Three men face drug charges; Wilmington officer was killed on duty

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington Police Officer Richard Matthews died in the line of duty while he was trying to assist another officer stop three men who are accused of throwing drugs out of a car Wednesday morning.

40-year-old Anthony Pierce was driving the car and is charged with felony to elude arrest and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.

Pierce appeared in court Thursday afternoon where he was told his next court date will be March 5.

Passengers Matthew Hendy, 26, and Eric Grant Smith, 25, are both charged with possession with marijuana.

District Attorney Ben David said he could not comment on whether or not these men could face charges in connection with the Matthews' death, but he does say he's committed to seeking the most justice provided under the law.

Wilmington attorney Thom Goolsby told WECT the state may be able to press additional charges depending on the circumstances of the crash.

The state could have a case if the officer was responding to a police chase that was still happening at the time of the accident.