• Burke Co. Grand Jury indicts man accused of killing father of 4 girls

    By: Dave Faherty


    BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - A grand jury in Burke County has indicted a man accused of killing the father of four young girls south of Morganton.

    Michael Piercy's picture sits on the highway next to a cross marking the spot of the deadly accident earlier this year.

    Eyewitness News spoke with the driver, Lee Hutchins, hours after the grand jury returned with its decision.

    For months now family members have been putting up these fliers across Burke County asking for justice for Piercy.

    On Monday night, they believe they are one step closer after what happened with the grand jury.

    Christina Westbrooks showed Eyewitness News two of the last pictures of her brother Piercy, who was running errands with his wife and two of his daughters when a car crossed the center line on Highway 64 and killed him last March.

    Piercy's stepfather fought back tears as he explained how the accident impacted the family.

    "(Hutchins) hurt a lot of people. He's hurt this family. (Piercy's) got four kids who will never see him again. It hurts," said Bruce Harwood.

    The highway patrol said Hutchins was driving the other car that crossed the center line leading to the accident.

    On Monday night, the grand jury indicted him on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

    "My blood sugar dropped down to a 22," said Hutchins.

    He said he blacked out and doesn't remember the crash.

    "I'm sorry to the Piercy family that lost their dad and their husband. I'm truly sorry," said Hutchins.

    Hutchins doesn't believe he should be charged in the case and said if it ever goes to trial a jury will not find him guilty of a crime.

    But state troopers said he was driving erratically prior to crossing the center line and causing the accident.

    Piercy's sister said while the charge won't bring her brother back it is news they welcome.

    "It never will but this is what the justice system can do so this is what we have to accept," said Westbrooks.

    Sheriff’s deputies said they will take Hutchins into custody later this week.

    Family members said they will be there when he goes before a judge.

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