Memorial service held for NC woman killed in attempted prison escape

Photo of Darden from WAVY-TV. Photo of memorial service from North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C (WAVY) – A private memorial was held for the Pasquotank Correctional Institute worker who was killed during an attempted prison break earlier this month.

The service for Correction Enterprises manager Veronica Darden, 50, was held Saturday morning at Elizabeth City State University.

RELATED: 4 inmates charged with first-degree murder in NC attempted prison escape

Justin Smith and Darden were killed in an incident Oct. 12 at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution.

Officials said inmates started a fire in a sewing plant. Several inmates tried to escape after the fire started, but were unsuccessful.

A joint news conference was held Friday morning in Pasquotank County during which officials announced the charges against inmates Wisezah Buckman, Seth Frazier, Mikel Brady and Jonathan Monk.

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A service for Correctional Officer Justin Smith was planned for Sunday, also at Elizabeth City State University.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper released a statement on the Saturday service:

I spent some time today with the families of Corrections Officer Justin Smith and Corrections Enterprises leader Veronica Darden who were tragically killed in the attempted prison escape in Pasquotank County. I presented these families with both American and North Carolina flags that had been flown over the state Capitol.

I am grateful for the lives of these two brave public servants and for their very special families who have touched me today with their kindness and courage in the face of profound loss and deep sorrow.”

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