SBI probes ‘custody death’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WINDSOR – What is being called a &uot;custody death&uot; has been confirmed here by the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO).

Reportedly, officers from the BCSO were sent out on Tuesday to pick up Clarence Smith Jr., 29, for involuntary commitment at the request of his family. While the process of taking the Windsor man into custody, he died.

The cause of death has not been confirmed by the BCSO at this time, but another media outlet reported Smith was tasered twice by law enforcement officers.

His death occurred after he was taken to Bertie Memorial Hospital, and an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause.

According to Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has been called in and is investigating the incident.

No further information is being released by the BCSO at this time and attempts to contact the victim’s family were unsuccessful.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald will have more details as they become available, either online or in our print edition.