05/26/05 — Husband charged in wife's beating

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Husband charged in wife's beating

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on May 26, 2005 1:45 PM

A Wilson County man has been charged with beating his wife to death a day after being released from Cherry Hospital.

Authorities are questioning how Archie van Richard Bryant, 33, was released from the hospital when they claim he was wanted on several warrants and a detaining order was sent to the facility.

Bryant has been charged by Wilson County authorities with killing his wife, Pam Bryant, 34. She was found badly beaten in her home near Elm City May 14 and died the next day at Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Bryant had been involuntarily committed to Cherry Hospital on May 9 after members of his family found a suicide note. He told deputies at the time that he was depressed.

His wife picked him up from Cherry Hospital when he was released four days later, on May 13.

The next day, her parents grew concerned when she did not report to work at a local restaurant. Deputies found her unconscious.

Investigators learned that her husband had been seen driving around the Elm City area and he was seen by officers who chased him through Wilson and Nash counties. Bryant was stopped on Jordan Road in Nash County when his car tires were flattened by road spikes. He ran into the woods but was convinced by officers to surrender.

Bryant is being held in the Wilson County Jail without bond.

Lt. Danny Bailey of the Wilson County Sheriff's Office said he wasn't not sure how Bryant was released from Cherry Hospital.

"We had warrants on him from the first chase, and from some other cases," Bailey said. "We faxed a detaining order over to Cherry Hospital, but they said they didn't get it. We thought we would be notified if he were released."

Privacy laws prohibit the hospital from releasing the names of patients.

Mark van Sciver, director of public affairs for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Cherry Hospital, couldn't confirm or deny whether the detainer had been received.

He also couldn't say whether or not Bailey had ever been treated at Cherry Hospital.

Bailey said that the Bryants had no history of domestic violence.

"Cherry didn't see any threat," he said.