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Driver charged with 2nd-degree murder in Outer Banks child's death

Posted at 9:54 AM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 09:54:10-04

CURRITUCK, N.C. (AP) - Charges against an Outer Banks motorist now include second-degree murder after an 11-year-old girl struck by a vehicle on a North Carolina road last month died.

Daniel M. Deweese, 32, of Kitty Hawk, already had been arrested after authorities said his vehicle hit Julie Hope Randel of Barco on Aug. 30 as she crossed a highway near her middle school.

Randel was taken to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, where she died on Wednesday, The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported.

Deweese, who was originally charged in part with impaired driving and speeding in a school zone, was charged with felony death by vehicle and second-degree murder after the child’s death, local District Attorney Andrew Womble said Friday.

Deweese was in the Currituck County Detention Center on Sunday with a combined bond of $840,000 and a court appearance set for later this week, sheriff’s Sgt. Penny Sylvester said. The jail didn’t have information on whether Deweese has an attorney.

Randel, who attended Currituck Middle School, had crossed U.S. Highway 158 and reached the shoulder before re-entering the roadway to pick up something she had dropped, the state Highway Patrol said. That’s when Deweese’s Dodge Neon struck her, the patrol said.

Deweese’s vehicle was traveling 56 mph (90 kph) , Trooper S.D. Hurley said. The speed limit is usually 45 mph (72 kph), then drops to 35 mph (56 kph) during school hours, the newspaper reported.

The patrol believes alcohol played a role in the collision, Hurley said. Deweese also was originally charged with marijuana possession and possession of an open container of alcohol, documents show.