PITTSBORO — The state Highway Patrol says a trooper was at a Pittsboro home Aug. 14 when a prominent Chatham County real estate agent was accused of choking and pointing a gun at his estranged wife.
A Highway Patrol spokesman said the trooper was on duty but was not at the house on official business.
Highway Patrol officials won't identify the trooper but acknowledge separately that a trooper who patrols in Chatham County was placed on administrative duty a day after the incident.
On Aug. 15, Col. Randy Glover, who heads the state Highway Patrol, placed Trooper Anthony E. Scott, 38, on administrative duty and ordered "an internal investigation into the matter on Aug. 14," according to Capt. Everett Clendenin, the patrol spokesman.
Clendenin would not say why the patrol is investigating Scott, who joined the department in 1994 and is assigned to Siler City.
A day later, in an e-mail, Clendenin confirmed a trooper was at the home, at 548 Chapel Ridge Road, at the "approximate time" Eric Andrews is charged with assaulting Jennifer Andrews. The couple are separated. While saying the trooper was not there on official business, Clendenin would not say why the trooper was there or whether the trooper was Scott, citing the investigation.
Generally speaking, Clendenin said, troopers are expected to take action if a crime occurs in their presence. He also said the patrol would investigate if it received information that a trooper was having an extra-marital affair.
"If someone brought that to our attention, we would not ignore that," he said.
According to Clendenin, Scott had been scheduled to work from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14. Scott responded to a car wreck about 8 a.m. and left the scene by 10:30 a.m., Clendenin said. Scott checked out of service at 11:55 a.m., Clendenin said. Troopers check out for lunch breaks or other personal business, he said. Scott finished his day around 8 p.m., Clendenin said.
The Chatham County Sheriff's Department, which arrested Eric Andrews and is investigating the incident, would not say whether a trooper was at the house, citing the criminal investigation. Capt. Mike Roberson would say only that the sheriff's department has had "conversations" with the Highway Patrol.
On Aug. 14, Eric Andrews, 40, of Silk Hope Gum Springs Road in Siler City, arrived at the house in the Chapel Ridge golf course community, where his wife is living, to discuss their separation, according to Chatham sheriff's officials.
Wife's 911 call
In a 911 call to emergency officials about 11 a.m., a sobbing Jennifer Andrews reported that her husband "tried to kill me."
He made her get on her knees, put a gun to her and "said he was going to shoot me," she told the dispatcher. She said he tried to strangle her and "dragged me through the house by my neck."
Eric Andrews then drove his green Jeep Commander to the sheriff's department parking lot with the couple's two children, Jennifer Andrews told the dispatcher. He had told her he was going there to turn himself in, she said.
"He has my kids in the backseat, and he has a .357 loaded," Jennifer Andrews says to the dispatcher. "It's loaded. It's definitely loaded."
The dispatcher confirms Eric Andrews is in the sheriff's department parking lot.
"I want to see my kids," Jennifer Andrews pleads. "Please, just tell me they've got my kids."
Jennifer Andrews made no mention of anyone else being in the house during the 10-minute 911 call.
Eric Andrews surrendered to deputies without incident in the parking lot. Officers took a Smith and Wesson revolver from him during his arrest, deputies said.
Andrews was charged with felonious assault by strangulation, felonious second-degree kidnapping, assault by pointing a gun, assault on a female and communicating threats. He is still in the Chatham County jail with his bail set at $1 million.
Andrews co-founded Realty World Carolina Properties and is the principal broker of the firm and the broker in charge of the Pittsboro office, according to his Web site. Jennifer Andrews is a lawyer and owner of the Andrews Law Group, which has offices in Siler City and Pittsboro.
Researcher Denise Jones contributed to this report.
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