North Carolina Sheriff Suspended to Answer Allegation of Attempted Murder of His Own Deputy

September 24, 2019 Updated: September 24, 2019

A North Carolina authority figure temporarily stepped down amid fresh claims he plotted to kill his subordinate on Sept. 23.

Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins has been suspended of his law enforcement duties after facing two felony justice obstruction charges relating to the death of former Deputy Sheriff Joshua Freeman.

An attorney acting for Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins confirmed his client voluntarily agreed to the suspension.

Wilkins looks forward to “exoneration and resumption of his duties,” Manning Law Firm Criminal Attorney Thomas C. Manning said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press (AP).

The remarks came just days after Wilkins became indicted on Sept. 16 following allegations from the prosecution that he talked about killing Freeman to prevent a recording in which the sheriff made “racially offensive” comments from being released to authorities back in August 2014.

According to the indictment, prosecutors claim Wilkins spoke with an unidentified third party about killing Freeman and explained how to avoid being discovered by law enforcement investigators.

CNN reported Wilkins had a “personal animosity” toward Freeman because he thought the deputy was going to disclose to authorities the recording, and Wilkins told an unnamed person to “take care of it” after learning about the recording.

“If you need to take care of something, just take care of something,” Wilkins is accused of saying in the indictment according to the broadcaster. “The only way you gonna stop him is kill him.”

Wilkins also allegedly offered instructions on how to get away with the murderous act.

“You ain’t got the weapon, you ain’t got nothing to go on,” he said according to CNN. “The only way we find out these murder things is people talk. You can’t tell nobody–not a thing.”

Wilkins is also accused of discussing the time and location “where the murder might successfully occur” and was allegedly shown the firearm that could potentially be used to kill Freeman, the indictment said according to the broadcaster.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said the indictment came after a 10-month investigation jointly conducted by both state and federal authorities according to AP.

Granville County leaders called an emergency meeting on Sept. 24 to discuss the indictment and next step for Wilkins, who has served the county in the top role since 2009. The county confirmed that Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd will temporarily assume Wilkins’ duties while the sheriff is suspended an official statement said according to CNN.

Wilkins’s supporters showed their solidarity with the lawman, expressing how “great” he is at his job on the sheriff’s Facebook page.