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Hathaway, deputies have day in court

GATESVILLE – Randy Hathaway, currently suspended from his position as Gates County Sheriff, and three members of his law enforcement staff made scheduled appearances here May 15 in Superior Court.

The current disposed Sheriff along with suspended GCSO Captain Glynda Parker, and former deputies Lavar Newsome and Tobe Ruffin were all arrested in late January on a variety of charges.

According to court records from the Superior Court administrative hearing held last week, all four were placed back on the docket for July 9 where any judicial motions on their behalf will be heard. Parker, Newsome and Ruffin had their respective criminal trials set for Oct. 9.

As for Hathaway, he was also given a July 9 date to appear back in court for motions. He is also scheduled to have his “removal from office” hearing on July 9. That portion of the judicial proceedings is a civil case.

In an effort to secure the Democratic nomination for Sheriff in November’s General Election, Hathaway fell short in that bid by placing third in a four-candidate field during the Primary election held on May 8.

Court records do not show a trial date as of yet for Hathaway.

The foursome were all arrested Jan. 22 by an agent with the NC State Bureau of Investigation. Those arrests came after each was indicted the same day by a grand jury.

Hathaway was charged with obstruction of justice, failure to discharge duties of office, and obtaining property by false pretense. He was ousted from office on the day of his arrest after District 1 Attorney Andrew Womble petitioned a judge to temporarily remove Hathaway from office.

Parker and Newsome were each charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense. Ruffin was charged with four counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

In each case of obtaining property by false pretense, the Sheriff and his three fellow law enforcement officers allegedly signed up for duty as a school security officer on certain dates and did not perform in that capacity; collecting pay for working as a deputy (from the county) and as a school security officer (paid separately by the Gates County Public School District).

Following the arrests of the Sheriff and his three deputies, they were immediately removed from the county’s payroll. Hathaway and Parker remain on leave without pay and benefits. Newsome and Ruffin resigned their positions as Gates County deputies on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, a fourth GCSO officer, Sgt. Brandon Hawks, was scheduled to appear in Gates County Superior Court last week. However, he is currently in federal custody, indicted for two counts of possession of a stolen firearm, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of controlled substances, to include heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The controlled substances were considered property of the Gates County Sheriff’s Office and were seized during criminal investigations.

In one of the weapons charges, Hawks is accused of possessing a Glock 26 handgun, allegedly seized unlawfully during a traffic stop on July 23, 2017 and was never submitted as evidence to the Gates County Sheriff’s Office. That weapon was found at Hawks’ residence on December 6, 2017 (the day of his arrest by the SBI and subsequent termination of employment with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office).

Hawks still has state charges listed against him.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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