Trio charged in death of woman found on highway appear in court - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Trio charged in death of woman found on highway appear in court

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Derek Allen Williams, 26, is wanted for second degree murder Derek Allen Williams, 26, is wanted for second degree murder
Alesha Michelle Werner, 25, is wanted for accessory after the fact of second degree murder. Alesha Michelle Werner, 25, is wanted for accessory after the fact of second degree murder.
Patricia Ann Stroupe, 50, was arrested for accessory after the fact of second degree murder. Patricia Ann Stroupe, 50, was arrested for accessory after the fact of second degree murder.
LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Three people charged in connection to the murder of a Denver woman who was found lying in the middle of the road made their first court appearance Tuesday morning.

The trio is charged in the death of 54-year-old Sherry Jo Tobeler, who was found lying in the middle of Highway 150 near Mack Ballard Road, around 3 a.m. Friday. She died at the hospital early Monday morning.

Tobeler's 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was found Monday morning, submerged in a pond off of Springs East Road and Gladden Road.

Later Monday afternoon, officials said they were looking for three people in relation to what they now call a murder case.

A warrant was issued for Derek Allen Williams, 26, for second degree murder. Warrants were also issued for Alesha Michelle Werner, 25, and Patricia Ann Stroupe, 50, for accessory after the fact of second degree murder.

Stroupe, who is Williams' mother, was arrested shortly before 7 p.m. Monday and placed under a $75,000 bond. Then just before 8 p.m., authorities took Williams and Werner into custody.

Officials say the pair were "hiding out" in a room at the Lincolnton Days Inn.

Williams was placed under a $500,000 bond, and Werner a $125,000 bond. 

Deputies say that after conducting several interviews, they believe Tobeler and the trio had been to a pool hall in Maiden and a bar in Denver before arriving on Highway 150.

They say an argument occurred between Tobeler and the other occupants of the truck, at which point Tobeler got out and called 911. The truck then sped away, running over Tobeler, who had fallen to the ground.

Tuesday morning when the trio appeared in court, investigators released a 911 call made the morning Tobeler was found. In the tape, the caller can be heard telling dispatch that "there is a lady laying in the middle of the road right here at 150."

When the dispatcher asks the caller if the woman is talking, the caller replies, "Yeah, she said something about [how] somebody took her keys and went off."

Dispatch then asks the caller if the woman is bleeding, and the caller says, "Yes she is bleeding from her nose... She said, she said that the guy threw her out of the truck."  

Sunday evening Tobeler's niece Jennifer Rickett and her family returned to the site where Tobeler was found.

"It's not easy at all. It's not easy at all. We've all been suffering since Friday morning when we got the phone call," said Rickett.

A neighbor, who only wants to be identified as Alyssa, heard the commotion.

"I realized there were some car doors slamming and there was a woman yelling," she said.

"We need answers. She was a very caring person. She'd do anything for you and we need to know what happened. She's a good person and she doesn't deserve what happened," said Rickett.

Now, Rickett and her family say they just want answers to help bring some form of comfort.

"It makes it very difficult to know that there's somebody out there with answers and they won't give them up right now," said Rickett.

Williams, Werner and Stroupe are all due back in court on November 20.

Detectives are asking anyone with information in this case to call the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office at 704-735-8202.

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