Morganton man who crashed trying to pass Trooper sentenced

Charles O’Neil – Picture courtesy of the Office of District Attorney David Learner


Charles Edward O’Neil, 46, of Morganton, was given an active prison term of three to five years for fleeing to elude arrest and admission of his habitual felon status.

O’Neil entered the guilty plea during Burke County Superior Court on Thursday, July 20, 2017. He was sentenced to serve his prison term in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.

The defendant had prior felony convictions that enhanced the length of his prison sentence. He was convicted for robbery with a dangerous weapon in June 1990, sell/deliver cocaine in October 1996 and using/carrying a firearm during commission of a drug trafficking crime (October 2000).

North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle Investigator Aaron Carver observed a motorcycle operated by O’Neil traveling at a high rate of speed weaving through traffic in January 2017. The motorcycle traveled more than 100 mph in a 55 mph zone and ran multiple stoplights. It also reached speeds of 80 to 90 mph in a 25 mph school while school was in session and passed a stopped school bus while students were boarding.

The defendant eventually attempted to pass a State Trooper on the side of the road but struck a fire hydrant and came to a halt. After a brief foot pursuit, O’Neil was taken into custody.

Carver investigated the case for the NCDMV. Assistant District Attorney Sean McGinnis handled prosecution for the State.

This press release appears as received from the Office of District Attorney David Learner with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here. Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed. Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release was posted at after being received from the agency listed. Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the Office of District Attorney David Learner.

Author: WSIC editor