St. Pauls store clerk, teen charged following fatal crash

·2 min read

May 28—LUMBERTON — A St. Pauls convenience store clerk and a juvenile have been charged following a crash that left a St. Pauls High School student dead earlier this month.

The charges come nearly three weeks after the single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of Bethany Kinlaw, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, according to the State Highway Patrol.

"SHP contacted ALE after alcoholic beverages were located inside the vehicle the night of the crash," according to a North Carolina Department of Public Safety press release on Thursday.

Happy Mart #5 store clerk Ameer Mohamed Sal Alhobishi, 19, of St. Pauls, was charged with selling malt beverages to an underage person, selling tobacco to an underage person, aid and abet an underage person, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and allowing unlawful conduct on an ABC-licensed premises, according to the release.

"The store's permittee and the corporation were also criminally charged," according to the release.

The 17-year-old male was Kinlaw's classmate, according to officials.

The teen was found with a handgun, drug paraphernalia, and marijuana, according to the release.

The male, whose name was not released because of his age, admitted to having the gun at school, buying the alcoholic beverages from the store and selling them to the driver, according to the release.

A juvenile petition was secured for felony possession of a handgun by a juvenile on school grounds, aggravated possession of marijuana, possess drug paraphernalia, underage possession of alcoholic beverages, aid and abet an underage person, and selling alcoholic beverages without a permit.

Special agents will submit a report to the ABC Commission documenting the investigative findings. The ABC Commission may choose to sanction Happy Mart #5 through fines, suspension or revocation of the business' ABC permits, according to the release.

The NCSHP responded about 9:33 p.m. May 7 to the crash on Barker Ten Mile Road, about 2.3 miles north of Lumberton, according to Sgt. H.P. Locklear, of the State Highway Patrol.

Kinlaw died after the 2021 Dodge passenger car she was driving ran off the road to the right and collided with a ditch and driveway culvert, Locklear said. She was not wearing a seat belt and was pinned in the vehicle.

According to the preliminary report, no roadway conditions were listed as contributing factors to the crash, he said. Speed is considered a factor in the crash.

Kinlaw was traveling at an estimated 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, Locklear said.