make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Brunswick County outgrowing courthouse

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- Our area is home to some of the fastest-growing counties in the country. And that population boom will no doubt affect criminal activity and how the court system deals with it. Thirteenth District Attorney Rex Gore says pretty soon Brunswick County will have to make a decision on whether to add on to the brand new courthouse. Construction was finished in 2002. The courthouse has more than 100,000 square feet with six courtrooms -- and one large room dedicated just for traffic court. Gore says Brunswick County's population has already outgrown the space. Often times, there is standing room only in district court and there are not enough prosecutors, court employees or judges to handle all of the cases. Gore said, "I never thought I would say that because when we moved into this courthouse it was so well thought out, so well planned, the issues of future growth had been considered." Gore says places like Leland and Navassa are growing so fast, they'll soon need to hire more police officers to patrol the area. Gore also oversees the court cases in Bladen and Columbus Counties. There are fewer people moving to those areas and that's affecting the legal system in another way.

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.


Mister Gore, two questions...

Can you explain why every single judicial district is now allowing strong, solid felony cases to be bragained down to misdemeanor pleas? Second, can you explain why we see so many convicted felons receiving probation or suspended sentences for convictions obtained subsequent to an earlier prison sentence? Since common law emerged, we have always increased sentences for subsequent convictions, as it proves that the defendent has no intention of modifying his or her behavior. Yet every day, I see people who have been in prison previously being arrested and convicted again, and they receive a suspended sentence. I understand the practical realities of prison capacity, but both of these are making society a far more dangerous place to live.


Your questions required a lengthy response so I posted it on my weekly blog. You can find it by going to

Had a chance

Brunswick county had a chance to change when Jon David ran for the DA position. Hopefully he will run again.


On the issue of managing the courts and protecting our citizens, my attorneys and support staff do a good job. We instituted the first multi-county case management sytem in the state over ten years ago. Our system was used to develop the law that mandates case management throughout the state. We consistently process cases through the court faster than the state average. When Mr. David was running against me, statistics provided by the state showed that we were processing cases 70 days faster than they were in the district where Mr. David has worked for years. (At $30 a day that would be a savings of $2100 for anyone waiting in jail.) And despite that quicker turn around, sentences for felons was 20% higher over here in Brunswick. The latest figures show that the prison time difference has risen since then.


Well, I guess taxes will go up again. For what we already paying in Brunswick County, we sure as hell dont get the services. In most places, the revenue is somewhat proportional to services, but not in Brunswick. Maybe the Emergency Services (Randys Empire) will shift some money over to Rex. The bottom line is that Brunswick County Tax dollars need to be better managed. Brunswick County has the money, but we need to clean out the management staff and make some serious realighments so there is some accountability. Lets start with the commissioners, then Randy, then Rex, and on down the line. Its gonna take the voters of this county to improve services.

Almost all the people who

Almost all the people who work at the courthouse, with the exception of Sheriff deputies and local police, are state employees. Under NC rules, the county provides facilities. We do not need a "new" courthouse, but may well need additional courtroom space as our population and demand for court servies increases.


Ok, maybe you do need more space eventually. How about considering some pro-active programs and preventing the same people from comming back through the system over and over. Many criminals here get away with same crime over and over again. If we "nipped em in the butt" the first go around and established procedures for repeat offenders, then we would save some space. Seems the current programs are outdated and not used.

In other states, and parts

In other states, and parts of the normal world, you can't protest a speeding ticket the way you do in N.C. If you get caught speeding, you pay the fine and your auto insurance increases. Here, you hire a lawyer who goes to court and lowers the offense and you spend money on the lawyer and get away with the insurance increase. This is a boon for lawyers, judges, coppers, and that is one of the reasons we need NEW COURTHOUSES after only 5 years of building one that is freaking huge and costs a fortune.

as a police officer or

as a police officer or "copper" as you put it. we do not get anything for writing a ticket. no extra money in our pay check or fight miles or what ever else you might think we get for giving out tickets

Rex Gore

Hey Rex, The criminals in brunswick county already work at the center, or have you not been reading the newspapers lately. If I were you I would hold off on any plans of expansion to see if there are any Law Enforcement, DA's, Judges left to work up there. Oh, and Rex...I would not get to comfortable if I were you..

I cannot read your

I cannot read your accusations without offering a word of defense to the many hard-working officers who put the safety of others before their own well-being. Sheriff deputies, local police, highway patrol officers, and other agency officers work hard every day protecing you, your property, and that of your neighbors. Our local district court judges (Barefoot, Warren, and Fairley work hard and long in criminal court and Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis is helping make our courts good examples of fairness and efficiency. The folks who work in my office are professionals who are dedicated to their roles. It seems inappropriate to comment on your personal reference to me.

Hey Rex.

What are you and your hard working people doing to protect us from the illegal aliens that have been allowed to invade this country? Puppets to politicians is the way I see it.



Nothing? That's not close

Nothing? That's not close to being accurate. We prosecute vigorouly and have been referring convicted felons to the ICE people for years. I also believe we must take a strong stand against those who drink and drive. The sheriffs in my three-county district are actively looking to be a part of the 286(g) federal program and I support their efforts. You can read more about my position on illegal immigrants by checking my blogs on the subject at (October 18 and May 10).

Nothing was a little too

Nothing was a little too strong. So frustrating when you look at what is happening, only to continue to get worse. It almost seems like it has gone beyond repair.


"I also believe we must take a strong stand against those who drink and drive." I have a single question. You state and think you take a strong stand against those that drink and drive. What is it when you ask your officers and deputies to dismiss the case because it's a personal friend?

Lack of common sense

Where are you getting your info from? "You ask your officers and deputies to dismiss the case because it's a personal friend" I would really like to see some fact on this one. I bet you do not have any fact, just what you heard from a friend of a friends aunty who heard it from her bingo friend who heard it from a troll under a bridge that had received a letter from a fish telling a story. Last time I checked, its not the officers or deputies that dismiss cases, its the jugde or the DA's office. So if DA Gore wanted to drop charges on a person, he could do so with out permission from the officer. We all are awaiting your facts.

Which officer? Which

Which officer? Which friend?


If you have lived in Brunswick County any length of time, you should know that if you are friends with the DA's office or someone with authority, mysterious things can happen to DROP CHARGES. And you are right, there is not a record to prove anything like this because it is done in a sneaky quiet and underhanded sort of way.

ICE cold on illegals

"have been referring convicted felons to the ICE people for years." Convicted felons only? They have to commit a felony before anything is done? What about just being here illegally? ICE does nothing to illegals stopped for traffic violations or misdemeanors. Their response is, "get an address and we'll follow up". This comes from law enforcement officers on the street Mr. Gore.. They think ICE is a joke from what they tell me. ICE is another government bureaucracy created to give the appearance of doing something but is largely ineffective. Anyone found to be in this country ILLEGALLY should be deported NOW! The bleeding hearts are helping drain the life blood from this country and politicians are pandering to illegals for votes.


I can't say the LEOs on the street ae wrong about what ICE is capable of doing. Four years ago they told my Colmbus County Sheriff not to bother calling them unless he had a busload. The death o Scott Gardner in Brunswick County and the efforts of Rep. Sue Myrick and others finally started them paying more attention to the situation in NC (We only had on agent in he state.) As for only felons, ICE is selective on the threshold requirements for them to come get folks. You are right in thinking more needs to be done to get the criminals out, but jurisdiction for us locally is limitd in the area of immigration.