NEW HANOVER CO.
-- After meeting with prosecutors in the Attorney General's office, District Attorney Ben David says the investigation into former New Hanover County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Long is not over.
"We are going to review all available options today to see how to proceed next, and I'm going to stay committed to following the law and following this process through," says David.
David's meeting in Raleigh Wednesday follows a twist in the case when a grand jury foreman revealed he'd checked the wrong box on an indictment form Monday. That led to a murder charge against Long stemming from the shooting death of 18-year-old Peyton Strickland. That charge is now dropped.
Long has said nothing publicly. His friend Richard Bass says the grand jury made the right decision.
"I was totally shocked and devastated to find out he had been indicted, supposedly indicted for second degree murder. I knew something was not right in my opinion. I was relieved to find out yesterday the grand jury felt similar as I did," says Bass.
Long had his car serviced at Bass' shop just last week before the names of the deputies involved in the Strickland case were announced. Bass says he could tell Long was just not himself.
"You could tell there was something on his mind. I didn't know what was going on. I was unaware he was on the SWAT team that raided the house, but you could tell rightfully so there was a lot on his mind."
Bass says he hopes David will decide to let the grand jury's decision stand, leaving Long a free man. David says he'll announce his next move as early as Thursday.