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911 CALL: Suicide suspected before Hewett's death


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The audio of first responders' radio traffic and those initial 911 calls about Ron Hewett's death were released Monday.

An initial release said Hewett died just after 2 p.m. Saturday. However, the first 911 call from the jail didn't come in until 2:57.

A Sheriff's Office spokesman said Monday night it’s unclear when Hewett died, but it was sometime between 2 and 3.

On those 911 calls a confused officer tells 911 dispatch that he believes a suicide attempt has happened, and that is why they need EMS to come to the jail.

Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett was being taken out of administrative segregation, where he was held for his own safety. New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon says Hewett's mother and girlfriend were there to visit him, a visit that wouldn't happen.

Before Hewett died sources say he was tased.

"At this point I can't go into details about the investigation," New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said. The calls came in, the sheriff said, after what he called an incident with a detention officer.

McMahon told us he couldn't elaborate on the details of what happened as it remains under investigation by the SBI.

Hewett had shown signs of instability before.

During recorded phone calls at the peak of an investigation into his conduct.

"Ain't no bringin' me back up," Hewett said in one of those recordings released in 2008. "I'm looking for a bank robbery in (expletive) progress. That's what I want."

Hewett was implying he was considering suicide or that he might die in a shoot-out.

McMahon said the Hewett he remembered was not the Hewett he saw in jail.

"The Ron Hewett that I knew was probably what the majority of the community knew," McMahon said. "A man who had given most of his life to the community to help keep it safe."

An autopsy was performed Monday. Hewett's cause of death remains unknown.

The 911 calls never mention Hewett's name but were given to us after a request for the audio related to Hewett's death.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



I think some policies need to be look at after hearing the recording ems should have been dispatched immediately being the call clearly identifies he's was a jailer and even used standard ten codes over the phone. Secondly I known 911 has to go through all those questions for some or all medical emergencies but being an officer is calling it in they shouldn't hold the call up because he may not have all those answers or any of them. All he knew is someone higher ranking told central control to call 911 and request ems 1018 which mean emergency traffic. Being the phone number and all shows up as the jail I think they should consider some changes for communications by 911 because I usedto listen to scanners all the time and when they called for ems over radio they don't go through all those question they may ask what type of injury but that is all or if they we breathing.

Tubby Hewett

So when is his autopsy going to be done?

"An autopsy was performed

"An autopsy was performed Monday. Hewett's cause of death remains unknown." It's in the article.

Science will disclose the TRUTH

Science will disclose the TRUTH

Quote from WWAYTV3 reporter (per telecast):

"An initial release says Ron Hewett died around 2PM. The first 911 call from the jail didn't come in until 2:57PM. A Sheriffs Department spokesperson said it is unclear exactly when Hewett died but it was sometime between 2 and 3PM."

Let's get down to common sense fellow citizens:

Do we really think you can make a 911 call at 2:57, talk for a few minutes, - THERES NOT ENOUGH TIME for this EVENT TO MANIFEST PER THE NHC SHERIFFS DEPT. 911 CALL - DO THE MATH YOURSELF!

Let's break it down:

Quote of 911 audio:

NHC Jail: "We need EMS 1018 for an inmate" (per 911 audio)
911 Dispatcher: "Ok, what's the medical complaint?"
NHC Jail: "Ahhhh, I think its a suicide attempt"
911 Dispatcher: "10-4, call reference to a suicidal attempt at the jail"
911 Dispatcher: Okay, does he have any weapons or anything like that?"
NHC Jail: "Ahhhhh, unknown"
911 Dispatcher: "OK"

When ever you HEAR audio recording with the words: "Ahhhhhh", you can surly tell yourself a LIE is being told - ask any FBI agent regarding this factual data per historical records and the training of Interrogation for our Law Officials.....

In my opinion, this is what happened:

1. Ronald died around 2PM:
2. Shortly afterwards, The Chief NHC Jailer called Sheriff Ed McMahon
3. Ed McMahon spoke to NHC legal council
4. Ed McMahon was directed to advise the NHC Communication Staff how to proceed
5. The 911 call was placed per NHC Ed McMahon's direction

FACTUAL: A in depth and scientific autopsy can show the EXACT time of DEATH - to the millisecond.....DO THE RESEARCH and you will see this is factual indeed!

no way

Clearly everyone heard the 911 recording, the person speaking with EMS sounded as if they were clueless to what was going on, the person speaking sounded as if he was flying by the seat of his pants when he said this was a suicide. And now something Hewett said back in 2008 is being used against him and taken out of context, you call this news...this is gossip, not news. Sorry, but this is all ridiculous.


Smells like murder at in New Hanover County Jail and smells like a Huge Coverup is in progress. The whole bunch of them good old boys are corrupt. We have a deputy who is obviously a duh and has no clue what he is doing. Tased and then committed suicide, wonder which part of Ben Davids Office came up with that one ?

This doesn't look or sound good

We are already hearing throughout the law enforcement community issues with this incident.
If the rumors are true and a few of the deputies involved are related to Sheriff, and other staff officers at NHSO.

That might explain the 37 seconds missing on video, and the audio being scrubbed. Hope it's all just rumors.

I am glad to see that I am

I am glad to see that I am not the only one who thinks that the 911 recorded message sounds like the person making the call had lost his SCRIPT! There is something not right about this situation. Cover up? Intentional? Keep him quiet? The judicial system is a joke & so are the horses running it!

