Judge hears petition for release of law enforcement video in chase that left one dead, one injured

Petition to release body cam video in Gaston Co. pursuit

GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - A superior court judge says he will make a decision by Friday afternoon on whether to release law enforcement video from a police chase in Gaston County last week that left one dead and another seriously injured.

Gaston County Sheriff deputies were pursuing 41-year-old Joshua Soule. A NC Highway Patrol spokesperson says Soule struck and killed Antrel Dion Garnigan however, witnesses at the scene and family of the surviving victim says that a deputy’s car also hit Garnigan.

In his personal capacity, WBTV Chief Investigative Reporter Nick Ochsner is petitioning the court for release of the video. In court on Monday, an attorney for the sheriff’s office said they did not oppose release of the video.

Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell and a public defender representing Soule both opposed release of the video claiming it could jeopardize their investigations and gathering of evidence.

The district attorney informed the court that highway patrol and an independent expert assessed the deputy’s vehicle after the accident and determined it did not strike a person. The district attorney also said that the video would not shed any light on whether the deputy struck Gernigan.

Ochsner argued to Judge Robert Bell that there was a compelling public interest for release of the video because of the conflicting accounts from witnesses at the scene and law enforcement officers investigating the crash.

Ochsner also told Bell that it was ultimately the court’s decision whether to release the video, when to release it and whether any of it should be redacted.

Judge Bell had not seen the video as of Monday morning and the district attorney delivered the copy to him during the hearing.

Judge Bell said he would review the video, along with any other footage deemed relevant by the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office and deliver his decision by Friday.

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