Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett is once again a free man. Hewett served the final day of his sentence after pleading guilty to a federal charge of obstruction of justice in 2008. It's the end of a nearly two year saga that saw a popular lawman fall from grace.
Since being named the youngest sheriff in the state when he started serving at age 31, Hewett has traveled a long road. After pleading guilty to obstruction of justice Hewett was sentenced to 16-months in a federal prison. In October Hewett was released from Butner Federal Corrections with time off for good behavior. He spent the last few months at a half way house and is now free to return to his home near supply.
"Oh, it's just an answer to prayers for this day to come," Hewett's aunt Irene Holden said. "We're just so happy that the Lord has blessed us that he has come back and now can be with us the rest of his days and our days."
Hewett's family says while in prison, Hewett received an outpouring of support from the community he once served. Most Brunswick County residents we spoke with today say Hewett has served his time, and they hope he can move on.
Hewett is working part time for Brunswick County developer Mark Saunders. Hewett worked for the company before heading off to prison. A spokesperson for the company says they are happy to have him back.
We tried to reach Hewett today, but he did not return our calls.