Hearing on teen driver postponed

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 19, 2007

By Kathy Chaffin

Salisbury Post

The hearing on whether a teenager charged with second-degree murder after a fatal crash should be tried as an adult has been postponed until Feb. 9.

A hearing on Christopher John Crocker’s misdemeanor charges was also delayed in Rowan County Juvenile Court today.

Reasons for the postponement were inclement weather and the fact that the results of the teen’s psychological evaluation have not yet been received. Rowan District Attorney Bill Kenerly requested at a Sept. 15 hearing in juvenile court that Crocker undergo an examination at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh.

Because the teen was fleeing from law enforcement when the crash occurred, Judge Kevin Eddinger ruled today that he remain in custody. Crocker, who was 15 when the crash occurred, has since turned 16.

The fatal crash occurred on Aug. 9 when Crocker is accused of driving his father’s pickup and stealing gasoline from a store on N.C. 152. Store owner Bobby Power said he chased the teen, who was armed with a gun, along county roads and highways until a police officer began pursuing him in Granite Quarry.

The chase ended, authorities reported, when Crocker crossed the center line on Bringle Ferry Road and crashed head-on into a car being driven by 64-year-old Marshall “Marsha” Setzer Ludwick, who died at the scene.

The teen also faces a felony charge of driving recklessly and more than 15 mph over the speed limit while fleeing the police officer and a number of misdemeanors, including traffic violations, larceny of the gasoline and assault by pointing a gun.

Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or kchaffin@salisburypost.com.