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Death penalty sought in slaying

Prosecutors want to seek the death penalty in their case against a Florida man accused in the fatal shooting of an N.C. Highway Patrol trooper, according to court documents.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Wednesday that Haywood County District Attorney Michael Bonfoey asked a judge to decide whether there is enough evidence to try Edwardo Wong II for capital murder. The judge has not yet scheduled a hearing.

Wong, 37, of Ormond Beach, Fla., is accused in the June 17 shooting death of trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr., 24. The trooper was shot during a traffic stop along Interstate 40 near Canton in Western North Carolina.

In recordings of 911 calls released Tuesday, truckers can be heard on CB radios getting a description of the suspect's vehicle. They also formed a roadblock to help stop the vehicle.

Haywood County's emergency communications center released 22 minutes of recordings made of three calls on the night Blanton was shot.

Wong is charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

In his filing, Bonfoey said the state has “evidence to support the existence of one or more aggravating circumstances” required for the death penalty in North Carolina.

One of the 11 possible aggravating factors under N.C. law is when the victim is a law enforcement officer. Another is when a killer has a history of violent crimes.

Wong spent seven years in a Florida prison for crimes including assault on a law enforcement officer.

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