Suspect in killing of Wake County deputy says he’s innocent, seeks bond hearing

One of the two brothers accused of killing Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd has filed a motion maintaining his innocence and asking for a bail-bond hearing..

Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, was arrested on Aug. 16 along with his younger brother Alder Marin-Sotelo, 25, as suspects in the brazen killing that shocked the state.

The motion, obtained by The News & Observer, asks the court to grant Arturo Marin-Sotelo a hearing to determine conditions for his pre-trial release based on his presumed innocence.

The motion also asks the state to produce evidence gathered against him, which includes GPS data, surveillance videos, cell tower data and data from the suspect’s cell phone. Arturo Marin-Sotelo’s defense says the GPS cellphone data will show he was not near Byrd at the time he was shot.

Byrd, a 48-year-old K-9 officer, was found dead early in the morning of Aug. 12 with multiple gunshot wounds on a rural road in southeast Raleigh.

Investigators traced cell phone data to track down the two brothers and took them into custody in Burke County, The N&O reported.

The brothers are currently jailed without bail. They maintain they were hunting for deer in rural Wake County the night of the shooting, according to search warrants previously reported by The N&O.

The motion, filed by Jay Ferguson, Arturo Marin-Sotelo’s attorney, argues that the state has not complied with rules to produce evidence gathered against him no later than 28 days after being charged.

That evidence, the motion argues, will help build Marin-Sotelo’s defense in the case and exonerate him.

Ferguson declined to comment on the case for this story.

But the defense, in its motion, said telephone records obtained by the state show a call between the two brothers is “clearly exculpatory” because it will show Arturo Marin-Sotelo was not in the same place as his brother when the shooting happened.

“If GPS data is available, it will show significant distance between these two at the time of the first call immediately after the shooting.”

Arturo Marin-Sotelo previously told detectives that he was not at the scene of the crime and was walking in a field toward the woods to harvest a deer he hunted. He then heard gunshots, and called his brother Alder to find out what happened, the defense maintains.

“Alder Marin stated that a police officer had just been shot,” the warrant states.

Search warrant on Byrd’s killing

Warrants released last month say Byrd saw a suspicious pickup truck just after 11 p.m. on the side of Battle Bridge Road while going to the Wake County Law Enforcement Training Center. He drove by but circled back, warrants state. When he was located a few hours later, around 1 a.m., he had been shot several times.

The shooting set off a multi-agency investigation and manhunt that ended five days later, when the two brothers were taken into custody on federal offenses near Morganton in Burke County. They were charged with murder Aug. 17.

They were trailed as they drove in a gold Escalade and a Tahoe toward Winston-Salem from Garner. The car had been taken to Winston-Salem by a woman with the same last name to be inspected and get a new license plate, warrants state.

In the Escalade, police found an AK-47, a clear bag containing a white substance and five AK magazines loaded with rounds, The N&O reported previously.

In the Tahoe driven by Arturo Marin-Sotelo, investigators found another AK rifle and a 9 mm gun with a loaded magazine along with other ammunition.

Warrants state that Byrd was likely killed with a 9 mm, but they do not say whether the gun found in the Tahoe was connected to the killing.

If the brothers are convicted of murder, they could face the death penalty or life in prison.

The News & Observer reporter Virginia Bridges contributed to this story.