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Hewett pleads guilty to federal charge of obstructing justice

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Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett pleaded guilty in Raleigh Monday to a federal charge of obstructing justice. He now faces sentencing Sept. 8. The maximum sentence for the charge is 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release. Hewett is accused of trying to impede a federal grand jury investigation of him and his department that began in December 2006. “The investigation and prosecution of public corruption is one of our office’s highest priorities," United States Attorney George Holding said. "Ronald Hewett unlawfully obstructed a grand jury investigation into corruption of his office, and he’s being held accountable for it in federal court. He’s being held accountable for those acts of corruption by the charges the state authorities have brought.” Hewett resigned April 15 from the post he had held for 14 years. He had been suspended March 27, based on affidavits from current and former deputies accusing him of misconduct in office. Four days later, he was indicted on state charges of embezzlement and obstructing justice. The actions in state court came amid the ongoing federal grand jury investigation. “Ron Hewett pleading guilty today proves no one is above the law," said Nathan Gray, Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI. "I would like to thank the courageous Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies who risked their jobs to come forward and provide vital information to investigators. I would also like to thank the State Bureau of Investigation for its pivotal role in this investigation. The FBI relies on strong partnerships with other agencies to make sure justice is served no matter who stands accused." John Ingram, a former department employee who was among those who signed affidavits, was hired in April as the department's chief deputy, then was chosen last month by the county's Democratic Party to serve as sheriff for the rest of Hewett's term, which ends in 2010. Check back for more on this developing story.

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Are you one of the niave or one of the stupid?

My "tutorial" is in fact, factual. I am sorry you do not have a clear understanding of our judicial system. You can find it in any high school civics class. As far as the reason he did a guilty plea, as stated, it must have been because in his own words, he is, GUILTY. Let him step out of that courtroom and make a public statement that he is not and see how fast he is back before the same judge! Further, as to why he entered that plea, it is much more reasonable to assume as he is guilty. The plea would be considered by the judge and therefore his punishment will be lessened. This by the way is, WHY ONE PLEAS GUILTY! Unless of course they are not. Then, they go to trial. (again, civics 101) If my views were those of the minority, Hewett would still be in office and not wearing the title of felon. That you see him as someone of envy makes me beg the question. Are you one of the niave, or one of the stupid? Benjamin Franklin put it this way, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else”. I think Ben hits the nail right on the head!

Gene's Response

Getting a little sensitive Gene? While not necessarily a scientific approach, the votes and comments on this website put you squarely in the minority; so much so that more than a few found your baseless speculation worthy of a few moments for a response. You seem to have an axe to grind with Hewett or the system, and seem especially sensitive about what it means to have plead guilty. My own relevant legal education and experience standing beside more than a few folks who have plead guilty of crimes, gives me a credible understanding of a very simple fact: Guilty pleas do not fit neatly into the "one size fits all" rationale that you seem to support so blindly. My professional experience and the fact that I have known Ron Hewett and his family pretty much since he was born probably lends a bit more credibility to my own speculation about the decision he has made, than the unsupported ramblings you put forth. As for being naive or stupid, trust me Gene, an explanation for the complexities in play in this case will not be found in your high school civics text, or even in those used by third year law students.

TRUST YOU?

