The attorneys for the family of Tyrance Drequan Benbow are calling for the North Carolina State Bureua of Investigation to take over the investigation into Benbow’s untimely death.
Attorney’s representing Benbow’s family is Ira Braswell of Braswell Law, PLLC in Laurinburg, North Carolina and Chantel Cherry-Lassiter of Chantel Cherry-Lassiter Law Office, PLLC in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The family and attorneys met with Brunswick County District Attorney, Jon David, on Thursday, July 14, 2022.
The attorneys released details about the treatment of the family after they learned of Benbow’s death and the lack of transparency the family has received.
In a statement released to The North Carolina Beat by the attorneys, since Benbow’s death on Friday, July 8, 2022, the family has been treated unfairly, with the mother, Ms. Becky Lasalle, still unable to see her son.
Family members of Tyrance Benbow and their attorneys met with District Attorney Jon David on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Since Tyrance Benbow’s death on Friday, July 8, 2022, members of the family have not received any information from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department, the DA’s Office, or the Highway Patrol about the circumstances surrounding Tyrance’s death.
After finding out Tyrance was transported to Novant Hospital; Tyrance’s mother, Becky LaSalle was prevented from seeing her son by hospital staff. Eventually, Ms. LaSalle and the other family members were escorted out of the emergency room to the parking lot by hospital security, while waiting outside of the hospital to receive information on Tyrance’s condition, the hospital lights were turned off on grieving family members.
According to Mr. David, there are three separate law enforcement agencies allegedly investigating Tyrance’s death. However, as of Friday, July 15, 2022, Ms. LaSalle does not know how her son died or where his body is located. Due to the lack of transparency from the local authorities and the suspicious nature of Tyrance’s death, Ms. LaSalle and her attorneys are requesting the Attorney General Josh Stein assign the SBI to this investigation.
Over the past couple of years, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department had been harassing Benbow, pulling him over, searching his car, and following him.
On Friday, July 8, 2022, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department said they were trying to stop Benbow and a high-speed chase ensued. The department said that Benbow lost control of his vehicle and hit another vehicle, which resulted in his car and another family’s car overturning, leaving Benbow dead on Holden Beach Road. But family has said that the police account doesn’t add up nor does it make sense.
Ms. Becky LaSalle told The North Carolina Beat that her son had made calls to his father, girlfriend and best friend moments before he crashed and told them that one of the officers who had been harassing him was behind him trying to pull him over.
Police accounts of what happened have been inconsistent. According to Sgt. Ballard, a NCSHP told the family at the hospital the night of the incident, that Benbow lost control and hit another vehicle. Later in a local news report to WWAY, NCSHP told the station that Benbow hit a deputy’s cruiser, then crashed into an oncoming vehicle head-on, which caused both cars to flip. Then, in a press conference on Monday, July 11, 2022, by Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff, John Ingram, the sheriff said that Benbow lost control and hit another vehicle.
An anonymous person told the family that they saw Benbow being pulled out of his vehicle hollering, “I can’t feel my legs, call my mama, call my mama.” During the press conference Monday, Sheriff Ingram confirmed that Benbow was outside of the vehicle, claiming he was ejected and underneath the hood of the vehicle, dead. The fact that this eyewitness says they saw Benbow being pulled from the vehicle and the sheriff confirmed he was indeed outside the vehicle at the time of the crash is one of the reasons the dash-cam and body-cam footage should be released.
The investigating agency has been stating it happened this way, and the agency involved in the incident claimed it happened another way. According to a NCSHP investigator in a video obtained by The North Carolina Beat, said there was no head-on collision as reported earlier to WWAY by the NCSHP. The inconsistencies of what really happened is why attorneys for the family are calling for the North Carolina State Bureua of Investigation to take this case out of the hands of local agencies.
The family say District Attorney Jon David was shocked when they told him that they have not been able to see Benbow and that he was unaware and that he would work on allowing them to see their loved one.
As of Friday, July 15, it has been 7 days and this family still has not been able to see Benbow.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help to show this family love and support during this difficult time.