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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A former sheriff is speaking out. After serving about a year in prison for obstruction of justice and embezzlement, Ron Hewett is taking aim at people who helped put him there. Hewett also has harsh words for a Brunswick County Commissioner.

Hewett finished serving his sentence for embezzlement and obstruction of justice in January. Since then, hewett has declined multiple interview requests from WWAY. But Monday night he sent us an open letter claiming District Attorney Rex Gore threatened his family.

In the message Hewett wrote: “The obvious question must be ‘Why did you plead guilty?’ The answer is because our soon to be ex-district attorney threatened my family with imprisonment and I did the only honorable thing to protect my family.”

Gore would not comment on the letter.

Hewett went on to criticize Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke and former Capt. Kevin Holden, who was one of several deputies who issued sworn statements against the former sheriff.

“Furthermore, I must also state that I read with amazement, that County Commissioner Marty Cooke actually charged our counties (sic) citizens for a cup of coffee on his way to Raleigh,” Hewett wrote. “You know, I find it very funny, that I not only bought my own food with money from my own pocket, to feed “then” Captain Kevin Holden. Holden later had no problem telling by writing an affidavit that I had asked him ‘What in the world I was under investigation for?'”

We were unable to reach Holden for comment, but Cooke responded to the criticism.

“I’ve always known Sheriff Hewett through the years. I’ve known him for probably 30 years, and we’ve been friends through the years,” Cooke said. “And the only thing I did was I ate breakfast by going through a drive-thru at Port City Java, and I did that or McDonald’s whenever I was going to a meeting in Raleigh or, say, Atlantic Beach or something like that either dealing with terminal groins or wind and hail or taxation or something like that.”

After sending us his e-mail, Hewett again declined our request for an on-camera interview. He wrote he has almost reached “the light at the end of the tunnel” as his probation comes to an end.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest

    My question is will the new DA take a look at this case and see how it was either a show of the worst ineptitude by a group of law enforcers or a cover-up or both. How, How, does someone shoot themselves dead center in the back of the head (I guess she must have been lying down-Hewett gave three different scenarious to see which one sounded most likely). Two Industrial Commission findings found this determination ridiculous as did the U.S. Justice Dept. Yet, Gore refused to hear any of it.

  • guesty

    Dear henrytown,
    Thanks for the invite henrytown but you know there is that pesky law about FELONS possessing firearms.
    Ex law of this county.

  • Guest

    All of these people with Brunswick County are falling. Why can’t one of them tell the truth about officer Davina Jones? The Buff family deserves the truth and justice for their daughter!

  • UNCP student

    More people need to be made aware of the debacle that was the investigation into Officer Jones murder,I mean, suicide, yeah that’s it suicide. It looks like the Jinga tower of cover-up is falling. I hope the Buff family can finally find out the truth!

  • NYB

    some people just dont know what went on, and what is still going on in the sheriffs department.

  • Guest1485

    Why don’t you call Super Ronnie who cleaned up all the crime by himself. He has plenty of time to watch your house for you. Get a grip loser. He didn’t do anything. You need to thank the men and women who weren’t constantly on the tv. The brave men and women who put their lives on the line for you and the other losers who still love this ex-con. Oh by the way he didn’t leave he was SENT TO PRISON FOR BEING A CROOKED COP. GET THE HELL OVER IT.

  • henrytown

    RON, Muzzleloading season opens sat,got stands ready,you know how to get in touch. you also know you are always welcome,you are a true friend and they are hard find,come by the FARM sometime

  • Guest12

    The bottom line is, you don’t PLEAD GUILTY to something you “didn’t do”. You wouldn’t need to “protect your family” from something if there was nothing to protect them from. Nobody “does” anything to you, don’t get mad cause you got caught. You can’t just sentence people to jail for the heck of it, if that was the case there would be a lot more people in there then what there is. I do not feel sorry for him or for anyone else in his family. They all just need to let it go.

  • guest

    I said it before and will say it again and again. If Ronnie really wants the trust of the public back, he needs to tell all he knows. Starting with the Davina Jones Murder and cover up on Bald Head Island. BTW everyone ,please use your spell check before posting, you Ron Hewett supporters are looking very ignorant with your post!

  • Tonya

    Maybe Ed McMahon will hire Hewett. Seems to be a forgiving nature in New Hanover County so maybe he will fit right in.

