Edenton man wanted for opioid-related death


Derrick Lamont Phillips


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Friday, August 17, 2018

EDENTON — The State Bureau of Investigation is seeking to arrest an Edenton man because of his alleged role in the overdose-related death of a Currituck County man late last year, state officials said.

Derrick Lamont Phillips, 27, is accused of supplying the heroin that led to the death of Chandler Davenport, 22, of Shawboro on Dec. 7, according to an SBI spokeswoman. Davenport died following a car accident about a mile south of the Perquimans-Pasquotank border.

Phillips was indicted by a Chowan County grand jury on charges of second-degree murder and selling and delivering heroin, SBI spokeswoman Patty McQuillan said. 

According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, Davenport was driving a 2007 Mazda north on U.S. Highway 17 shortly af­ter mid­night when the vehicle went off the right side of the roadway at a slow speed and came to rest in a large ditch. 

When authorities reached the accident scene, they found Davenport unresponsive and halfway out of the vehicle. A woman in the vehicle with him was also unresponsive, authorities said. Davenport later died.

According to an autopsy report released by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Davenport died as a result of a toxic mixture of heroin and carfentanil, the latter a highly potent opioid. Both Davenport and the woman in the car reportedly had been using heroin, the medical examiner’s report said.

McQuillian said at the start of the year, District Attorney Andrew Womble and Perquimans Sheriff Shelby White asked the SBI for help in investigating Davenport’s overdose-related death. Womble has indicated previously that in responding to the ongoing opioid crisis more aggressively, he plans to prosecute fatal overdose cases as homicides. 

In an unrelated matter, Phillips was also indicted in Chowan on March 23 on a charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Details about that indictment were not immediately available.

McQuillan said the SBI is seeking the public’s help locating Phillips because efforts to locate him since the indictments have been unsuccessful. A $1,000 cash reward is being offered for information leading to Phillips’ arrest.

N.C. Public Safety records show Phillips has a prior history of criminal convictions that go back more than a decade.

Phillips was convicted in May 2014 of conspiracy to commit common law robbery in Washington County. He also was convicted in September 2013 of assault on a female in Chowan County. He also has convictions in Chowan for larceny in November 2008 and assault on a school official in December 2007.

N.C. Public Safety officials said anyone coming into contact with Phillips should call the SBI at 252-756-4755, Edenton police at 482-4444 or the Emergency-911 operator.