Sheriff’s office say murder not being ruled out

Last updated: July 07. 2014 7:55PM - 19752 Views
By - aoverfelt@civitasmedia.com



Eric Watts | Facebook photo
Eric Watts | Facebook photo
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LAURINBURG — Authorities are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of the Thursday night death of a 22-year-old Laurinburg man.


The body of Eric Watts has been sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Charlotte, Scotland County Sheriff Shep Jones said Monday. Jones said until those results come in, no cause of death — including murder — is being ruled out.


“Anytime a young person is deceased we always want to make sure we get the cause of death correct, so that’s the process, we send them for an autopsy,” Jones said.


According to Jones, authorities received a call at 11:35 p.m. Thursday from a home near the intersection of Crestline and Ray Locklear roads about an “unresponsive person.”


When EMS arrived, Jones said, they found Watts on the home’s porch, where “a large group of folks” had gathered, some of whom were administering CPR. Watts was taken by ambulance to Scotland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Jones said Watts had been involved in a physical altercation during a party at the home. He said a relative of the home’s owner found him lying near the intersection and brought him to the porch.


“A group of guys was there, and the victim got into a fight and he was found unresponsive after,” Jones said.


Jones would not say how many people were involved, or if alcohol or drugs had played a role.


“We are still interviewing people who were there during the altercation,” Jones said. “We’re waiting on the autopsy to tell us the whole story.”


According to his Facebook page, Watts is a Laurinburg native who attended Scotland High School.


Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 12. Follow her on Twitter @aoinscotco.

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