Chase suspects identified

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The two men arrested after a high-speed chase through Franklin on Friday have been identified as Rockne Butler, 39, of Pantego, N.C., and Dennis Leon Blount, 29, of Washington, N.C.

Butler has been charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and providing a false identity to police officers.

Blount is charged with possession of a firearm while having a prior felony conviction and felony elusion of police.

According to Lt. Tim Whitt of the Franklin Police Department, investigators are determining whether there is a link between Friday’s chase and the shooting death of Franklin resident Brad Harris earlier that day.

“While we can not discount that the two are involved in the murder, we can not say with 100 percent certainty that they are,” said Whitt. “The two men are both refusing to talk.”

Whitt said detectives are working hard to find out who killed Harris.

“The investigation is going well,” Whitt said. “The detectives haven’t stopped working all weekend and have gathered some good solid evidence in the case.”

Both Butler and Blount are being held in Western Tidewater Regional Jail without bond.