tan Saturn in the 2400 block of W. English Road about 2:15 p.m., according to High Point police Officer Justin Fleming.
It appeared that the eastbound Saturn crossed the double center line and struck the rear driver's side of the westbound Chevrolet, police said.
The impact caused the small SUV to roll over several times. Both vehicles were traveling in the inside lane of the road.
The SUV driver, a male, was taken to High Point Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Fleming said.
The driver of the Saturn, a female, sustained minor injuries.
The identities of those involved in the wreck were unavailable late Wednesday afternoon. Police had not announced whether any charges were expected.
Fleming said police had collected the cell phones of those involved to determine whether they may have been in use at the time of the crash and whether inattention may have contributed to the wreck.
He said sobriety checks also were being performed.
Police closed English Road in both directions between Boyer Street and Market Center Drive while they investigated the crash.