BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- A Grand Jury met Monday morning and decided to indict Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett on four counts. Then, a judge took away his weapons.
Hewett said little publicly during court, but his face and emotions spoke loudly.
Sheriff Hewett was indicted on three counts of felony embezzlement by a public official and one count of obstruction of justice.
Superior court judge Ola Lewis told Hewett he must give up all his guns and not talk to his employees as a result of these four felony indictments.
Count 1:embezzlement by a public official. Prosecutor Rex Gore says Hewett had deputies make his campaign signs while on duty.
Count 2: embezzlement. Hewett is accused of having a deputy stand guard at this home while his driveway was paved.
Count 3:embezzlement. Hewett is accused of asking his deputies to remove 52 trees from his property
Count 4: Obstruction of justice. A detective said Hewett asked her not to charge one of his distant relatives with a crime.
The Brunswick County Sheriff said nothing in court, sitting silently by himself for a time, nodding to familiar faces.
The testimony that led to the criminal indictments also prompted District Attorney Rex Gore to temporarily remove Hewett from office last week.
A hearing to determine if Hewett should permanently be removed from office has been postponed until May 5.
Hewett will remain suspended until that hearing takes place.
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Reported by Kelli O'Hara