WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — WWAY has learned former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett was tased before he died yesterday, according to a source close to the situation.
Hewett died shortly after 2 p.m. at the New Hanover County Jail, where he was being held on a federal detainer. What is still unclear is how much time passed between the use of the Taser and when Hewett died.
New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said Sunday the agency could not comment on whether a Taser was used because the incident is under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and because Hewett was a federal inmate. Brewer did say the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal review to see if any policies were violated. He said no one has been suspended or put on administrative duty in connection to anything that happened at the jail regarding Hewett.
The Sheriff’s Office has referred all questions to the US Marshal Service. When we asked a spokesman for the Marshal Service about an autopsy, he said there was no new information regarding Hewett’s death.
Hewett had been in custody since agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested him Wednesday and charged him with a federal count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The arrest came after agents served a warrant at Hewett’s Supply home and say they found several weapons. Under federal law, he could not have a firearm following his 2008 conviction on obstruction of justice.
Hewett was initially held in the Brunswick County Jail, but was transferred to the New Hanover County Jail following his initial appearance in federal court in Wilmington Thursday morning.