Mom of N.C. homicide suspect jailed, accused of helping him escape to Ohio

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — The mother of a teen accused in the shooting death of a 14-year-old in Mount Holly, N.C., is now in custody, charged with helping the boy escape.  

Our sister station, WSOC-TV in Charlotte, reports:

  • A Gaston County grand jury returned a true bill of indictment Monday on Laquita Lynn Garrett for accessory after the fact to a felony. 
  • The indictment accuses Garrett of knowingly helping her son, 17-year-old Eric Combs, escape to Ohio. 
  • Garrett was arrested when she visited the Mount Holly Police Department to collect items seized during the investigation. 

She is in jail on a $1 million bond, according to online jail records.

Laquita Lynn Garrett (Courtesy/Gaston County, N.C., Jail)

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Combs, along with Darvon Fletcher, are accused of shooting and killing Taylor Smith at a park in April. 

Fletcher was arrested a day after the shooting. Authorities said Combs fled to Dayton.

Mount Holly, N.C. police issued a first-degree murder warrant for Combs. He turned himself in about 10 days later. 

Garrett has told WSOC-TV her son is innocent and that she took her family to Ohio on vacation. Once they arrived, she said, Combs became a suspect in the murder and he ran in fear.

Combs turned himself in at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and was held in the county juvenile detention center while waiting on North Carolina authorities to make the trip to Dayton to pick him up. He waived extradition during an appearance in Montgomery County Juvenile Court, according to court officials said. 

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