Officials say inmate killed Bertie corrections officer with fire extinguisher

Craig Wissink, left, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Meggan Callahan, right. (N.C. Department of Public Safety/Photo provided by Jessie Haywood)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A man serving life in prison for a 2004 murder in Cumberland County has officially been charged in the Wednesday assault and killing of a female corrections officer at a North Carolina prison, according to court documents.

Craig Clifford Wissink, 35, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Sgt. Meggan Lee Callahan, 29, of Edenton.

WAVY sister station WNCT reports that Callahan responded to a trash can fire around 5:30 p.m. in a dormitory at Bertie Correctional Institution. She got a fire extinguisher and attempted to put out the fire when authorities said Wissink attacked her.

Wissink managed to get the fire extinguisher away from Callahan and assaulted her with it, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Court documents reveal that Wissink, who had served time in Raleigh’s Central Prison before being moved to Bertie, has now been moved back to Central Prison, according to his arrest warrant.

Callahan died from injuries sustained from the attack at about 6:20 p.m.

10 On Your Side asked officials if Wissink used a weapon, but officials wouldn’t comment. They did release a statement, though.

I am deeply saddened and send my heartfelt sympathies to Sgt. Callahan’s family,” Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks said. “We will do all we can to support her family as well as the correctional family. The department will cooperate fully with the law enforcement investigation as well as conduct its own internal investigation.”

On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all North Carolina flags at state facilities be flown at half-staff until sunset on Friday in tribute to Callahan.

Callahan had been with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety since 2012. She was promoted to sergeant in February 2016.

Thursday, her friends in Edenton couldn’t believe the news.

“I was hoping [the news] was wrong because she meant a lot to a lot of people,” lifelong friend Michelle Rowell told WAVY.

Rowell described Callahan as a humorous person, but more like family to her friends.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to conduct a full investigation into Callahan’s death.

Loved ones may join Meggan Callahan’s family from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, at Miller Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road. A funeral mass will be held Thursday, May 4, at noon in the Family Life Center of the Edenton United Methodist Church, located at 225 Virginia Road.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bertie Correctional Institution Plane Pull for Special Olympics at P.O. Box 129, Windsor, North Carolina, 27983, or to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Albemarle at P.O. Box 93, Edenton, North Carolina, 27932.