  • Guest

    You go Ron!!! I believe in you!!! your mental state is fine!!!!
    Get them crooked people!!! You were a great sheriff!!! Bring rex, marty, and that pansy kevin holden down!!!!!!!!!! they brought you down and sold you out!

    keep the faith

  • Guest

    and support, on here, for a convicted felon who’s job it was to uphold the law, help to reiterate why NC and the country is in the state of distress and why brunswick county still has that podunk reputation. What makes it even worse is trying to decipher what some of you are trying to say with the poor use of the english language. are/our their/there It is as pathetic as Hewett criticizing others through emails rather then opening stating his griefs and defending them openly.

  • truthteller

    Ron, I read your letter, and it sounds as though you are nothing more than bitter. Bitter against those who taped your conversations of ‘proof’ that you were irrational in your thinking and otherwise. Several of your own deputies stated that you would show up to calls with the smell of alcohol on your breath. You’re right, no one had a chemical or blood analysis to determine as such, but then again DO NOT attempt to exonerate yourself in an open letter forum. How incredulous you are to attempt that. My God man, you were, at that time, the Sheriff of Brunswick County. You have already admitted you had a prescription problem and evidently an alcohol problem as well.

    I read your letter as nothing more than a whiny baby reaching out to whatever is left of your ‘friends’ to further attempt to extort your ‘side of the story’ as the ‘innocent convicted’.

    Ronald, it’s sad your life became what it did. You started off well, as Sheriff, you did many great things for the county, no denying that, but, as a human, you stumbled, it’s ok, we’re all human and we all take stumbling blocks along life’s path. However, your letter clearly indicates you’re still stumbling and have not yet realized the error of your ways. Your attempt to use that letter to gain sympathy only further shows you have a very long way to go.

    My suggestion, should you read this is stay out of the limelight and the camera’s spotlight. NO ONE is interested in Ronald Hewitt, Retired Sheriff of Brunswick County anymore.

  • Guest

    so set it straight..don’t care about coffee or food…let us not forget the davina buff jones case (and others like it)…..remember ron, the truth will set you free — and possibliy give rest to davina’s family! it is amazing what politics and power can do to a community!

  • Guest

    So glad to finally hear him say what really went on. I knew there was more to it.

  • Guest

    i still believe in him…..

  • Opinion

    Ron Hewett’s stability? Sound like he is very stable after what he’s went through. He took he fall for all of the other corrupt government officials in Brunswick County. Just look how Rex Gore has run his office…. incompetent employees not properly prepared for their cases. Cases getting dismissed due to being unprepared. Ron Hewett did a great service to Brunswick County. It is ashamed what happened to him.

  • Guest

    All I have to say is that we have had a 2nd home in Brunswick County for over 20 yrs….we never had a crime problem until Hewett left office. Since then our 2nd home has been burglarized and have actually had squatters use it twice….and continue to have problems with trespassers using our deck overlooking the ICCW for cookouts and parties when we are not there. We never had these issues before and have gotten no help from the local law enforcement addressing these issues.

  • Guest

    Indeed, it’s always a paltry, feeble, tiny mind that takes pleasure in revenge. It’s no surprise that he chose to release this mumbo jumbo in the midst of a breaking news event (local flooding).

    It’s time for you to go away, Ronnie. Brunswick County has a TRUE leader now. Who cares if he swore in your enemies? He knows they would spill the beans if he did anything corrupt and he still employs them. That tells me he is doing his job right.

  • Guest

    Ron Hewett was set up–clear as day. There are other corrupt officials still in office that have committed more severe “crimes”, but Ron had to be the scapegoat because he was a strong, no-nonsense leader.

  • C- a -Lot

    We do not know a lot about the inner workings of such a large Department, however, Ron Hewett was a great lawman. He loved his job. As far as I can tell, he was very loyal to the citizens of Brunswick County and this State. I hope he runs for Sheriff again….

  • Guest2010

    Was Hewett’s family “threatened” with prosecution because they committed unlawful acts that were prosecutable?

    I cannot speak to the allegation he made against Holden. As for the stuff he brought up about Cooke, it’s ridiculous. Like other governmental agencies, as well as private businesses, county employees are allotted a certain amount of travel expenses for going out of town on county business. If he was getting a coffee at our expense, so be it. It is one of the costs of doing county business. It’s not like he was stopping to eat lobster or prime rib on our dime. He wasn’t breaking the rules.

  • Guest

    The quetion has always been on everyone’s mind of why Ronald pleaded guilty. Finally, hearing his side of the story that plea makes sense. To protect one’s family is a basic instinct most all of us have.

