Friday, 24 July 2015 12:23

Documents give further insight into Fishel death Featured

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Rook thumbs through a Bible containing photos of Fishel and news clippings about her death. Rook thumbs through a Bible containing photos of Fishel and news clippings about her death.

As the family of Leslie Fishel waits for a new trial date, court documents in the case of the man charged with second-degree murder and other counts in her death give further insight into the events that occurred which claimed her life.

A trial court set this week with the name of Marquise Jarvis Whitemore on the docket passed with no action taken.

His next court date for the charges in Fishel's death as well as unrelated drug counts against him from last year is now set for November 30, although there is no certainty the cases will be heard then, according to the Halifax County Clerk of Courts Office.

Whitemore, 26, at the time of the crash at the intersection Tenth Street and Becker Drive is currently out on bond, his mother posting $20,000 and using property as collateral, and a bail bondsman posting $15,000 for a total of $35,000 on a $980,000 bond, court records show.

A Teddy bear placed at Becker and Tenth in Fishel's memory.

A grand jury in March determined Whitemore caused the death of the 25-year-old Fishel “while engaging in the offense of impaired driving. The impaired driving was the proximate cause of death.”

The indictment also notes Whitemore had a previous impaired driving conviction within seven years of the December offense, that conviction occurring in Virginia Beach in September of 2010.

A request for a search warrant filed at the time of the crash backs up statements made by Roanoke Rapids police, which say Whitemore was shot in the leg while in the parking lot of an East Tenth Street business. He was treated and released.

Investigator Frankie Griffin's search warrant affidavit says Whitemore then got into a Toyota Avalon to drive himself to the hospital and he approached the intersection of Tenth Street and Becker Drive “in a careless and reckless manner.”

His vehicle went into the path of multiple vehicles, coming to rest on its drivers side.

The document says Whitemore was carried to the hospital and at the time before Fishel's death later that evening, the case was considered an attempted murder. There was a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, the affidavit said.

The list of items retrieved from the car Whitemore was driving that evening include the following:

A black cellphone

A pack of Cigarillos

A 375 ml bottle of Seagram's Vodka

Another black cell phone

A pack of miscellaneous papers

An empty pack of Cigarillos

A partially smoked blunt

A spent projectile

A stepfather's view

Ray “Ray Ray” Rook, Fishel's stepfather, can't comprehend the circumstances that led to her death and he said Thursday the emotional pain is persistent. “Twenty-four hours a day. My feeling is she is laying in the cemetery. He's running around.”

Rook's ire is with the court system. “The court system doesn't have any feelings for the family.”

Fishel's mother, Pat, from whom Rook is divorced, still has a hard time in the aftermath of the crash.

A memorial placed on a utility pole at Tenth and Becker.

“The Roanoke Rapids Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol, I think their hands are tied. I have no qualms with them.”

He wonders with Whitemore out could the same thing happen again. “I can't accept the way she died. It's just inexcusable … What really bothers me is how many strikes do you get? What's really killing me is he's running here and there and Leslie is at the top of the hill.”

Rook looked on Fishel as a daughter, he said. “At her work at Sonic, she loved her little job. When she would bring my iced tea tea with extra ice, I would always give her $5 or $10.”

He remembers the evening of the crash, sitting at home and receiving a call there was a collision. His first thought was it was Fishel's sister. It wasn't. “It was a night I won't forget.”

He remembers receiving a phone as he drove to Greenville, where Fishel was airlifted. “When the phone rang, I knew it was a bad call.”

Rook and Fishel's mother were together for nine years. “Leslie was the type of child you could strangle her one day and love her the next. She was outgoing and would say what was her on her mind. I always had motorcycles and she loved that motorcycle, taking her with me to the Harley shop. She loved to get on back of that motorcycle. I loved carrying her places.”

Still, Rook can't shake the feeling Whitemore should not be out on bond. “It's the same old scenario. What does it take for the court system to get up and look at what's going on? I see now how people and families on TV feel.”

Police department

The investigation by the police department has been turned over to court system, Investigator Jeff Davis said.

The state Highway Patrol, Davis said, continues its investigation.

Davis said it would be presumption to make a statement on whether Whitemore provoked Jacobi Harvey, who is scheduled to appear in court in September, inside a Forest Hills Shopping Center barber shop into shooting him outside the establishment.

“All I can say is there was some type of confrontation and shots were fired,” Investigator Bobby Martin said. “The initial confrontation was within.”


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