After finding out one of his deputies had a recording of him making “racially offensive” comments, a Sheriff in Granville County, North Carolina encouraged another man to kill the officer, prosecutors say.
According to the felony indictment released Monday night, Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins allegedly told an unnamed man to kill former deputy Joshua Freeman.
“The only way you gonna stop him is kill him,” Wilkins allegedly told the would-be shooter in a 2014 recorded phone call.
Wilkins was charged with two felony counts of obstruction of justice for his failure to arrest the unnamed person or to report the threat
According to the indictment, Wilkins also allegedly gave the man advice about how to get away with the murder. Telling the man to make sure the murder weapon is not found by police.
“You ain’t got the weapon, you ain’t got nothing to go on,” Wilkins allegedly said.
Wilkins also advised the man not to talk about the murder to anyone.
“The only way we find out these murder things is people talk,” Wilkins allegedly said. “You can’t tell nobody nothin’, not a thing.”
Wilkins assured the man that he would not reveal anything to authorities if he followed through with the murder, however the murder was never carried out.
The sheriff’s indictment comes following a 10-month investigation by the FBI and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
According to the indictment, Wilkins found out that Deputy Joshua Freeman claimed to have a recording of him using “racially offensive language” and he was planning on turning the tape over to authorities.
After speaking with the would be murderer, Wilkins “failed to make reasonable and professional efforts to help prevent harm to victim Joshua Freeman, including failing to immediately warn Joshua Freeman of the credible threat … or failing to effectuate an arrest of this individual,” the indictment states.
It goes on to say that Wilkins “failed to properly execute his duties because of his personal animosity towards Joshua Freeman, who [Wilkins] was told had expressed an intention to publicly disclose to authorities a purported audio recording of the defendant using racially offensive language.”
Wilkins was recently reelected and has been sheriff in the small town since 2009. He will be allowed to remain