Deputies said they have arrested three suspects in the county agency’s second homicide investigation of the year after a woman officers located Friday morning lying injured along a county highway died from head injuries Monday at a Charlotte hospital.
Sherry Jo Tobeler, of 6674 Billy’s Way in Denver, was pronounced dead Monday afternoon at Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
Derek Allen Williams, 25, of 421 Springs East Road in Lincolnton, has been charged with one felony count of second-degree murder.
Both Patricia Ann Stroupe, 50, of 2584 Southland Trail in Lincolnton, and Alesha Michelle Werner, 25, of 161 Lilly Trail in Maiden, have each been charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact of murder. Stroupe was arrested by deputies shortly before 7 p.m. on Monday, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. She was given a $75,000 secured bond.
Williams and Werner were apprehended just before 8 p.m. Monday at the Days Inn in Lincolnton. Williams is being held under a $500,000 secured bond, and Werner is under a $125,000 secured bond.
The trio has its first court appearance at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Tobeler was located around 3 a.m. Friday on N.C. 150, near Mack Ballard Road, deputies said.
The Communications Center contacted the Sheriff’s Office about the incident.
When officers arrived on scene, the victim told them she had been driving a Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab pickup.
Deputies searched the area Friday but failed to find the vehicle. They said they located the truck Monday afternoon in a pond on Gladden Road, off Springs East Road, north of Lincolnton.
Carpenter said one of the suspects led officers to the site.
A helicopter with Channel 9 assisted deputies in actually locating the vehicle about 75 feet from the shoreline, according to an agency press release.
Deputy John Isaacks assisted in the truck recovery, diving into the water to attach a cable from a truck with Hampton’s Wrecker Service to the victim’s vehicle.
The truck was hoisted out of the pond by 2:40 p.m.
Prior to Friday’s incident, deputies said Tobeler had been with a number of other people at both a Maiden pool hall and a bar in Denver.
She had not been at her residence since 9 p.m. Thursday, when she left the house following a disagreement with her husband, deputies said.
The suspects and victim also engaged in some sort of argument inside the truck, while headed to Mack Ballard Road, the release said.
The argument prompted Tobeler to exit the vehicle, officers said, and contact both the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and Catawba County 911.
Catawba County officials transferred the woman’s call to the Lincoln County Communications Center.
Williams drove the truck over Tobeler as he sped away, deputies said.
Just before being struck, the victim had fallen to the ground.
Lincoln County Emergency Medical Services transported the 54-year-old victim to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte, where she underwent surgery but later died.
Tobeler’s vehicle is being stored at the Sheriff’s Office Impound Lot in Lincolnton.