Former lawman succumbs

Published 5:54 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2014

By Lance Martin

JACKSON – William Otis “Bill” Wheeler, a former high-ranking officer within the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office as well as a former officer in HalifaxCounty, died at his home on Wednesday.

Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith said Wheeler died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said the sheriff’s office received a call around 10:30 a.m. to respond to Wheeler’s home outside Jackson.

Federal court records as well as a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh confirmed that Wheeler was scheduled to appear in federal court in New Bern at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday for sentencing in a weapons case.

Wheeler faced a maximum of 10 years imprisonment on each of the two counts he pled guilty to along with a $250,000 fine and up to three years supervised release.

He pled guilty in March of last year to possession of a stolen firearm and the sale of a stolen firearm after a federal grand jury returned a true bill of indictment for one count of possession of stolen firearms and two counts of sale of stolen firearms.

(Lance Martin is Publisher and Editor of and granted permission for the use of this story.)