FBI investigating Harnett man's shooting by deputy
Posted May 3, 2016
Lillington, N.C. — After state and local authorities failed to file criminal charges in the shooting death of a Harnett County man by a deputy last November, the FBI is taking a look at the case.
A spokeswoman on Tuesday issued this statement:
"The Charlotte FBI Field Office, Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina have opened an investigation to determine if any violations of federal law occurred surrounding the death of John Livingston II. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time."
Livingston, 33, was killed on the porch of his Spring Lake home Nov. 15 by Deputy Nicholas Kehagias.
The sheriff's office has said deputies wanted to search Livingston's home in the course of an assault investigation. Livingston challenged the deputies, who did not have a warrant to search his home. His landlord, Clayton Carroll, told the Fayetteville Observer that a deputy kicked in the door and law enforcement officers used pepper spray and a Taser on Livingston before the fatal shot was fired.
The sheriff's office immediately referred the case to the State Bureau of Investigation, standard practice in an officer-involved shooting. The Harnett County District Attorney's Office used evidence gathered by the SBI in trying to indict Kehagias on a charge of second-degree murder, but a grand jury decided not to pursue a criminal case against Kehagias, and Livingston's family and friends vowed to seek justice elsewhere.
"He had no right to be there, let alone kick down the door when he was denied entrance to the home," said Stephanie Donovan, whose son lived with Livingston.
"We certainly believe there was probable cause that a crime was committed," family attorney Robert Zaytoun said, "based upon what I think is going to be incontroverted (evidence) about what happened and what placed those deputies in the home wrongfully of John Livingston."
According to friends, Livingston told deputies that the man they were searching for was not in his home, but they insisted on entering.
His death and another at the hands of Harnett deputies in 2013 were the subject of an in-depth report Sunday in the News & Observer. The families of Livingston and Christian Gregg say that investigation revealed new information in the case.