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3 charged after Lincoln woman found in road dies of injuries

By Steve Lyttle and Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Police have charged three people in connection with the death of a Lincoln County woman who died on Monday after being found in the middle of N.C. 150.

Derek Allen Williams, 25, of Lincolnton has been charged with murder in Sherry Jo Tobeler’s death. Patricia Ann Stroupe, 50, of Lincolnton and Alesha Michelle Werner, 25, of Maiden are charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Stroupe, who is Williams’ mother, was arrested shortly before 7:00 p.m. Monday. Werner and Williams were arrested in a motel room around 8 p.m. Williams was being held on $500,000 bond, Werner was being held on $125,000 bond, and Williams was being held under a $75,000 bond. All three will make a first appearance in court on Tuesday morning.

Deputies say Tobeler had an argument with her husband about 9 p.m. Thursday. She left the home in her Chevy Silverado pickup truck with a pet dog. She was last seen about 2 a.m. Friday buying beer at the Denver Mart, on Old N.C. 16 and Forney Hill Road.

About an hour later, she was found in the road on N.C. 150 with head injuries. As her condition worsened at Carolinas Medical Center over the weekend, investigators tried to figure out what happened to her.

After the fight with her husband, investigators say, Tobeler and several other people went to a pool hall in Maiden and then a bar in Denver.

They got into an argument, although investigators haven’t said over what.

Tobeler got out of her pickup truck at the intersection of Highway 150 East and Mack Ballard Road and dialed 911. But at some point she fell to the ground. Investigators say the truck sped away, running over Tobeler.

On Monday, investigators pulled the truck from a pond about five miles northwest of where Tobeler was found. They also said they were interviewing suspects in connection with Tobeler’s death.

The charges were announced just after 6 p.m.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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