Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins reportedly devised a plan to assassinate a former deputy who possessed damaging recordings of the sheriff making racist and offensive comments. On Monday, Wilkins was indicted on felony justice obstruction charges after a 10-month investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Wilkins has been in the position since 2009. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, Sheriff Wilkins discovered that former Deputy Joshua Freeman planned to give damning recordings to the Raleigh authorities in 2014. Wilkins then spoke with someone in August of the same year about murdering Deputy Freeman. He also coached the unidentified assailant on how to commit the crime without being identified.
Wilkins reportedly told the unnamed person to “take care of it,” saying, “if you need to take care of somethin’, just take care of something,” and “the only way you gonna stop him is kill him.”
He also allegedly drilled the formula of covering up a crime into the suspect’s head, saying, “you ain’t got the weapon, you ain’t got nothing to go on,” and “the only way we find out these murder things is people talk. You can’t tell nobody nothin’.”
According to the indictment, Sheriff Wilkins not only failed to warm Deputy Freeman of the looming danger he faced, but he did not detain the suspect or confiscate the firearm once he discovered the plot.
The document further states, “The sheriff ‘failed to properly execute his duties because of his personal animosity towards Joshua Freeman.”
North Carolina Sheriff’s Association’s executive vice president, Eddie Caldwell, said in a statement, “The allegations in the indictments are extremely troubling. We have confidence that our criminal justice system will resolve them appropriately, according to law.”
Wilkins still holds the sheriff’s position under the presumption of “innocence.” He was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 9 in Granville County.