Plea accepted in teen’s death

Sep. 12, 2013 @ 08:32 PM

WARRENTON — Corey Champion has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in Warren County Superior Court in connection to the death of 15-year-old Cody Flowers.

In making the plea, the 28-year-old Raleigh man will not face a charge of felony hit-and-run causing death and a count of driving while license revoked. Two charges not related to the death of Flowers were also dropped: assault by pointing a gun and assault inflicting serious injury.

According to a report by the N.C. Highway Patrol, Champion was driving a vehicle on U.S. 1 that struck and killed the teenager on May 19, 2012. Champion passed another car in the northbound lane at about 11:30 p.m., and struck Flowers in the southbound shoulder.

Flowers had been walking north, facing the southbound lane, going home from a friend’s house.

Appearing before Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood, Champion was given 75 days jail time, with 45 days suspended, out of a consolidated 270-day sentence. Champion will also have supervised probation for 18 months and was ordered to pay $5,000 restitution to the Flowers family for funeral expenses.

Arrest warrants for Champion were dated May 31. He turned himself in about a week later and posted $10,000 bond for release.

Champion’s most recent address was listed as 3525 Dewing Drive in Raleigh, however he was linked to an F&M Trailer Park location according to a March 24 police incident report this year stating that his black GMC Yukon received $500 damage from a brick thrown through the rear window.

A search warrant noted a GMC of that description as a major focus of the investigation into Flower’s death.

Champion is from Warren County, according to a trooper who investigated the collision.

No forensic evidence is mentioned as part of the investigation until three days after the crash when evidence linking Champion’s GMC Yukon to the collision scene were sought in search warrant documents.

Factored into the sentencing were prior convictions against Champion for level-five driving while impaired in 2008 and reckless driving in 2005.

Flowers was a student at Warren County’s New Tech High School. He died two days later at Duke University Medical Center in Durham.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.