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Repeat DWI offender charged with murder

AHOSKIE – A Bertie County man with a previous history of motor vehicle violations now stands charged with second degree murder following a fatal accident here early Sunday morning.

Anthony Ronshawn White, 29, of Winton is jailed in the Hertford County Detention Center (HCDC) under a $760,000 secured bond after an auto accident on Memorial Drive claimed the life of a Harrellsville man.

Kevin Wayne Higgins, 21, lost his life as a result of the two-vehicle accident that occurred at 1:46 a.m. on Sunday. The accident took place on the west side of the overhead bridge on Memorial Drive.

Ahoskie Police Sgt. Ty Metzler charged White with second degree murder, aggravated felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired (DWI) and driving while license revoked (DWLR).

Less than 11 hours prior to the fatal wreck, Ahoskie Police Officer Ty Ruffin had issued White a citation for DWLR. White was taken to the HCDC on that charge, one which carried a $2,500 secured bond. White made bond and was released at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office.

Hertford County court records show that White has a DWI conviction in 2004. Additionally, he was convicted in court two weeks ago (Oct. 28) for DWLR. That charge was lodged by the Ahoskie Police on Aug. 20.

Sunday morning’s accident was witnessed by Ahoskie Police Officer Michael Kellett. With his police cruiser parked off Memorial Drive, where he was observing traffic, and facing the overhead bridge, Kellett reported seeing a vehicle (later determined to be Higgins’ 1989 Dodge passenger car) traveling west in a normal manner.

Using his side view and rear view mirrors, Officer Kellett then observed a vehicle (later determined as a 2000 Kia Sportage driven by White) traveling east on Memorial Drive. Kellett reported that he saw the eastbound vehicle cross the center line and strike the westbound vehicle head-on.

The vehicle operated by White was registered to Antonia Jacobs of Lewiston-Woodville. It was the same vehicle in which White was operating on Saturday afternoon when cited for DWLR.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh deemed the accident as tragic.

“We continue, through our traffic enforcement program, to make these types of accidents non-existent,” Chief Fitzhugh said. “Taking a proactive approach with our vehicle checking stations, we have tried to remove motor vehicle offenders from our roadways. In this particular case, we have twice cited Mr. White, including one on Saturday afternoon.”