Teen indicted on manslaughter charge in fatal Shallotte wreck

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Devin Keither Harris
Devin Keither Harris

A Calabash teen charged with the death of a 13-year-old boy in a Shallotte wreck last month that ended in a creek, has been indicted on a manslaughter charge.

Devin Keither Harris, 18, was indicted Monday by a Brunswick County grand jury on charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 13-year-old Caleb Smith, who was killed in a wreck reported on Bridgers Road at about 4 a.m., Feb. 10, according to District Attorney Jon David.

Authorities found the vehicle submerged in about seven feet of water in Mulberry Creek and worked to pull three teens from the car. Devin Harris and his brother – 16-year-old Justice Harris, a student at West Brunswick High School – were taken to the hospital for treatment and were expected to make a full recovery. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

Harris faced several other charges in connection with the wreck, including misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, reckless driving, no operator’s license, speeding and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to court records. The grand jury also indicted him on those charges Monday.

Caleb Smith was the son of a pastor at Waterbrook Community Church in Long, South Carolina, according a February post on the church’s Facebook page.

According to an initial investigation by the Shallotte Police Department, the vehicle was traveling toward N.C. 130 on Bridgers Road at the time of the incident. The vehicle reportedly hit the left side of Mulberry Bridge on the passenger side of the vehicle before it left the roadway and submerged in the water.

According to arrest warrants, Devin Harris was charged with driving without a license and driving 61 mph on Bridgers Road, which has a speed limit of 35 mph. Warrants also state he was charged with the unauthorized use of a 2007 Honda Accord, a vehicle belonging to the parents of the deceased victim.

According to court records, Devin Harris has several pending charges in Brunswick County Superior Court, including three counts of second-degree burglary, three counts of larceny after breaking and entering, three counts of breaking or entering a motor vehicle and three counts of misdemeanor larceny. The charges are not related to the fatal wreck. He was indicted on those charges Aug. 17, 2015.

Assistant District Attorney Jamie Turnage is prosecuting the case for the state. Devin Harris is scheduled to appear in Brunswick County Superior Court on April 5.