FIRST ON 3: Judge sets aside former cop's prostitution with teen conviction
 
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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- A Brunswick County jury today returned a guilty verdict against a former Northwest Police lieutenant, but the judge set aside Michael Hayes's conviction for participating in the prostitution of a minor.

It took jurors less than two hours to find Hayes guilty on both his charges, but minutes after the verdict was read, the judge granted a motion to set aside the prostitution conviction, ruling prosecutors never established the victim was a minor at the time of the crime.

"The definition the statute used to define a minor required the state to prove that she was less than 18-years-old, and she was not married or judicially emancipated," Hayes's attorney Geoffrey Hosford said.

When asked why prosecutors did not ask the girl those questions, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Thurston said he thought they had enough evidence to prove she was. In court Thurston argued the victim had a boyfriend, was living with her grandmother and was 17 at the time of the crime.

Hayes's father spoke at his sentencing and told a prosecutor he did not know how he could sleep at night.

"He is his father, and family is family," ADA Chris Thomas said. "However Mr. Hayes was a sworn law enforcement officer, and their job is to protect community and not engage in the activities that he was alleged to have committed."

Hayes received a 45-day suspended sentence for filing a false police report. He will also have to pay a $500 fine and court costs. The final decision on the prostitution charge now lies with the NC Court of Appeals.

"We're disappointed obviously," Thomas said. "Again, we do respect the court's decision, but we gave notice of appeal and we're not done fighting to preserve that jury's verdict.

Prosecutors say if the conviction on the prostitution involving a minor charge stands Hayes would likely face 13 to 16 months in prison.

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He is a registered republican.

He is too good looking to be buying it. Maybe the evidence didn't "stand up" in court.

Hey,, lets kill Ronald hewett for serving his county for 25 years and give an award to the pervert child molester!! Maybe he will run for sheriff next go round. Getting worse folks welcome to Obama-nation!!

Holy crap...is there anything you idiots won't blame Obama for. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

So what was the purpose of having a Jury? In 'any' case for that matter. If the Judge has the final say, why keep these people out of work? Or away from family, and really? How hard is it to find out the girls age? How silly does this make that Judge look? So very unprofessional, and once again, Michaels daddy tried to get him out of trouble again. A.G.A.I.N! Which personally, to me, has ruined his reputation. If that man cannot see his son made bad choices? Sorry, it makes him just as guilty as his son. He will be back on the road, no doubts, I know Northwest will take him back, if they haven't already. Say's who!? Say's Kblue!!!

Just like Northwest wouldn't make the mistake of bringing you back, they won't bring back Hayes. You two have got to be the biggest mistakes in law enforcement.

Tell me why I am a 'mistake', is it because I got you fired from Leland? Go away Timillicky, you are old news now. MUAH!Say's who!? Say's Kblue!!!

It's not enough for everyone to "know" anything. The jurors are supposed to deliberate on the evidence presented. If that evidence is not presented then they are not to consider it. It was a stupid mistake made by the prosecution in failing to introduce proof of the girls age since her age is a major element of the crime. The judge was right to make that decision. This debacle is on the shoulders of the prosecutor for not doing his job right.

So, the jury of his peers listened to all of the evidence, found him guilty, his character has been questionable for years, and he still walks out of the courtroom. I don't understand.
However, he knows what happened, he knows the truth. He has to look at himself every morning in the mirror. And we all have to answer one day for our wrong doings and bad decisions. ..sleep well Mike, if you can.

He is not off the hook.

How many palms got greased here. Why would the ADA have to prove she was a minor when there is a birth certificate that proves her age? That should be obvious, the jury certainly knew this since they convicted him in 2 hours. How was he even charged with the crime if that fact wasn't firmly established. It just goes to show how his father's connection to the judicial system continues to manipulate the things as usual. If all the stories come out about this guy and how he has avoided justice all these years then corruption would be brought out and the truth finally be made aware to the public. He has already killed a girl in a traffic accident, sexually assualted a minor when he was a resources officer at Topsail high school, broke an elderly man's arm during a traffic stop, and now committed these offenses that a jury of his peers convicted him of without a doubt. There are many other numerous offenses that this guy has committed that has been swept under the rug. Why was there a special judge in this case? Why was this case postponed numerous times with weak excuses like, "we don't have a stenographer today"? And why didn't Jon David try this case since it was so "high profile" according to him. The other original prosecuter who was to handle it handed it off all the sudden to this ADA. So what is going on here. There needs to be a serious ethical investigation because anyone in there right mind can see the corruption here. God help the next victim he preys on and their family. This guy was a law enforcement officer and instead of helping this victim he only took advantage of her just like all his other victims. Hell has a special place for this guy and all who have helped him prey on others. The pattern continues, but from here on out it's now on you Mr. DA!

