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Suspect Pleads Guilty in Murder of U.S. Marshal

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Another man accused of the 2011 homicide of U.S. Marshal Warren Basco "Sneak" Lewis III pled guilty Monday in federal court.

Lamont Deshawn Byrd, 21, pled to the charge of first-degree murder of an officer of the United States. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 3, where he's expected to receive a term of life in prison.

"Assaults on federal law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties will not be tolerated," U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a statement. "The death of Special Deputy Lewis is a tragedy for his family and all of us in the law enforcement community."

Authorities believe on June 2, 2011, Byrd, along with three other assailants, participated in the homicide of House of Wang dishwasher Thomas Hinton, who was riding his bike near the intersection of West Lenoir Avenue and Mitchell Street when he was knocked of his bike and shot.

After the suspects hid out in an apartment in the 600 block of West Lenoir Avenue, Byrd allegedly shot at a Kinston Department of Public Safety narcotics officer and later accidentally shot through the apartment floor, damaging a water pipe and leading his girlfriend to go to the police.

When Lewis and other law enforcement officers moved in on the apartment on June 9, 2011, Byrd shot Lewis with a Berretta .40-caliber handgun from within the residence, then handed it off to another person to hide. The gun had been stolen from another residence three weeks earlier.

"The Lewis family and the State of North Carolina lost a true hero," Kinston Department of Public Safety Director Bill Johnson said in a statement. "I wish to thank the many individuals and agencies for their assistance in the effort to see justice done."

Byrd's scheduled to appear Tuesday in Lenoir County Superior Court, where he's accused of the felony counts of murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and conspiracy.

He's also expected in Lenoir County District Court on Sept. 25 on felony murder and Oct. 21 on felony malicious conduct by a prisoner.

Copyright 2014 - The Free Press, Kinston, N.C.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service