State trooper found gun last year on man now connected to Wake deputy’s killing

During a traffic stop last summer in Chapel Hill, a state trooper found a gun on a man who is now connected to the killing of a Wake County deputy.

On Tuesday, Alder Alfonso Marin, 25, and his brother Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, were taken into federal custody after the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation asked the Burke County’s Sheriff’s Office to help stop them on Interstate 40.

Law enforcement radio traffic indicates the men were suspects in the killing of Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd, who was found shot multiple times around 1 a.m. Friday, Aug. 12.

Arturo Marin-Sotelo was charged with murder Thursday, and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said she expects another man to be charged this week.

Alder Alfonso Marin, 25, is identified by that name in federal court records, but as Alder Marin Sotelo in the Forsyth County jail.

Court appearance

Alder Alfonso Marin made an initial court appearance in Winston-Salem on Wednesday on a new federal gun charge stemming from the traffic stop last summer.

He is accused of “possession of a firearm by an illegal alien,” according to court documents. An attorney was appointed to represent him, and a detention and probable cause hearing was set for next week.

The federal charge relates to a July 14, 2021, incident in which an N.C. Highway Patrol officer stopped Alder Alfonso Marin in Chapel Hill, according to federal court documents. The traffic stop was initiated due to a fictitious tag, records show.

He was taken into custody Tuesday on that charge.

Federal officials sometimes hold suspects in high-profile homicides on less significant federal charges as law enforcement officials continue to investigate a killing.

July 14, 2021, traffic stop

When the trooper approached Alder Alfonso Marin in July 2021, he observed Marin’s hand shoved down between the center console and a seat.

After Alder Alfonso Marin obeyed the trooper’s order to show his hands, the trooper found a 9 mm Beretta with one round in the chamber between the seat and the console. An additional magazine and an extended magazine were found in the glove box, according to court documents.

Alder Alfonso Marin was driving a gold Cadillac truck. He had a Mexican identification card and admitted crossing the border illegally, court documents state.

Marin was cited at the time for carrying a concealed weapon, according to court documents. The case was dismissed with leave on Dec. 3, 2021.

Prosecutors will sometimes take that action after a defendant can’t be found or doesn’t show up for court. They can then reinstate the charges when the defendant is found. Marin didn’t show up for court dates in July and September 2021, according to court records.

Deputy killed

Byrd was found dead outside his Sheriff’s Office SUV in southeastern Wake County early Friday morning.

Byrd had responded to a nearby domestic incident shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday. After calls deputies typically pull off to a safe location and enter their notes from the incident, which Byrd did. Then at some point dispatch tried to check in, and Byrd didn’t respond, Sheriffs Office spokesperson Eric Curry said.

After a couple of attempts, another deputy was sent to where the vehicle was tracked and found Byrd’s body, Curry said.