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Woman Who Threatened Officer's Wife Misidentified

Mary Wilsey, the mother of an 18-year-old who was shot and killed during an altercation with police in January, was not the woman who threatened Victoria Vassey, the wife of the officer charged in the slaying, according to a statement from James Payne, Bryon Vassey's attorney.

"We regret this error and apologize to Ms. Wilsey and her family for this misidentification and any unintended issues this may have caused," Payne wrote in a July 3 statement.

In May, Payne said several people identified a woman who approached Victoria Vassey on April 8 in the Brunswick County Courthouse as Wilsey. The woman allegedly said what Bryon Vassey had done was wrong and threatened to burn the Vassey's house down with everyone inside.

Among the people who initially said the woman was Wilsey were an unattached witness sitting near Victoria Vassey, a private investigator hired by Payne and a Brunswick County Sheriff's Office deputy who reviewed security camera footage of the altercation with the investigator.

"All of those individuals were wrong in their identification. Mary Wilsey was not the person that made the threat and was not the person on the video," Payne wrote in a statement.

Bryon Vassey, a Southport Police Department detective, shot and fatally wounded Keith Vidal on Jan. 5 shortly arriving at Vidal's Boiling Spring Lakes home to assist with a mental health call. On Feb. 3, Vassey was indicted on one count of voluntary manslaughter.

Payne declined to say Monday if the woman who threatened Victoria Vassey had been positively identified.

A Brunswick County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said Monday that it did not appear as if a formal report had ever been filed in connection with the incident and, thus, the sheriff's office is not investigating the woman's identity.

Copyright 2014 - Star-News, Wilmington, N.C.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service