Former Spencer mayor Alicia Waddell Bean victim of apparent suicide

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 27, 2012

SALISBURY — Former Spencer mayor Alicia Waddell Bean died this morning of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Salisbury Police.
Police were called to the home at 238 Camelot Drive to investigate a report of an unresponsive person. Upon arrival, officers discovered Bean, 45, “deceased in her bedroom from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Bean’s mother, Penelope Blake, with whom she had been living, found her and called 911 for help.  
Though initial findings on the scene cause investigators to strongly suspect suicide, Salisbury Police detectives are investigating the matter further.
The police press release says, “Nothing further will be released on this matter at this time.”
Bean was scheduled to appear in court today for an equitable distribution hearing regarding her divorce. She had multiple criminal charges pending, including charges of embezzling money from the Spencer Jaycees in 2007 and 2008 and assaulting law enforcement officers in 2009.
The assault charges stemmed from an incident in May 2009 when Bean held law enforcement officers at bay with a gun at her Spencer home. Officers had responded to a suicide threat.
Bean later attempted suicide in September 2010 while a psychiatric patient at Rowan Regional Medical Center. She was hospitalized for months after the incident.
According to indictment records, Bean took money from the Spencer Jaycees on five separate occasions between July 2007 and August 2008, totaling more than $8,000.
She was indicted in July 2011 on six counts of embezzlement. Bean had been treasurer for the Jaycees from 2006 to 2009.
In the May 2009 incident, Bean carried an unloaded assault rifle around her property for nearly an hour. An officer eventually tackled her when she was distracted.
Bean, 42 at the time, was taken into custody and placed in a state mental hospital. Upon her release from the hospital, Bean was charged with assaulting law enforcement officers after her release from the hospital, then released on bond in December 2009.
Conditions of her release required her to live with her mother in Salisbury. The terms were later amended to allow Bean to live with her sister in Spencer.
But the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office then alleged Bean had violated the terms of her release by living alone.
A hearing was set for Sept. 16, 2011, in Rowan County Superior Court. Bean did not appear, and the order for her arrest was issued.
Spencer Police the next day went to Bean’s home to serve the order and learned Bean was a patient at Rowan Regional.
Bean attempted suicide two days later.
Bean held elected office in Spencer for six years — two years as alderwoman, two as mayor pro tem and two as mayor.
Read Tuesday’s Post for more details.