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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A passenger in a fatal car accident earlier this month in Pender County is now charged with second-degree murder. District Attorney Ben David announced the charge in a news conference in Wilmington this morning.
Lance Powers, 26, was already charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and other charges in the October 12 crash on NC 53 near Atkinson that killed Jennie Moore, 27, who was driving the car.
Highway Patrol First Sgt. W.L. Thurston told WWAY last week there is information that led investigators to believe Powers snatched the steering wheel, which may have caused the accident.
Powers is also charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon and battery on an unborn child, because the driver of the vehicle Moore hit in the accident is pregnant. That driver is 19-year-old Mary Fontana. Her 3-year-old and 1-year-old were riding in the back seat of her car and each sustained injuries. All three of them are out of the hospital now; should her unborn child be born with complications or injuries, Powers could face more serious charges.
David said Powers was arrested after he was released from the hospital this morning. Though still in a wheelchair from injuries he obtained in the crash, Powers is expected to be in Pender County Court today.
Photo by Brian Freskos/StarNews