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Man faces second-degree murder charge after

By Shavonne Potts
Salisbury Post
Wreck reports say a man indicted this week in the 2007 death of Dewey Hinkley left the scene of the collision in which Hinkley died.
The victim and the accused were friends, authorities said.
Robert James Shehan Jr., 36, of 6345 U.S. 601, faces second-degree murder, driving while impaired and reckless driving charges in connection with the death of 55-year-old Hinkley, of Salisbury.
Shehan, who court records say is also known as Hobert James Shehan Jr., was charged on Monday and indicted by a Rowan County Grand Jury.
The charges stem from an accident that happened Nov. 11 on Bringle Ferry Road.
In a report filed in November 2007, N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper T.J. White said Shehan was driving a 1987 Volkwagen and Hinkley was a passenger in the car. The car was traveling east on Bringle Ferry Road when Shehan crossed the center line.
“He overcorrected his steering attempting to regain control of the car,” the report said.
The vehicle ran off the right side of the road, collided with a cement half-culvert and overturned. The vehicle came to rest facing south against some trees off the eastbound side of the road.
Shehan left the scene, and authorities later found him at an apartment on Ridge Crest Road, reports said.
White said Tuesday that Shehan and Hinkley were friends.
Shehan was initially charged with DWI, felony hit and run and failure to stop for a serious injury.
His blood-alcohol content was more than double the legal 0.08 limit, White said.
The report indicates Shehan was traveling 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. No other vehicle was involved in the crash.
Investigators estimate the vehicle traveled 112 feet after impact.
Trooper White’s supplemental report, dated February 2008, said Hinkley died Dec. 29 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
“The medical report shows he never recovered from his injuries” sustained in the wreck, the report said.
In 2005, Shehan was convicted of stealing numerous newspaper boxes.
According to a story published in the Post on July 16, 2005, Shehan was sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison on charges of larceny and possession of stolen goods.
Shehan cut the boxes open with a blow torch to get to the change inside.
At the time, newspaper racks belonging to the Salisbury Post and Charlotte Observer were found damaged, many in the area of Long Ferry Road.
In addition to the prison sentence, Chief District Court Judge Charlie Brown ordered Shehan to pay restitution and complete drug and alcohol treatment.
He’s now being held under a $250,000 bond in the Rowan County Detention Center.
Shehan also has a pending District Court case in which he is charged with misdemeanor assault on a child under 12 and misdemeanor trespass. He is scheduled to appear in court for that matter today.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253 or spotts@salisburypost.com.

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