PoliceOne Staff Report (FAYETTEVILE, N.C) -- The sister of a man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase that resulted in a highway patrolman's death say they feel sorry for the trooper's family but doesn't believe her brother is responsible.
Trooper John H. Duncan, 28, was killed Tuesday while chasing a car that lawmen say was being driven by Travis Freeman. Duncan's vehicle crashed into trees, overturned and burst into flames in southeastern Cumberland County.
Freeman had already told reporters that he was not driving the car and someone else had used his name. His mother has also said that she owned the car and had reported it stolen.
But Renee Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Highway Patrol, told PoliceOne.com that she does not know if the statement is true, but is skeptical.
Meanwhile, Freeman's sister told The Fayetteville Observer that her brother was not to blame for the officer's death.
"It's a tragedy for us and for the Duncan family," Cynthia Freeman told the newspaper. "Somebody should have slowed up or backed up. They had the tag number and they could have picked him up later."
Freeman has been charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He is being held on $500,000 bond. In addition, Freeman's girlfriend has been charged with helping the suspect avoid capture and is charged as an accessory.
Police said that Freemen eluded police during the case and was captured the following day in a motel with his girlfriend.
The newspaper said that the Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and the chase will be reviewed by the patrol's post-chase review board.