Kenneth Avery Davis, 37, of Granite Falls, pleaded guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter and felony hit and run serious injury/death for the October 2019 death of Marriah Kelly Warren during Caldwell County Superior Court on Monday, July 6, 2020.
The Honorable Athena Brooks, Superior Court Judge from Henderson County, imposed an active sentence of 270 days to be served in the Caldwell County Detention Center followed by 36 months of supervised probation.
If Davis fails to complete the probationary period successfully, a pair of 19-to-32-month sentences will be served consecutively in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
In addition, Brooks sentenced Davis to spend Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in custody for the next three years.
Warren was traveling through an intersection with a green light in a Honda Accord on October 7, 2019, when she was struck in the driver’s side door by a Ford Taurus operated by Davis, who had a red light in his lane of travel.
Crash reconstruction reports from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and Lenoir Police Department showed that Davis accelerated through the intersection at 57.8 mph in the 45 mph zone before crashing into Warren’s vehicle.
Eyewitnesses saw a passenger crawl out of Davis’ vehicle and sit on the curb before observing Davis exit the driver’s seat, speak with the passenger and leave the scene on foot.
Warren was declared dead at Caldwell UNC Hospital a short time later from injuries suffered in the crash.
Officers looked two days for Davis and offered a cash reward for information regarding his location. He was taken to the Magistrate’s Office by a Caldwell County citizen on October 9, 2019, where he was arrested and charged in Warren’s death.
Warren’s fiancé, Bradley Bumgarner, spoke on behalf of the family, noting that she was a fun, caring person who gave to others and looked after friends and family. She was on an errand for her family when she was killed.
The case was investigated by Master Patrol Officer T. Sanders and Sgt. N. Blache of Lenoir Police Department with cooperation from Trooper C.J. Rogers of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer C. Mathews prosecuted the matter for the State.
CONTACT: Nathan Key