Former North Carolina sheriff indicted on additional charges

Published 11:55 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2021

OXFORD (AP) — A former North Carolina sheriff who was previously accused of threatening to kill a deputy has been indicted on charges of falsifying law enforcement training records, court records showed Wednesday.

A grand jury said former Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins used deception to retain his law enforcement certification from the N.C. Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Division, and that he knowingly submitted false and misleading information between 2012 and 2018. According to court records, Wilkins allegedly falsified records to show he had completed mandated annual training and firearm qualification requirements, when he actually had not, news outlets reported.

The reports said former Granville County chief deputy Sherwood Boyd also was indicted on charges of falsifying records to maintain certification. Chad Coffey, a former deputy who also served as training coordinator and firearms instructor, and Edward Keith Campbell also were also indicted on charges related to the alleged falsification, the records show.

It wasn’t immediately known Wednesday afternoon whether Wilkins and the others had attorneys who could comment on their respective cases.

Wilkins was initially indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice in September 2019. The indictment was handed down following allegations that he reportedly thought a former deputy would release a recording containing racially offensive language, and in a 2014 phone call said “the only way you gonna stop him is kill him,” according to court records. That case is still pending, said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

A grand jury indicted Wilkins in June on charges of obstruction and failing to discharge his duties. The charges were related to the sheriff’s office drug unit and to improper approval of gun permits, WRAL reported, citing court documents.

In addition, current Granville County Sheriff Charles Noblin, who was appointed to succeed Wilkins in January 2020, has resigned in light of the new allegations against his predecessor, although he is not facing any charges, news outlets reported Wednesday.

“Due to personal reasons beyond my control and newly discovered information brought to my attention concerning the ongoing investigation, I feel that it is in my best interest and betterment of Granville County’s Sheriff Office that I inform you of my resignation,” Noblin wrote to Ganville County Attoreny James Wrenn, according to WRAL.

Noblin, who took over in January 2020, “put his agency before his own personal interest,” Freeman said of the resignation.

The Granville County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment. The county, which borders Virginia, is north of the state capital of Raleigh.