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Former New Hanover County Deputy Indicted

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – Former New Hanover County Sheriffs Deputy Christopher Long made his first appearance in court Monday where his secured bond was set at $50,000.

A grand jury has indicted Long with second degree murder for the shooting death of an 18-year-old suspect.

District Attorney Ben David told a Superior Court judge that on the night of December 1st former New Hanover County Deputy Christopher Long provided cover so UNCW police officers could serve Peyton Strickland with a warrant for the robbery of a pair of Play Station 3 game systems.

David says Strickland came to the door, then turned around. That's when another deputy hit Strickland's front door with a battering ram. Long then fired shots into the door, killing Strickland.

David says he made the decision to press charges after reviewing the facts.

I am not unmindful that today we are indicting an officer. I have heard it said, and I agree, that officers serve and protect and put their lives on the line everyday. This is a tragedy for many involved.

Long's attorney says Long thought the sound of the battery ram hitting the door was gunfire from inside the house. David says the two other deputies on paid leave have been cleared of any wrongdoing.