1000 x 90

Meth Lab Found at Residence of Two of the Suspects Charged With Thursday Murder in Western Watauga

By Jesse Wood

Jan. 16, 2015. Continuing the investigation into the murder in Western Watauga on Thursday, detectives with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office found evidence of a meth lab after executing a search warrant on a mobile home at 170 Smith Henson Road.

Two of the suspects charged with the murder of Brandon Lee Byrd, 32, of Iredell County, lived at the residence, nearby where Byrd was gunned down. William Cable, 34, and Candice Rogers, 26, lived at 170 Smith Henson Road, according to WCSO Capt. Dee Dee Rominger.

“During a search of the residence and surrounding property, detectives located numerous items that had previously been used in the production of Methamphetamine,” according to findings of the search warrant released from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.

Items found included:

  • Drano crystals (sodium hydroxide),
  • nail polish remover (acetone),
  • instant cold packs (ammonium nitrate)
  • drain cleaner (sulfuric acid).

“Also found were remnants of the same types of items including discarded and partially burned Hydrogen Chloride (HCL) gas generators, 20 ounce bottles containing ammonium nitrate and pieces of lithium from batteries (one pot methamphetamine laboratories) and packages of pseudoephedrine products,” according to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

Assisting local law enforcement in the executing the search warrant was the N.C. SBI Clandestine Laboratory Response Team, which also disposed of all of the items deemed hazardous waste.

The investigation into meth production continues, and charges are expected.

On Thursday, four residents of Watauga County were each charged with one count of murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

William David Cable, Jr., 34, of 170 Smith Henson Road in Bethel; Travis Lane Ward, 29, of 954 U.S. 321 North in Vilas; Candice Rogers, 26, of 170 Smith Henson Road in Bethel; and Jessica Lynne Oakes, 28, of 167 Bryant Combs Road in Sugar Grove, are all being held without bond until a Feb. 19 appearance in Watauga County Superior Court.

At 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, Watauga County 911 Communications received a call that a white male had a gunshot wound near the 200 block of Smith Henson Road near Bethel. Hagaman said that Byrd died at the scene right around the time the call came in.

Investigators with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office initially interviewed five individuals, and following the direction and consultation of the District Attorney Seth Banks, the two males and two females were charged with murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Below are mugshots of those charged and a map of where the murder took place.


See map of where incident took place below.

Smith Henson Road
Note that the red arrow, which is pointing to Smith Henson Road, isn’t the exact location of alleged murder.