By Olivia Lloyd
The Henderson West Auckland Observer
CHADBOURN, N.C. — A former police chief accused of proof mishandling, embezzlement and drug trafficking has pleaded responsible greater than a 12 months after North Carolina officers say he faked his loss of life.
William Anthony Spivey pleaded responsible to 14 felonies and one misdemeanor, the Columbus County District Legal professional’s Workplace introduced in a Sept. 25 information launch.
The plea comes greater than two years after dozens of fees have been filed in opposition to Spivey, who was the previous chief of the Chadbourn Police Division.
It’s the newest growth in a yearslong saga that has culminated in a sentence of not less than 11 years, the DA’s workplace mentioned.
Michael Mills, the lawyer who represented Spivey, informed McClatchy Information on Sept. 26 that Spivey entered an Alford plea, also referred to as a “greatest pursuits plea,” which is when the defendant pleads responsible however maintains their innocence when there could also be sufficient proof for the jury to return a responsible verdict.
“Mr. Spivey had one of the best of intentions, however he made some unhealthy choices,” Mills informed McClatchy Information in a telephone interview.
Mills mentioned Spivey’s pre-trial detention will depend towards his 11.5-year minimal sentence.
The fees Spivey pleaded responsible to concerned firearms and a faux suicide observe, in keeping with Mills.
Chadbourn is a small city in southeast North Carolina with about 1,500 residents, in keeping with the Census Bureau.
In February 2021, Columbus County officers started to develop involved over lacking proof on the police division, in keeping with the discharge.
Two district lawyers went to the division and requested to have a look at proof in narcotics circumstances.
“Spivey couldn’t produce all of the proof requested and declined permitting the examination of the proof he introduced,” the workplace mentioned.
Weeks later, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation searched the proof room and Spivey’s workplace. They discovered luggage of proof torn open and proof lacking, equivalent to cash, narcotics and firearms, in keeping with the report. Most of the lacking objects have been linked to circumstances that occurred when Spivey was the one one who had custody of the proof room, officers say.
Among the opened proof luggage with lacking objects have been present in Spivey’s workplace, in keeping with the DA’s workplace.
“Former Chief Spivey eliminated objects of proof and bought firearms to pals, family members and acquaintances,” the report says.
Spivey was arrested and launched on bond.
Indicators pointing to his loss of life
A couple of 12 months later, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Workplace started a lacking individual seek for Spivey after receiving a report about an deserted boat, in keeping with a information launch from the sheriff’s workplace on Feb. 24, 2022.
When investigators arrived, they are saying they discovered a truck that Spivey had pushed containing a suicide observe.
“Handwritten letters have been collected on the scene, together with the boat, that additionally contained a .22 caliber rifle with a discharged spherical nonetheless within the rifle,” deputies mentioned. “All proof was collected by crime Scene Investigators and processed. Investigators shortly concluded that the proof collected didn’t assist a suicide state of affairs.”
With Spivey nonetheless lacking, search and rescue crews regarded for him for 3 days, with different companies supplying aerial searches and sonar scanning expertise. In the meantime, warrants have been issued for his arrest after he failed to seem in court.
“As investigators collected video from surveillance programs and performed interviews, it grew to become much more obvious that the scene on the river was staged,” in keeping with the discharge.
Investigators obtained a tip that Spivey is likely to be simply over the border in South Carolina. Detectives tracked him to a good friend’s property in Loris, South Carolina, in keeping with the discharge. He fled earlier than he was taken into custody.
“Elaborate steps have been taken by Mr. Spivey to faux his loss of life, which generated a predictable response, particularly a large search which was time consuming, harmful and costly,” Columbus district lawyer Jon David mentioned throughout a information convention.
Spivey was sentenced to 138 to 267 months (11.5 years to 22.25 years) on the Division of Grownup Corrections, David’s DA workplace introduced.
“Anthony Spivey was engaged in an ongoing sample of prison conduct,” David mentioned within the launch. “In some unspecified time in the future in his profession, Mr. Spivey made the choice to cease serving his neighborhood and as an alternative begin serving his personal egocentric pursuits.”
Spivey had a trial date set for November, however the DA’s workplace sought to finalize a plea settlement to keep away from a prolonged trial, in keeping with the discharge.
“Mr. Spivey’s actions will not be a mirrored image upon regulation enforcement,” mentioned DA official Jason Minnicozzi, who labored on the plea settlement. “Spivey’s conduct is reflective of an outlier who took benefit of his place of belief and energy.”
Chadbourn is about 130 miles south of Raleigh.
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