01/17/2007

N.C. deputy's death investigated

By Steve Lyttle
The Charlotte Observer

Lincoln County authorities hope an autopsy today can help them solve the fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy whose bound was found in her home Monday afternoon in Iron Stationh.

Lawanna Mason Ingle Morton, 46, a part-time deputy who had worked with the sheriff's office for five years, was found dead at her home on Gray Fox Road, according to Sheriff Tim Daugherty.

Her body was discovered shortly after 3 p.m. by her roommate, who had stopped at the home to check on Morton.

Morton had been shot, authorities say. It is not clear if the home had been broken into, or if a weapon was found.

According to the sheriff's office, Morton was not on duty at the time. She had been working recently as a courtroom bailiff and had been assigned to the county's detention center before that.

An autopsy is scheduled today at Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston-Salem. The State Bureau of Investigation's Crime Scene Lab also has helped with the investigation, and Daugherty has not said for sure if foul play was involved.

Anyone with information is asked to call the department's tip line at 704-736-8606.

Observer staff writers Kytja Weir and Amy Rainey contributed.

Copyright 2007 The Charlotte Observer

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