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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s police chief does not agree with a ruling a judge made earlier this week. But the county’s top prosecutor has a different view.

Yesterday Police Chief Ralph Evangelous expressed his frustration when he said a visiting judge let one of the city’s worst offenders back on to the streets this week. He says there are problems with the judicial system that need to change.

Police say Rashawn Hines has been a problem for years, and now he is back out on the streets.

“A visiting judge dropped the ball and released one of our worst offenders back onto the streets,” Evangelous said during a Thursday news conference about the progress of a cease fire on gun violence in Wilmington.

Hines is out of jail because Judge Ken Crow ruled the 18-year-old did not violate his probation.

“When we bring in visiting judges who have no clue of what we are dealing with in out community… maybe they should find another job,” Evangelous said Thursday.

But District Attorney Ben David said Judge Crow is not to blame. He says judges can only rule on the information presented in a courtroom. David said in this case, that information was just not there. That’s left Evangelous and his investigators shaking their heads.

“They spent hours and hours and hours on this guy to get him and get him off the street, and now he’s back out there, and it starts all over again,” Evangelous told WWAY Friday.

In an attempt to prevent this from happening again, WPD, the DA’s Office and Probation met Friday afternoon to discuss what exactly needs to be presented to the judge during a hearing.

In the meantime, Evangelous says the community is already feeling the repercussions of Monday’s decision.

“What happened this week? What happened this week? The shootings started again, didn’t it?” Evangelous said.

We reached out to Judge Crow, but we have not heard back.


Comment on this Story

  • taxpayer

    “We reached out to Judge Crow, but we have not heard back.”

    And most likely won’t…hear back. The “robed ones” are not in the habit of defending their decisions. After all, they’re the judge.

    When did “reach out” become the term for “we contacted or called”? I guess “circle back around” now means “I’ll call you back”.

  • Vog46

    I know that Judges can differ on their requirements for decisions but, there should be very little wiggle room – meaning, that Law Enforcement should have a pretty good idea.
    Which makes this passage so disturbing:
    “In an attempt to prevent this from happening again, WPD, the DA’s Office and Probation met Friday afternoon to discuss what exactly needs to be presented to the judge during a hearing.”

    It almost sounds like basic law enforcement training to me. If the requirements have changed hasn’t re-training already happened? I find this disturbing……..

    Its like they’re not staying on top of things – or, this judge is way out of whack.


  • Cranky Guy

    Judge Ken Crow is an honorable and fair man. He has been doing a fine job for the past 22 years and is well respected by his peers in the Eastern District. Perhaps if Chief Evangelous and his team had done their part as far as providing the DA the evidence to put this criminal behind bars, this conversation wouldn’t be happening. I am no cheerleader for criminals but the laws are black and white. If the evidence isn’t there, the judge would be wrong to rule against the defendant. Don’t complain about the judge…motivate your detectives and officers.

  • Concerned Citizen

    It’s about time that someone like the Chief steps up and let’s the public know exactly what is going on in our court rooms. It’s all about let’s make a deal. You don’t think these District Attorneys don’t party, hang out and drink with the Defense Attorney’s. I can’t speak for all but there is a lot of law enforcement officers with the City, County and State that are fed up with the judicial system in New Hanover County. It’s just a buddy buddy system, court is a joke and the defendants know it. We need more people like the Chief with a set of balls to come forward and tell the truth. Something has got to be done to make our community safer. Maybe we just need a new District Attorney to run the show. Get rid of everyone that works there!

  • yellowtailfish

    Why don’t we make our own real life “dome” here in Wilmington and place all the riff raff and thugs underneath?? They could battle it out without harming the law abiding citizens they seem to affect every day. It would eliminate the problem and at the very least contribute to the very lucrative reality tv industry. Any takers???

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