Harnett County hires outside attorney to aid federal investigation response
Posted May 11
Updated May 16
Lillington, N.C. — Harnett County on Wednesday approved the hiring of an outside attorney to help respond to a federal inquiry into allegations of misconduct by the Harnett County Sheriff's Office in the 2015 shooting death of a Spring Lake man.
County commissioners approved the hiring of Dan Boyce of Nexsen Pruet, who is a former federal prosecutor, to help guide the county's response. The federal investigation into the 2015 death of John Livingston, 33, who was shot and killed on his porch by Harnett County deputy Nicholas Kehagias, was opened in early May.
"We plan to fully comply with federal investigators while conducting our own independent assessment of the situation," Harnett County Manager Joseph Jeffries said Wednesday in a statement.
Deputies in 2015 were searching Livingston's home in response to an assault investigation, according to previous reports. Livingston challenged the deputies, who did not have a warrant to search the home, before being shot.
The Harnett County District Attorney's Office tried to indict Kehagias on a charge of second-degree murder, but a grand jury decided not to pursue a criminal case against the deputy.