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Man charged with manslaughter in death of stepfather

By Shavonne Potts

shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — An early Wednesday morning assault at a Salisbury home has led to manslaughter charges for the stepson of the victim.

Abe Alexander Helms, 45, faces a series of charges, including felony voluntary manslaughter, after his stepfather, Raymond Eugene Drye, died at a hospital in Concord from injuries sustained in an assault.

The sheriff’s office said deputies initially responded to a disturbance call Wednesday morning at 507 Yost Road. There, they found Helms along with three other family members, including Drye. Deputies were told Helms had come home intoxicated and assaulted his sister-in-law, mother and stepfather, said Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Capt. John Sifford.

Helms allegedly caused extensive damage to the house by breaking out windows. When deputies came into contact with Helms, he was still being combative inside the home and they had to restrain him after he ignored deputies’ commands.

Helms was bleeding from injuries he received when he allegedly attempted to destroy the residence and was treated for his injuries at the Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

Helms initially was charged with simple assault, two counts of assault on a female and damage to property. He received a bond of $2,500 for those charges.

The victims were seen by EMS at the scene, but declined to be taken to the hospital. However, after deputies and EMS cleared the scene, the stepfather, Drye, was taken to Atrium Health Cabarrus in Concord after he began having pain in his head.

Shortly after Drye arrived at the hospital, his condition became critical and he died around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sifford said.

An investigation determined Drye’s death was caused by the head injury he received in the assault. His death was ruled a homicide.

Rowan detectives again consulted with the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office and have filed charges on Abe Helms for felony voluntary manslaughter.  Abe Helms received an additional bond of $250,000 and remains in the Rowan County Detention Center.

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