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Former sheriff to plea to state charges

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett, who was sentenced to 16 months in prison for a federal obstruction of justice charge Monday, will enter a plea on his four pending state charges Oct. 13.

A Brunswick County grand jury indicted Hewett on March 31 on three counts of embezzlement by a public official and one count of obstruction of justice. He is expected to enter a plea on all four charges.

Had be been convicted of the four state charges, Hewett faced up to 17 years in prison.

One count of embezzlement accuses Hewett of misusing $819 of Brunswick County taxpayer funds to pay salaries of Brunswick County sheriff’s deputies to paint campaign signs while they were on duty.

The second embezzlement count alleges he misused $330.61 to pay deputy Jim Barr to guard Hewett's personal driveway while it was being paved by Palmetto Paving Company.

The third count indicates that between August and October 2005, Hewett misused $292.76 to pay the salaries of two Brunswick County Sheriff deputies to cut down 52 trees on Hewett's property.

The obstruction of justice charge alleges Hewett instructed detective Laurie Smith to not charge Margaret Hewett for intimidating a state witness saying Margaret Hewett was distant kin to the sheriff and doing so would hurt him.

For the full story, read next week's issue of the Beacon.