Crime & Courts

Police arrest man accused of concealing Bianca Tanner’s death

A day after Angelo Smith pleaded guilty to killing Bianca Tanner and burying her in a makeshift grave in southwest Charlotte in 2014, police say they have arrested a man believed to have helped hide the teacher’s death.

Lawrence Adrian Briscoe, 32, is charged with concealment of death, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He was arrested in Fort Mill, S.C., by CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team and was in the Lancaster County, S.C., jail late Friday awaiting an extradition hearing.

Police say there is no timetable for his return to Charlotte.

On Thursday, Smith pleaded guilty to a series of charges connected to the killing of Tanner, a newly hired Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher whose disappearance set off a citywide hunt by her family and police.

Prosecutor Anna Greene told the courtroom that Smith killed Tanner on June 7, 2014, during an argument at their home. He confessed that he had put choke-holds on his girlfriend during the fight “until she was no longer fighting back,” Greene said.

Smith initially tried to conceal the killing, burying her body in a road under development in the Steele Creek community with the help of a friend, then reporting Tanner’s disappearance to police, authorities said. He told investigators that Tanner had left after the argument and never returned.

Police said the friend confessed and led investigators to the grave. Smith was arrested shortly afterward.

Greene told the Observer she couldn’t say anything about Briscoe’s case because his trial is pending. She declined to identify him as the friend who cooperated with police or say whether he cooperated in Smith’s prosecution or had been offered a deal by prosecutors.

Concealment of death is a Class I felony in North Carolina, punishable by a maximum of two years in prison for people without a prior criminal record.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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