I am glad to know someone else remembers the sexual assault against the Topsail high girl. And from there, he wasn't ever supposed to be able to hold a badge in NC again, but did? And now this happens and nothing? How many girls do we all think he has done that to in the past fifteen years? He turns in his resignation before he gets the boot, which to me screams guilt, but then gets another badge and does the same thing? Wake up people! If Pender county doesn't have this assault in his employment record, someone needs to start asking the hard questions of how far up corruption goes and to whom! It keeps happening....with no punishment. Sick.

It's not enough for the birth certificate to exist. It is not enough for the prosecution to state the girls age. They have to introduce evidence to prove it. The age is a major element of the crime and has to be proven by the prosecution.

Judges don't work solely in the districts in which they are elected. They travel to other districts quite frequently. The visiting judge would be scheduled to be here during this time regardless of who was on the docket. It is not unusual for cases to be continued numerous times for a variety of reasons. As for the stenographer, aka court reporter, if you will remember Thom Goolsby was responsible for cutting the state's budget for court reporters last year, so this would be a legitimate reason. If the case changed ADAs, that is most likely the decision of Jon David. There doesn't need to be an investigation. It could just be a slip up on the part of the prosecution that the defense attorney picked up on. This whole thing will probably be corrected through the appeals process.

I guess this means he has kept his certifications, this east coast is ripe.

But no department will hire him. Not with this and the 'rumor' of what he did in Pender County.

WHY is EVERYBODY in this debacle identified but the JUDGE? That's what I want to know.

It was a visiting judge. He/she was right in the decision once the motion was made. The prosecution failed to provide proof of a major element of the crime.

This guy has been a poor excuse for a Police Officer. The 45 days should have been active time, he knew what he was doing was against the law but broke the oath.

Poor ADA. He did not get his way. Now he is going to the Court of Appeals. Then where the Governor? From what the article says, the dumb girl could not even pick Mike out in the courtroom and he was sitting at the table next to his lawyer.

He has lost a ton of weight since she saw him last, look at his first arrest photo. I could not recognize him either without the blubber.
Police should all be tested for steroids.

The ADA did get his way, Hayes was found guilty by a jury of his peers but the judge set aside the verdict due to a motion. And you really think that the girl couldn't pick him out in the court room or she decided not to identify him?

This ADA should be immediately fired. It is ridiculous that in a high publicity case like this, that an ADA who has hardly any experience tries this case. This was an open and shut case with a confession. All the ADA had to do was ask the victim how old she was and when was her birth date. DO NOT BLAME ANYONE FOR THIS BUT THIS ADA. I would call for an immediate firing for this ADA. There is no excuse. A criminal is back on the street tonight because of this guy.

I knew this guy as a cop. He is and always will be a sex fiend. He was almost caught in another incident with a prostitute while on duty. That incident was reported to former DA Gores office but oh well...Wonder if that ad on AFF website he placed advertising his services is still there?

I would never admitted that. jp

Thats not justice, if any other regular citizen would have at leat gotten a couple of years. The system is near about always in favor of the officer. And the idea that he makes "good cops" have a bad name or image is bull the so called "good cops" make themselves look bad by tuening a blind eye and hiding behind that blue line of secretary. If rhere were really "good cops"they wouldn't let them hide like priests who touch altar boys hide behind the church and never really get punished, and they wouldn't stand there knowing a law goes against the thing they vowed to protect from ALL THREATS FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC. But whats the constitution anyway other than a suggestion to the government and a long standing inside joke. This is whats wrong with our country no one cares and is willing to give up our freedoms to thugs and smiley-glad-hands in the name of protection whether terrorists or drugs, theres a famous quote that say "if a people would give up freedom for safety then they deserve neither.

Actually, the judge was right in his decision. If the prosecution did not properly prove the charges, then the verdict should have been set aside. it would not have taken five minutes of the Court's time to provide the proof that the girl was a minor. Her being a minor is a major element of the crime and it was the prosecution's burden to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Since he didn't, then the verdict should have been set aside.

Do you honestly think the prosecution really gave any effort? No they all aee on the same team it would be like if a first baseman threw the ball to the right feilder just doesn't make sense. People need to start thinking and questioning more.

I don't know much about the ADA who tried the case and didn't properly introduce the evidence, but Chris Thomas is the ADA who prosecuted Brett Hobbs. Chris Thomas has a reputation for not liking dirty cops and has no reservations about holding them accountable. There is no questioning needed where he is concerned.

Why didn't you just suspend that too! Sorry but wrong is wrong! Even with the goof up he should get more than a pat on the back, really!
Sick individual.

It's not over. Given the situation, double jeopardy has not attached. The DA's office will appeal.