Trust you? You have to be kidding? What a spin you put on the system with your, "...standing beside more than a few folks who have plead guilty of crimes, gives me a credible understanding of a very simple fact: Guilty pleas do not fit neatly into the "one size fits all..." If you were standing beside them you must have been a co-defendant because no credible attorney would advise anyone that a guilty plea is anything less than guilty as charged. I have no idea how many Federal Trials you have been involved in but I have been present for a few myself and not as a defendant. Every single time a plea was made the judge spoke directly to the defendant(s) and made a few things clear. The defendant(s) were asked if the understood that the plea in fact was an admission of guilt and do they now admit they are guilty? They were also asked did they understand that with that plea the judge could enact a punishment of, ___years and or fine? And at that point and/or at the actual sentencing the judge warned the defendant(s) NOT to leave the courthouse saying things like, I am not guilty I just took the plea because of this or that. I can not say that happens in all cases, just all that I have seen. I can not say that happened the day Hewett gave a plea. I have not yet seen a transcript. But I believe, it most likely did. I have no doubt Hewett's attorney advised him of what a plea meant and therefore the man knew and knows what it meant when he entered the plea. Now I would not challenge that those that plea have all kinds of excuses, but in the end, they plea in order to lesson the punishment. I have no problem with that as one not causing the system to go through the time and expense of a trial when they themselves expect to be found guilty should be given some consideration. The plea itself would be a mitigating factor for the defendant. I support law enforcement officers and the system. I have no axe to grind against them. Culling a bad apple from the barrel is strong support as then the barrel may stay fresh. As far as Ron Hewett goes, I do not, as you do, know the man. Your blinders of personal friendship are very apparent to all, and with that I think you need to recount this blog, as if the few in this blog represent the feeling of the majority of the people county wide anyway? I have read some pretty outrageous things in this blog as well as the others having to do with this case. There are those that would have him drawn and quartered. There are others that would build a thrown for him and make him king. Those extremes are way off base. I expect in the sentencing phase aggravating and mitigating factors will have already been handed to the judge as an agreement by the prosecution and the defence along with what the prosecution and defence has agreed to in the way of punishment. The judge will have already decided if he will accept those parameters and the sentencing will go down very quickly. The most damning aggravating factor would be as a sworn law enforcement officer he had full knowledge he was breaking the law and from that high office the trust he was breaking. I would not be surprised if there are many mitigating factors in his favor. I am assuming this only from what seems to be a ground swell of people stating, "all the good he has done". With that said, I would not want to see Hewett receive one ounce of punishment more than what is justified according to the facts and not according to blind loyalty or blind hatred of the man. I also would not want to see one ounce less. However, if there should be an error in sentencing I would hope in this case as I would hope in any case that error lean toward leniency simply because no defendant should be punished beyond what is reasonable. Off this topic just a bit. In fairness to Hewett's family, I do believe it is very wrong to drag his son into this as some (obviously not you) have. His son, whom I also do not know, had nothing to do with this and should not be judged by the crime(s) of his father. Who knows? One day Justin Hewett may be sheriff if the people so choose. If that day ever comes, I am sure that will give some satisfaction and pride to Ronald Hewett. To those that think that could not happen I would submit that James Hoffa has been leading the Teamsters union for years now without one charge or allegation against him for any kind of wrong doing. It certainly would not be fair to make any comparison to his father, Jimmy Hoffa at all. So, I wish the family the best through this very trying time but that does not change the fact that Ronald Hewett has admitted guilt and is guilty. Justice is being served. No spin by you or any other loyal frind can change that simple fact.

Complexities in play - -

SPC, you have said a mouth full with that word, "compexities". I have felt from the beginning that there is more here than meets the eye. Why would the investigation have continued for so long if it was only about $1200.00 +/- ??? Surely the investigators saw a lot more happening. I know that Ronald has done good in our county, but so have a lot of other people. He chose to live in the public's eye and under scrutiny of the people. Guess he just forgot that he is a man like the rest of us & not the king of the heap. In the midst of all the "complexities" there has to be something else far greater than what I have read about. I just pray that it is not as bad as some things I have been told.

Ronald Hewett

It is sad to see how many folks think they are perfect. So, if Ronald made a mistake, so what, he was the best Sheriff Brunswick County ever had, and is likely to ever have. Ron if you read this, the naysayers are in the minority, you have MANY friends in the community. We all know all the good you did. God save us from "friends" such as the good ole boys who were your so called friends in the Department. They are nothing but snitches. I would be ashamed to have done what they did to a friend. Oh well, they will get theirs one day. Hold your head high Ron. We love you.

Gene

VERY WELL SAID !!!!

I hope

I hope the company that filmed him will come back and do a follow up on ron picking up trash on the side of the road. Maybe he'll get to make a small change to his famous line of "I'm the law in Brunswick County." to "I broke the law in Brunswick County."

