A North Carolina sheriff is accused of encouraging another person to kill a former deputy to prevent that deputy from going public with a recording of the sheriff making racially insensitive comments.
Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted by a grand jury Monday on two counts of felony obstruction of justice for allegedly encouraging the murder of Joshua Freeman in 2014, according to NBC News.
Freeman had a recording of Wilkins using "racially offensive language,” according to an indictment obtained by NBC News. The alleged murder-plot discussion, which was also recorded, came after Wilkins learned that Freeman planned to release that recording.
The indictment alleges that Wilkins “failed to properly execute his duties” by arresting the man who stood to become Freeman’s killer ‘because of his personal animosity towards Joshua Freeman.”
Instead of arresting the person, Wilkins allegedly encouraged him to kill Freeman.
He told the unnamed person "if you need to take care of something, just take care of something," and "the only way you gonna stop him is kill him,” CNN reports, quoting the indictment.
"The only way we find out these murder things is people talk. You can't tell nobody nothing -- not a thing," Wilkins allegedly said.
Freeman wasn't harmed in the alleged plot.
Wilkins has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Wilkins’ lawyer Thomas C. Manning issued a statement Monday saying Wilkins had voluntarily agreed to a suspension from his position as sheriff and looks forward to "exoneration and resumption of his duties,” the Associated Press reports.
The indictment came after the recording of the 2014 conversation was given to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Wilkins has been released on a $20,000 bond.
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