LUMBERTON, NC- Another innocent victim has paid the price for a soft-on-crime criminal justice system in yet another year of senseless murders in the wake of an extremely violent 2020.
Not surprisingly, last year saw a 36.7 increase in the murder rate across 57 agencies surveyed. Fifty-one of the agencies showed an increase in murder, while 37 showed murder rates up over 30 percent, a data consultant told NPR.
Final national murder update of 2020:
Murder up 36.7% in 57 agencies with data through at least September (though most have data through November). Murder up in 51 of 57, 37 of 58 agencies reporting murder up more than 30%.
— Jeff Asher (@Crimealytics) December 29, 2020
This year isn’t much better, according to the New York Times, which said there has been an 18 percent hike in homicides year over year from 2020. The blow story is but a microcosm of the violence that has overtaken our country.
In one of the most disturbing stories of a senseless murder, a 47-year-old mother of six was killed in a road rage incident in North Carolina this past week, according to a story in the Western Journal.
The Times reported that Julie Eberly and her husband Ryan were headed to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
The couple, from Manheim, Pennsylvania was traveling on Interstate 95 in Lumberton, North Carolina which is located about 125 miles from Charlotte when a “road rage encounter unknowingly developed,” according to law enforcement authorities.
Shortly before noon on March 25, the Eberly’s vehicle apparently came close to another vehicle during a merge from one lane to the other.
For unknown reasons, a black male who was driving a Chevy Malibu put down his window and fired multiple shots into the Eberly’s GMC Yukon passenger side door, with one bullet striking Julie.
Ryan Eberly pulled the vehicle to the side of the highway to await medical attention while the coward driving the Malibu escaped by exiting the highway. Sadly, Julie Eberly succumbed to her wound at a local hospital, leaving six children without a mother.
Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins told WTXF-TV:
“This was an innocent family from Pennsylvania headed to the beach for a vacation,” he said about the murder.
“Thankfully they had left their six children at home with grandparents but now these kids have to live with the thought of their mother being murdered in such a cowardly and senseless way. My heart goes out to this family and I ask that everyone reading this stop and pray for this entire family.”
This past Thursday, April 1, authorities arrested Dejywan R. Floyd, 29, of Lumberton, NC and charged him with First Degree Murder and Discharging a Weapon into an Occupied Property, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office announced on its Facebook page.
“The arrest of Floyd is the direct result of law enforcement agencies and the community working together. The surveillance footage provided to investigators by dozens of cooperating businesses and residents were critical elements in the tracking of Floyd’s path in Cumberland County prior to the shooting and throughout Lumberton and beyond after the shooting.
“Regardless of the circumstances, no one deserved to be murdered while traveling our nation’s highways. I am proud of the investigative work put forth by the law enforcement agencies that came together as one to bring this case to a successful conclusion.”
Floyd is currently being held in the Robeson County Detention Center without bond.
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According to Wilkins, the investigation is ongoing.
He noted that the investigation was a multi-jurisdictional undertaking, with the Lumberton Police Department, Fairmont Police Department, Robeson County 911 Communications, Robeson County District Attorney’s Office, Elizabethtown Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Marshals Carolina Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisting.
“I was there this morning, just after midnight when we arrested him,” Sheriff Wilkins said. “And just to look at the cold face that he’s got. His nonchalant, ‘I don’t care that I’m getting arrested’ look.
“I can only imagine what those folks saw out there on I-95 when he looked over and shot. It actually makes you angry.”
The arrest came on the same day on which Julie Eberly was laid to rest.
In a statement, Ryan Eberly said:
“I know this won’t really change anything nor bring Julie back, but it gives us some peace to know he won’t be able to do this to anyone else. We are in the process of getting Justice for Julie.”
Ryan was also grateful for the work done by law enforcement officials, as well as residents who cooperated in the investigation.
“We are incredibly grateful for the long hours put in by the entire Sheriff’s Office and the people of Lumberton who kept an eye out for the vehicle,” he said.
Besides her husband, Julie Eberly left six children: Luis Luciano, Kristen Bitner, Shaun Bitner, Gabrielle Eberly, Gracie Eberly and Genna Eberly, along with a granddaughter Bailey Groff.
Not surprisingly, Floyd has a lengthy criminal history, which includes larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny of firearms, felony breaking and entering, assault, and most recently was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, according to WECT-6.
Yet there he was, out on the streets and now a mother of six is dead.
Sheriff Wilkins said Floyd shouldn’t have been out on the streets to begin with.
“In this particular case, you’re talking about a convicted felon who wasn’t supposed to have a gun to start with. When you look over his criminal record, in my opinion, he shouldn’t ever have been out of prison to start with. But now we’re having to deal with this all over again, and this led to a murder.”
This is just another senseless killing in a series of senseless killings. It is also further proof that gun laws do not work because criminals still carry them. It also proves that a soft-on-crime criminal justice system doesn’t work either.
And yet another innocent victim has paid the price.
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