    We know Ronald as an honorable man and perhaps now true justice will be served. Always rmember, “what goes around, in time, will come around”.


  • Guest

    I am beginning to wonder about Ronald’s mental stability.

  • Guest

    No you no longer have to wonder…he’s nuts.

  • SAM333


  • Guest

    His mental state is fine. He is just tired of seeing everyone throw him under the bus, but rex gore, marty cooke, and kevin holden all get off scott free. He would not bring any of them up if they were innocent. they are guilty and I think its great that Ron is bringing them to the surface!!!!
    You Go Ron! I believe in you

  • Guest


  • Pat Kern

    Ron was putting a cut on Rex Gore and Brunswick County Commissioners drug money they were getting. We need more cop like him ot put them off the streets of are state. He needs to bring out all of the bad ones in office out.

  • Larry Gore

    Where is your proof for such an idiotic statement, do you not know that you can be sued for

  • Guest

    I knewRon was not guilty andvRex gore had something to do wiyh it.

  • ENC Sucks

    He plead guilty. He had a choice to make his case in court and defend himself against the charges, and he elected not to. He may not think he was guilty, but if you willingly choose to plead guilty, you are in fact, guilty.

  • Guest

    Why even read any of this on the air? The rambling shows some serious instability.

  • Guest


  • Guest

    And the fact that you actually think he’s mentally unstable is just one more cause for all of this to come to light.
    Ronald may not have always made the right decision…and really none of us have..but how can you not believe that more people were involved?
    I am not going to say that he is totally innocent..as I believe we all have our sins to carry..but what I will say is that if what he said is true…he da*m sure needed to come forward and speak his mind.
    If other people such as our DA were involved in this…how many OTHER people could be locked up who didn’t exactly deserve it…or how many of those who did deserve it walk out with slaps on the wrist??
    I can tell you there are people walking around today who have been charged with multiple offenses…theft, assault…credit card fraud several times..and the list goes on..Why aren’t THEY in jail? Someone greasing a few pockets?

    And just how did they charge Ronald without having a breath or Blood test for drinking??
    And not fire cops who sleep with people inside their police cars..
    Come on..things are corrupt..anyone can see it..so how about you take your head out of your rear..and see things for what they really are.
    Afterall, the view from there must be quite crappy…

    Keep ya chin up Ronald..God puts nothing on us that we can’t handle..and when you come through this, you’ll be a better person for having done it.

    Thank you for all you did while you were in office!
    A Native of Brunswick County

  • SAM333


  • Sarah

    I’m so glad to see this letter from Mr. Hewett! I think if there were some more people investigated you would see there were a lot of people in on this mess. I thought Mr. Hewett was a great sheriff!

  • Bart357

    Tell us the one, about falling out of the tree stand. LOL

  • Guest

    In my opinion Ron Hewett was the victim of a witch hunt of sorts. I am glad to see he found the strength to make it through the ordeal. I feel if his accusers were put under the same microscope he was subjected to, they too would have spent time in prison. To Mr. Hewett, I want you and your family to know there are still MANY people in Brunswick County who are greatful for your service as our sheriff. Many people, some you know and some you don’t, have been praying for you since this ordeal began and will continue to do so.

  • Guest

    I do not personally know Sheriff Hewett, but I think he did more for Brunswick County than all of the previous Sheriffs combined. He certainly seemed to be very passionate about doing the job he was elected to do. Maybe he is one of those people who did his job too good and that did not set well with the powers to be in Brunswick County. Best wishes and best of luck to you Mr. Hewett with your future.

  • Guest

    Sheriff Hewett spelled it out. He didn’t kiss anyone’s butt, and they took him down because he knew where the money was going to. That’s one reason Law Enforcement Officers don’t mingle around. All it takes is a “few” good friends to take you down, because they have a better agenda at your expense.

  • Southern Born

    well, well, Ronald writes letter people start commenting and word gets on the street and before you know it every Deputy sheriff with access to a computer starts commenting, Here is how I see it,

    1. Ronald has served his time.
    2. He is entitled to free speech and his opinion
    3. He still pays taxes even if he is a convicted felon.
    4. why has Rex not brought charges against the county commissioners?
    5. why did Rex not bring Charges against the Deputies that took our money so they could help Mr. Hewett campaign, only to scream he brow beat them to get then to lay down their morality.
    6. How many crimes went unsolved while they were taping and investigating Ronald Hewett.