POOR BOY

Poor Boy IT sounds to me like you've been in jail before....KNow all about it huh...Oh AND YOU AREN'T Ronald's judge.You try to fill the shoes as sheriff...You are typical...no one remembers any of the good that Ronald did.

Poor Boy

So he pleads GUILTY......what does that tell all you so called "Supporters" he deserves to be dumped into the general population, hope he enjoys his retirement in his jail cell!! Looks like his son may join him! I think it's GREAT!!!! Hope he likes the food and his new jumpsuit! I think this is just great!!!

sickened

You need to leave the son out of this. He only knows what he was brought up in. Lets see how well you have raised your children.

You wouldn't feel that way

You wouldn't feel that way if it were you instead of him

Jealous People

I have to say I agree with the writer above in that I too feel it was a bunch of jealous people/employees.....No, I do not know Sheriff Hewett, but I know his son and he is one of the most well mannered, caring, thoughtful and giving people...and we all know that "children are a product of their environment," i.e. he didn't just raise himself that way, he was raised right..If you think about it, anything and everything can be taken out of context and twisted every which way someone wants it to be..Remember when you were a child and you would play the game that one person would say a sentence in the next person's ear and go around the class room...recall what you ended up with at the end of the line. IT CERTAINLY WAS NOT what the first person said! People who are wishing or saying that he or his son should go to jail really should sit to sit back and think if it was you or your child..You all should just mind your own business and leave Sheriff Hewett and his family alone. Those of you who support them as I do please keep him and his family in your prayers.

I'm a hater too

I don't hate the man, just his principles and the corruption he has weilded against those who did support him. I feel he should do jail time and hope his plea doesn't convince the judge to sentence him only to rehab or something. He needs to realize how the other side lives and how to stand up and be a man and take ownership for his actions. I just pray that he isn't a totally 'lost and tormented soul' and will feel REMORSE and come clean about EVERYTHING! (dating back years ago) THE RESIDENTS OF BC HAVE LIVED IN FEAR FOR FAR TOO LONG, AND THAT'S A TORMENTED EXISTENCE.

One in a row

I'm shocked! I can't believe he did the right thing! That's one in a row. Keep it up Ron, you're on a roll! This is the beginning of your own 'Make it Right' campaign to correct any wrongs committed against the good people of BC.

Ron hewett pleads guilty

With 30+ lying deputies with more lies, how do you plead otherwise? I hope the judge will have mercy on Ron Hewett and someday he can tell his side of the story.

Ron hewett pleads guilty

He told his side of the story...."Guilty your Honor." Why did he do this many of you ask? To try to put a quick end to all of it....again he is a master at covering up....he wants it all to end and go away. By pleading guilty to this it would appear to the "I Still Support Hollywood Hitler" citizens he did a little something wrong and confessed..what a great man, however, in reality, it is a way to take the heat off and his way of trying to make sure the investigation stops and much of the truth never comes out. When and if the whole truth comes out, and I certainly hope the Feds continue to investigate for they have only scratched the surface, you will see just what kind of wicked, heartless, renegade, you people have been supporting all this time.

betrayed

Ron was a friend to many many people in brunswick county, he has been my friend from the time I was born and to this day he has always put others first in his life his job always came before his life. I know Ron has always valued the friendships in the past and present. I know that the betrayal he has felt from the men he called his best friends has hurt him more than anything. Everyone in there life makes mistakes and it is easy to point fingers and put the blame on other people but im sure that every name that was signed to put Ron in prison has a past and a present that is not perfect. When the book is closed on this case it wont say Ron H. was a criminal like so many people want it to say it will say Ron H. a GREAT MAN who was betrayed by the ones he helped and trusted the most. I personally could not lay my head down at night if I was one of these people especially if my name was Gene of Kevin. If Ron goes to prison then every one in the Sheriffs dept. that has broken the law in anyway should be going too.

