Granville County names new sheriff after former sheriff’s felony obstruction indictment

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OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) – A new sheriff was appointed in Granville County more than three months after the former sheriff stepped aside following an indictment.

Charles R. Noblin was appointed to the role by the Granville County Board of Commissioners Monday evening, according to a joint news release from the sheriff’s office and board of commissioners. Noblin will take the oath of office at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Former sheriff Brindell Wilkins was accused of urging someone to kill one of his own deputies. Court documents alleged there’s an audio recording of Wilkins encouraging and advising a person how to kill Joshua Freeman.

The charges date back to 2014, which is the same year Freeman was terminated.

Wilkins was indicted in September on two counts of obstruction of justice. He was suspended on Sept. 23, 2019. Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd was named acting sheriff.

“The order suspending Mr. Wilkins remains in effect at least until the resolution of the two felony charges of obstruction of justice with which he has been indicted,” the release said.

There are ongoing state and federal investigations into the sheriff’s office’s activities during Wilkins’ tenure, according to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

Those investigations are focused on individuals and not the sheriff’s office as a whole, the release said.

Noblin is an 18-year veteran of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently the sergeant in charge of the civil division, the release said.

Noblin will serve the remainder of Wilkins’ term, which ends in December 2022. Boyd is eligible to retire in early 2021. Noblin said he plans to swear in Boyd as his chief deputy, the release said.

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