    So personally I find more disgust in the fact that we elected a democratic sheriff, ended up with a liar that switched parties and know represents the party that lost the last election, if that doesn’t seem violently criminal against the very democracy we represent then I had rather have a honest Convict, Than a Leering Bible thumping, county jumping, party switching, wife beating opportunist any day, thats just my Brunswick county tax paying opinion.

  • SAM333



    Whoop…whoop…holler…clap…clap…clap…stomp…stomp…pass SB a cigar. Well said!

  • been there

    Oh yes I know of many many people have plead guilty because they were threatened!!!Ronald is not lying.If you have never been charged and been before brunswick county DA REX GORE then u r blessed!!!It is soley up to him where or not you go to court and be tried as a felon.My GOD you should see what goes on in the detention center.One day I am going to tell you what I saw, but you all will think I am lying!!!!!!I disagree with what anybody says about MARTY COOK!!!!!HE ONLY WANTS TO SEE THIS COUNTY NAMED THE DRUG COUNTY Of N.C.BECOME A DESCENT COUNTY LIKE IN THE GOOD OLE DAY’S this COUNTY IS RUNNING OVER WITH_______________________PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    Ron was the best sheriff BRunswick County could want and ever had. He got more drugs out of BC than anybody else. Kinda makes me wonder, that he’s telling the truth about taking the guilty plea, because Gore and the DA’s office did make threats too charge his family with some trumped up charges. They knew if it went to trial, he’d be found not guilty. I am not a friend of Hewitts, but met him several times and am proud to say voted for him every year.As for our county leader Marty Cooke, if you can’t afford to buy yourself a cup of coffee, make some at home before you leave, or better yet give up your seat and get a real job that you can afford to eat out on your own money. I am a struggling citican and can’t afford to eat out ever. Yet I’m paying too high taxes so you can go out to eat. All you have to claim, it’s acounty business meeting and we pay

  • Angie

    Maybe Ron is telling us the truth. I wouldn’t put it past our DA and his office make threats so Ron would plead guilty without a fight. They knew if there was a trial, he would have been found not guilty, and how would that have looked on their record for the las election. Marty Cooke, if you can’t afford to buy a lousy cup of coffee, maybe you should give up your position and get aREAL JOB. i’m struggling to make ends meet, paying too high taxes and I’m buying your meals out. If you can’t afford it,stay at home

  • Guest

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that all of the public safety, the courts, judges, SBI, and ex-district attorney and ex-gov Mike Easley were all in the kickbacks business from new million dollar court houses,jails,tax office,getting your oyster harbor development boat access approved, (why do you think Mark Saunders hired Hewett when he got out and real estate sucks?)and is the top county in the state for foreclosure. You really believe the drug business left when Sheriff Varnum was let off the hook and just fired back in the 80 . That’s why they plea was made so that the public is kept in the dark about the real crimes and we have our elected officials and public safety covering there ass and make Ronald Hewett get a slap on the wrist having to do a year at the Federal Prison Butner where they don’t even have fences and it’s summer camp for all of the connected officials and rich fokes like Berny Maddoff. Ask any local who’s lived there why the drugs are so available in that county? Because all of your goverment officals are on the take. Check out the 17yr the state crime lab was fixing evidence for the DA and where was the outcry. Face it North Carolina has one of the most corrupt systems in all of the states and until the public wake up and realize that we are the only state that lets the DA Judge shop and pick witch judge you see you will only receive as much justice as you can pay for and that’s not guaranteed. If they can cover up a cops death on BHI they can surely get away with fooling people who are paying inflated property taxes on there over priced real estate.

    Submitted by guest (not verified) on Wed, 09/29/2010 – 11:12am.

    I said it before and will say it again and again. If Ronnie really wants the trust of the public back, he needs to tell all he knows. Starting with the Davina Jones Murder and cover up on Bald Head Island. BTW everyone ,please use your spell check before posting, you Ron Hewett supporters are looking very ignorant with your post!

  • Abby

    I could not agree more-the MURDER of Officer Jones, going on 12 years now) needs to be reopened, stated as a Homicide, and find out why the cover up. We all have our own ideas, but the spin should be interesting. In addition, I am of the opinion that the Hewett supporters come across, as you say, for the content of their posts, not necessarily the spell check and poor grammar. Thanks-keep pushing for Davina, someone might hear. Her father is still holding on to hope.


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