Suspect in deputy shooting remains jailed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 3, 2008

COURTLAND—During a hearing this week, a Southampton County judge refused to allow a man accused of trading gunshots with police to go free until his trial.

Judge Robert B. Edwards declined to grant a public defender’s request Tuesday that Freddie Carroll Drake be released on bond until his preliminary hearing Feb 12.

&uot;Mr. Drake is still in a situation where he doesn’t really remember those events,&uot; Paul Fritzinger said of his client, whom the court ordered in November to submit to psychological testing to determine whether he was competent to stand trial.

&uot;He is not a violent person,&uot; Fritzinger said of his client, noting that the Nov. 1 shootout with a Sheriff’s deputy &uot;seems to be some type of isolated, anomalous event.&uot;

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Randall argued that Drake &uot;would be a clear threat to society.&uot;

He said the suspect had been taking psychotropic medications and was also under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

Drake had also had access to &uot;numerous&uot; firearms and had a previous conviction for assault and battery.

Drake was arrested Nov. 1, when deputies responded to a report of shots fired at a home on Monroe Road near Statesville. When Deputy Scott Griffith arrived at the scene, police allege, a shot was fired from inside the building.

As the deputy took cover, Drake emerged from the house with a shotgun aimed at him, according to police reports.

When Griffith returned fire and missed, Drake immediately dropped his weapon and began advancing toward the deputy, who then used his Taser to subdue the man.

No one was injured in the confrontation, though Drake was treated and released from Southampton Memorial Hospital for cuts and abrasions he had received earlier inside the house.

Drake faces one count of discharging a firearm within a dwelling and two counts of assaulting law enforcement officers. All are felony charges.