RALEIGH - Thanks to a new criminal information system, a recent inspection station request led N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft inspectors to identify and arrest a man suspected of arson and the attempted murder of his wife and children.
An emissions technician at a Hendersonville inspection station contacted Inspectors Jeff Norman and Brad Gaddy on Nov. 15 for approval of an employee to operate emissions inspection equipment. When they checked the employee's information in the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services, or CJLEADS system, they found that he was wanted on outstanding domestic violence and worthless check warrants.
The inspectors were able to immediately identify and arrest Demsey Whitaker, 37, of Oleta Road in Hendersonville, who had fled to Florida following the crimes. CJLEADS was established by lawmakers in response to the murders of Duke graduate student Abhijit Mahato in January 2008 and UNC student Eve Carson in March 2008.
CJLEADS is a computerized data exchange that shares critical up-to-date criminal information in a centralized, secure location for use by law enforcement officers, judges, magistrates, district attorneys, court clerks, probation officers, prison officials and juvenile court counselors. After a pilot in Wake County, the system debuted statewide in early 2011.
The database delivers information to law enforcement officers in their cars and on the street, including real-time driver and vehicle registration information from DMV. In this case, the data resulted in the identification and arrest of Whitaker, who had long been of interest to the Henderson County Sheriff's Office.