Justice allows me to sleep

I sleep very well thank you. It is great to see the justice system work with equality rather than picking who should and who should not pay for a crime by name and/or position. And you seem to have selective reading and/or understanding. At the same time I said he should be punished for his crime(s) I also said that or those punishments should be in line with what anyone else would get. No better, no worse!

He is a criminal!

Please see post above, "He is a criminal, not a great man" "nuff said"

Reality Check: Ron Hewett is a Criminal

It is official Ron Hewett is a criminal and it is seconded by RON HEWETT. What I do not understand is his cult like supporters. They remind me of that cult in Texas with all the wives and children. Will they be like the Japanese soldiers on an island thinking the war is still on 50 years from now. BC Mental Help needs a program for these poor lost souls.

Ron Hewett

Ronald could not fight all the people he gave good jobs in this county. So much for loyalty. All the smart answers you print will never change my feelings for Ronald. He is only human and only God is perfect. Ron thank you for all the great things you have done for this county.God knows the truth and we all love and stand with you and Julie. God bless you both. When the time is right your story will be told. A friend and still loyal supporter.

Ronald Hewett

Loyalty works both ways. He is only human doesn't cut it, he was the Sheriff and thus held to a higher standard. I keep hearing about all the great things he has done, please inform us what it is that he has done other than discrace the office? The time is right...The story has been told. All those great deads you say he did will be forgotton. He will be remembered just like Herman Strong, dirty. Bye bye Ronnie. Your a coward and a thief.

Only God is Perfect

"Only God is Perfect" is an exact example of this cult like mentality. GET HELP!

ron hewett

HOW CAN WE EVER TRUST THE DEPUTIES OF BC THAT SET RON HEWETT UP? THERE IS NO DOUBT AS TO THE TYPE OF PEOPLE WE HAVE IN THE SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT NOW.

Ron Hewett

If those deputies opposed doing all those jobs for Ronnie why didn't they come forward when they got paid for doing them instead of waiting until now and spill their guts. They sure must have loved that pay check. They accepted the pay and now they oppose it, Come on, do we finallty have a guilty concience, you enjoyed the overtime when you got it. Do we need to check on all of you and put you before the Grand Jury????????

RON Hewett guilty

I do not believe all the bull people can say. But if the shoe was on thier FOOT how would they feel.Theres alot more people thats done wrong. wait till all that comes up. Maybe GENE can get what he deserves and a few more.

I got what I deserved.

As a taxpayer and citizen I got what I deserved. A criminal was taken out of the office of sheriff. The justice system proved no one is beyond the law. All of us deserve that because we pay for our government. Too often we see name and/or money set the guilty free (OJ) and that is a very bad thing. Today, the justice system worked. Look, I have no doubt that Hewett had great accomplishments and did a good job in many ways. That does not excuse him from the law. And he, above all people should know that. Any good LEO will tell you that an officer of the law that goes beyond the law is a terrible pall on all law enforcement. That, must never, ever be tolerated! Hewett let all LEO's down. Not just the citizens of Brunswick County.

Irony

Ron Hewitt is a virtuous man who put criminals in jail. His supporters love him for doing so. So what does it matter that he's a criminal himself. One of the reasons things are so screwed up around here is that the people keep putting scummy good ol' boys in office. These guys steal, make backroom deals that hurt their communities while putting cash in their pockets and usually can't even perform the basic functions of their job. But y'all love them because they go to the same churches as you, smile and shake your hand when they see you, remember the names of your family and do all the interpersonal tricks that con men usually do to fleece the ignorant. None of that's got anything to do with how well they do their jobs, but people 'round here ain't got no problem with that. I have no doubt that, when he gets out of prison, there will be many Brunswick County residents who'll want to elect him as Sheriff again. And I say that as someone who grew up in Whiteville, not New York.

Irony Reply

Dear gfgfsgfds Thanks for your comment. It makes me feel better that there is one honest person in this county. I wish you would rub off on some of the Hewett supporters.

Ron Hewett guilty

I will be praying for you snd your family. This will all come out good. your friend lps