RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Former Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of felony obstruction of justice and two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to discharge duties.
“Defendant Wilkins admitted guilt for his criminal conduct and actions that violated the trust of the community he swore to serve and protect,” said Kimberly Overton Spahos, executive director of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.
Special Prosecutor Jordan Ford with the NCCDA represented the State of North Carolina in the criminal cases against Wilkins on Wednesday.
Spahos said these charges were “not factually related” to the charges Wilkins was convicted of in late 2022.
In December 2022, Wilkins was convicted on six counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense and six counts of felony obstruction of justice. These convictions came after Wilkins was accused of creating a plot to stop a former deputy from releasing audio tape of Wilkins using “racially offensive language.”
Wilkins is currently serving a minimum of 18 months in prison and will have two years of supervised probation. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Wilkins is scheduled to be released from prison in September 2024.
Prosecutors said Wilkins obstructed justice by withholding information regarding a credible threat made by an individual that knew the sheriff to kill the former deputy.
Wilkins encouraged that individual to “take care of it” and also said “the only way you gonna stop him is kill him,” according to the Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, who prosecuted that case.
“Anytime an elected official, especially a Sheriff, acts in direct opposition to his oath of office, the community is broken. Their confidence in law enforcement and the entire judicial system is breached. We hope former Sheriff Wilkins’ admission of guilt will begin the process of restoration and healing in Granville County,” Spahos said.
The NCDAA did not provide a sentence for Wilkins’ guilty plea.