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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon talked about the death of Ron Hewett in his jail Saturday, McMahon’s political challenger is speaking out.

Republican Jason Vaughn says Hewett did not receive correct treatment according to standard protocol, and that circumstances like those surrounding his death are caused by the inexperience of the deputies assigned to the jail.

“This is a tragedy,” Vaughn said. “It’s not something that needs to be politicized by any means. I would like to offer any expertise I can to assist, but certainly my heart goes out to his family and his friends based on this tragic end of his life.”

Vaughn says deaths in jail like Hewett’s can also result in public mistrust, lawsuits and large settlements. Those are problems he says can be solved by having an attorney on staff.

“A good man has lost his life and family members are hurting,” McMahon said in an e-mailed statement responding to Vaughn’s claims. “Tragedy should never be used as an opportunity for political gain, and I will not be a part of that. May God wrap his arms around the family and friends of Sheriff Hewitt and give them comfort during this time.”


Comment on this Story

  • Citizen Jason

    Jason Vaughn has fizzled into quite an irreverent joke. I saw him campaigning, at the poll, with his all his supporters. Yes, just himself. All by himself.

    Sheriff McMahon was out there also. He never had a crowd of less the a dozen, crowding around him. I was glad to shake the Sheriff’s hand. After voting.

  • SR

    I am a Republican. I am voting outside of my party for Sheriff Ed McMahon in New Hanover County. I went to watch the extended version of the video released here that shows no such truth that the people here are rookies or followed improper protocol in the jail. This video shows everything; an agitated former sheriff that is swinging constantly to assault and fight deputies, chasing after, assaulting and throwing punches for an extended period of time at a whole group of deputies. You can see all of the heads start to appear in the windows of all of the other cells to watch him chasing and punching the deputies for an extended period after he was tased just once. Why would Jason Vaughn want or try to mislead people about the jail when the people can easily see what the cameras show is not rookies or inexperienced deputies? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds56hkTegGQ

  • Jools

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. It truly is sad what some people will resort to.

  • Wendy

    I doubt it is announced. It will be private.

  • Wendy


  • guest111

    Does anyone know the date of Ron’s funeral?

  • NCtheplacetobe

    I cannot believe the lack of class that Jason Vaughn has. Mr. Vaughn has showed his true colors as being nothing more than opportunistic. A man has died and a family is in pain, but Vaughn finds time to jump in front of a camera to “not politicize” Ron Hewitt’s death? Vaughn needs to learn how to be dignified. Thank you for helping me to make a “political” decision to not vote for a man who can’t respect a family in their time of grief. Ron Hewitt may have had troubled years, but he will always be somebody’s son, father, friend, and family member, NOT YOUR POLITICAL GAIN. Sheriff McMahon has proven what a sheriff needs to do when an investigation is going on and that’s to wait for facts. Plus, Sheriff McMahon is a good Christian man who is respecting the memory of Ron Hewitt and his family during their time of grief.

  • 4253

    Looks like Jason Vaughn really screwed up this time by opening his big mouth. This one’s going to come back and bite him right in the center of his political butt.

  • for real

    Disgraceful that Mr. Vaughn was given the opportunity to speak on this at all and that it was broadcast! How does he have so much information? Definitely a political move against E. McMahon. Very low. I wouldn’t vote for him now if he was running against Bugs Bunny.

  • Todd

    Very sad that a families loss is used for political gain. Vaughn needs to be ashamed of his actions and comments. An apology to the family would be the right thing to do.

  • Jason Vaughn even if I had planned on voting for you, it is a lost vote now. To step up and try and gain publicity now while Mr. Hewlett’s family is grieving is beyond belief. Shows you are an ultimate politician and will use anything to try and get a vote. This most likely is going to backfire big time. Shame of you!

  • Wilmingon Truth Teller

    This mudslinging lawyer, politician, wants to fill the shoes of good Christian Law Enforcement Southeastern NC Sheriffs. Like Ron Hewitt, John Ingram, Sonny Lanier, and Ed McMahon. Maybe this paper waving lawyer, needs to go back to California.

  • CitizenJason

    Sheriff McMahon immediately notified the SBI. And a fair, through, investigation, is being conducted. The FACTS have yet to even come out. How does Lawyer Vaughn know any details, to make such a ridiculous, premature, statement ?

    Lawyer Vaughn can’t wait to make political hay from this tragic situation. He needs to stick to what he’s good at. Fighting for drunk drivers, and suing people.

    This is a disgrace. Vaughn should be ashamed of himself. Given his ‘Lawyer Moral Compass’, I doubt he is.

  • guest23

    oops…guess he was tased a little too much, oh well mistakes happen….maybe with better police training this can be fixed??? Really!!! Vaughn’s solution bring in a full time attorney to help better protect the police, so we can prevent law suits against New Hanover County. We need New Hanover County cleaned up, many of us are tired of the deaths and inhumane treatment going on. It is clear to see who side Vaughn is on, thanks for turning this into a political campaign, at least we all know who not to vote for now. The last thing we need is an attorney helping to defend the police. The corruption appears to be going all the way to the feds, the feds placed Hewett in jail to start with, I think New Hanover County is in over their heads. We all saw what happened to Hewett, it is a dangerous time when you see an icon like this go down right in front of our eyes like this, I think the local media is even fearful. The police cannot stay out of the news yet the media is not really covering this as an on going problem, stories come and then just disappear. Hewett was placed in jail for having a gun that was not made in NC, and no bail, and now he is dead, tased at the hands of the police. No one cares what Hewett may have done, or what some say he was going to do, if he was unhealthy and had a bad heart, Mr. Hewett should have never died in jail at the hands of the police. No one should die this way!!!!

  • Gramps1945

    Only a slick, clever, snake, lawyer, like Vaughn, would try to make political hay, out of such a tragedy.

    I’m very proud of our Sheriff McMahon. And the high road, he has, once again, taken.

    Before making premature, and completely baseless statements. Smearing the very agency, you hope to lead. You might want to wait for the SBI to present the facts.

    Lawyer Vaughn owes an apology to Sheriff McMahon, our deputies, and most importantly, the Hewitt Family. How dare you use this as an opportunity to ‘Stir the Pot’.

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