Over it!

Really, who cares. Enough is enough.

We didn't hear this much about the police office in Wilmington that was in his Mayfaire apartment barricading himself in. Look at ALL of the drama he caused. How in the world has this just dropped off the news. We were told nothing....

Is that ok with you Wilmington?

This man that needed 12 hours of negotiation is probably back in his cop car driving around... not right.

"Ain't no bringin' me back

"Ain't no bringin' me back up," Hewett said in one of those recordings released in 2008. "I'm looking for a bank robbery in (expletive) progress. That's what I want."
Hewett was implying he was considering suicide or that he might die in a shoot-out."

Interesting to note that Ron's recorded phone call (who did that?) was RELEASED in 2008. No mention of when or WHO recorded it. WHY NOT? Then WWAY inserts an OPINION that "Hewett was implying he was considering suicide". Bad form, WWAY. Perhaps what Ron was trying to say was that he wanted to do something heroic to save his reputation... or does WWAY have more information they're not sharing. Either way, the man is dead and it's looking more like WWAY is involved in a cover-up scheme with the NHCSO.

People, I think we are


I think we are missing the point here. The point is not whether Ron Hewitt was corrupt. For all I know, he was. However, the issue is an inmate lies dead in a New Hanover County jail cell under the care of several deputies while awaiting a court date. A deputy supposedly calls reporting a supposed suicide, but sounds very confused in doing so. What, did he/she just wake up? We need to know what happened regardless of the history concerning the person it happened to. According to the law, this man still deserved a day in court to be tried and convicted or set free. Now this man will never get his day in court, possibly because of someones negligence. Again this is a question that needs to be answered. If this was a suicide (again based on what the officer said), where were the deputies when this was taking place? Are the inmates being monitored? What if this wasn't a former corrupt sheriff? Would the outrage be any more or less against the ones responsible? Also, if this man was locked up in a jail cell, why the need to use a taser? Where is he really going to run to? The SBI will find the answers, but we can only hope they report the truth of what they find. Ask yourself this question: If this is swept under the rug, isn't the NHCS department and the SBI just as guilty of corruption as Ron Hewitt? Will we then be seeing an indictment by Ben David? My guess is no, but we can only hope changes are made to policy and procedures at the jail as a result.

The SBI will likely find

The SBI will likely find nothing was done wrong. Cops cover for cops. This is why we need a panel of investigators comprised of law enforcement, attorneys and private citizens.

re: Cops

....judging from the post on this topic, I'm sure the officers involved in this will get a fair and unbiased hearing also...NOT!
They have already been judged and all but hanged by "private citizens" who do not have a clue what happened. There are many good and decent law enforcement officers who serve New Hanover County with just as much honor as those in Brunswick County feel Ronald served them. To say they had ill will against Ronald Hewett is offensive. No matter what the truth is...there will be those who will not believe it.

Ron Hewitt

You are jumping to way to many conclusions and need to just wait untill more information comes out

Just basing my speculation

Just basing my speculation on past cases involving the police around here. Only time a cop is brought down is when he has gotten so far out of line his buddies cannot cover for him.

The only conclusion I made

The only conclusion I made was that a man has died in a NHC jail and we ned to know why. Read my post. I have more questions than answers.

Ron Hewett

The man had fried his brain with alcohol and drugs, threatening to kill his family, more than 25 BIG guns in his home, no wonder the ATF went in there. This man was a LOON from a long way back ! Cant believe all the people defending him. Open your eyes.

I don't care how they spin

I don't care how they spin it, a man three years younger than me died in prison without proper medical care. What happens to the next fat guy with a bad heart they pick up? If their normal operation procedure is leading to the death of fragile prisoners then perhaps they should review it, otherwise jail is little more than preemptive execution for everyone who is not in good shape.
And if they thought he was suicidal they should've been checking on him.

That is.....

That is absolutely correct. Whether or not Mr. Hewett had a "past" in the public eye, is really a moot point now. Do they just put someone in a cell, who may or may not have emotional/physical issues, and leave them there? Are suspected suicidal tendencies just ignored? Wow.

He wasn't in his cell. He

He wasn't in his cell. He was being taken to see his visitors.

There will be unanswered questions

Until there is an independent investigation and someone is held accountable for his death. Whether by negligence or malice or a combination of both, Ron Hewett, the former sheriff of Brunswick County, and by all accounts, the most popular man to ever hold that office, died while in federal custody in a NH county jail. The altercation was overheard by his visitors and they are eyewitnesses to the bedlam that broke loose when he was killed. Cameras better not have malfunctioned this time.

When he was killed?

You don't know what happened anymore than I or anyone else on this board.
The most popular man to hold office?
He was a crooked pos and drunk/druggie.
It pains me to see support for this maggot. I live in this county by the way and he was garbage years ago and oh how the mighty fall.
Oh and I have never been in trouble or jail or hate cops. I feel bad for the cops who worked under that glory hog.

You are assuming, without

You are assuming, without evidence, that someone did something wrong. He was not as popular as you think he was. He may have been at one time, but that all went down the tubes when he became a felon. The crimes of which he was convicted in no way makes him deserving of death, but jumping to conclusions benefits no one.