Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett is going to prison.
Saying he betrayed a precious trust, a federal judge in Raleigh gave Ron Hewett 16 months behind bars on three counts of obstruction of justice, while also hitting him with a heavy fine.
Judge Earl Britt began Hewett's sentencing by saying it was a tragic day for Brunswick County and the state of North Carolina. He said he has seen far too many public officials facing jail time.
It has been a long road for the former sheriff. After being named the youngest sheriff in the state when he started serving at age 31, some supporters say he did all the right things for Brunswick County.
Frank Hewett, Ron’s cousin, felt that Ron did better that just good.
"Ron Hewett has been the best sheriff Brunswick County has ever had," he said.
After pleading guilty to three counts of obstructing justice, Ron Hewett received his sentence: 16 months in federal prison, a $10,000 fine and two years supervised probation after his release.
Leland resident George Cooper said that is not enough.
"I'm here today to see him get sentenced," Cooper said. "I was hoping he would get about 10 years, but it didn't happen that way. I was shocked."
Cooper said Hewett and other deputies shot him seven times last May. He came to the federal courthouse in Raleigh to see the sentencing for himself.
While some like Cooper think Hewett is a corrupt man, in the eyes of his family and friends who surrounded him on this fateful day, he was a good man.