Teenager sought in 14-year-old's death in custody in Gaston County, police say

Teenager sought in 14-year-old's death in custody in Gaston County, police say

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A 17-year-old suspected of killing a 14-year-old girl at a park in Mount Holly is in custody in Gaston County, Mount Holly police said.

Eric Combs was booked into jail at 1:40 a.m. Saturday.

Combs turned himself in to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Dayton, Ohio on April 11. He waived extradition on April 12 during an appearance in the Montgomery County Juvenile Court.

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Mount Holly police brought him back to North Carolina.

(Eric Combs)

Combs' arrest came after an affidavit was released and key information from Darvon Fletcher's interview with police shed new light on the final few hours of Taylor Smith’s life.

Fletcher, 18, was arrested April 4 and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the 14-year-old girl.

Fletcher told police that Combs took Smith to a Mount Holly park on April 3 and they both got out of the car, and were “all in,” according to the documents.

"Fletcher advised that a few minutes later he heard several gunshots and witnessed Smith running toward the car, then he heard two more shots and witnessed Smith fall to the ground,” the document said.

(Darvon Fletcher)

Fletcher said Combs got back into the car and drove away.

Neighbors said they were horrified by the police presence in their neighborhood and accusations against the Charlotte teenager.

"It's a shock,” said Nicole Jackson, a neighbor. "He cuts grass around here for some of the neighbors, so we never would have thought he would be a suspect in a crime as bad as murder, never."

The affidavit says that investigators called Laquita Garrett, Combs’ mother, who told them she took her son to Dayton, Ohio, for a family vacation.

It's not clear exactly when Combs will be brought back to North Carolina.

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