Fatal hit-and-run case will move to trial

Mar. 27, 2013 @ 06:05 PM

A Raleigh man will face a Warren County jury in May on charges that he killed a teen-age pedestrian on U.S. 1 last spring in a hit-and-run.

Corey Champion, 28, is charged with felony hit and run and misdemeanor death by vehicle, in the death of 15-year-old Cody Flowers. Flowers was struck late at night on May 19, 2012, while walking home from a friend’s house.

Champion received a Warren County Superior Court jury trial date scheduled for May 13. According to court records, he posted a $10,000 bond, secured by a $1,500 payment on June 4, 2012, the date of his arrest.

The case proceeded through a series of hearings in January, February and on March 18 for motions and possible plea offers. Champion, through his attorney Garey Ballance, maintained a not guilty plea pointing to a jury trial to decide the case on evidence.

Trooper Stephen Fuller of the N.C. Highway Patrol conducted the investigation, starting with a May 22 search of the 2003 GMC Yukon that Fuller said Champion drove.

Fuller also obtained cellphone records from AT&T on Champion’s phone use and towers of connection for May 19 and 20. The timeframe of the accident was about 11:45 p.m.

Fuller originally cited Champion for reckless driving in the case, but that charge was not a part of the Dec. 14 grand jury indictment against Champion.

“Debris found at the collision scene matched a 2003 GMC Yukon registered to Corey Champion,” Fuller said in a written search warrant statement.

He sought further forensic information for the case that at the time involved Flowers having been seriously injured.

Fuller stated of the AT&T records, “It is believed the information being sought is material and relevant to this investigation.”

A blood alcohol test on Champion submitted June 12, nearly a month after the accident, tested at zero toxicity.

According to prior published reports on the accident, Flowers was struck by a vehicle that crossed the center line, hit him and then left the scene.

Flowers died on May 22.

Fuller submitted his arrest warrants on May 31, including with the two a charge for driving while license revoked.

 

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.