Surry County officials will hold a celebration of life ceremony Saturday at the Surry County Courthouse Square in Dobson to remember Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will be held on Bullard's birthday.

The Surry County Board of Commissioners will read a proclamation designating Saturday as Trooper Samuel Newton Bullard Day in Surry and surrounding counties. In addition, Bullard's name will be unveiled on the Surry County Law Enforcement officers memorial monument.

Bullard's family members will attend the ceremony to cut the unveiling ribbon, said Chet Jessup, a spokesman for the ceremony's organizers.

Bullard, 24, was killed on May 21, 2018 when he wrecked his patrol car as he and another trooper with the N.C. State Highway Patrol were chasing a suspect who fled a driver's license checkpoint in Surry County. The chase continued into Yadkin County on Interstate 77.

Dakota Kape Whitt, 24, of Elkin was arrested after a search by state and local authorities. Whitt was charged with murder, felony fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle and other offenses.

The Elkin man pleaded guilty in March 2019 to second-degree murder and other offenses in connection with Bullard's death. A judge in Yadkin Superior Court in Yadkinville sentenced Whitt to serve a minimum of 12 years with a maximum sentence of 15 years and five months in prison.

Whitt is serving his sentence in the Scotland Correctional Institution in Laurinburg.

After Bullard graduated from N.C. Highway Patrol Basic School in January 2016, he was assigned to Surry County, Jessup said in a statement. Bullard served for two years and four months as patrol trooper in Surry County and other areas of North Carolina.

Surry County officials "wanted to his family and others to know that we just don't carve a man's name in a wall and walk off," Jessup said. "We wanted to draw attention to the fact that another man has been killed, and we have a monument over here."

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