Local News

Harnett deputy won't face charges in fatal shooting

Posted April 11, 2016

— A Harnett County grand jury decided Monday there isn't enough evidence to indict a deputy involved in a fatal shooting last fall.

John Livingston, 33, was shot and killed on the front porch of his Spring Lake home Nov. 15 by Deputy Nicholas Kehagias.

Deputies arrived at Livingston's Everett Street home to investigate a reported assault. Witnesses say Livingston told deputies the couple they were looking for didn't live there, and when deputies asked to search the home, he refused because they didn't have a search warrant.

Authorities said Livingston then became combative and was shot. A deputy suffered minor injuries in the confrontation.

An autopsy determined that Livingston had alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time and that he had been shot three times from an "indeterminate/distant range."

Friends, relatives and other supporters of Livingston gathered outside of the Harnett County Courthouse on Monday to pray while the grand jury hearing went on behind closed doors inside.

"He needs to go to prison," Maria Arias, a friend of Livingston's, said of the Kehagias. "Harnett County is filthy. They need to clean it up. They stink, and they need to throw out the trash."

"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.

"I've never seen John get violent with anyone. Everyone in the neighborhood loved him," said Jessika Cardwell, the mother of Livingston's three young children. "They get scared whenever they see a cop now. They teach you in school to respect cops. I try to tell them that all cops aren't bad."

A State Bureau of Investigation agent and some witnesses testified before the grand jury. An attorney for Kehagias asked that the deputy be allowed to testify, but his request was denied.

When word came down that Kehagias wouldn't be charged, the crowd outside was devastated.

"I'm just in shock right now. This was our only hope," Cardwell said, choking back tears.

"I'm not surprised. This is Harnett County," Arias said. "Time to take the garbage out."


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  • Betsy Riggins Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    I am surprised this isn't national news. I hope the family sues for violation of his constitutional rights and wrongful death. Personal liberty - " To be secure in one's person, house, papers, vehicle, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures."

  • Dirk Snedly Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Another cop gets away with cold blooded, premeditated murder.

    Call the police at your risk, they are morally indistinct from MS13, the Bloods, the Hells Angels, or any other heavily armed criminal gang.

  • Steven Reynolds Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    That is unless there is absolute proof that a life is in danger, within the house. However I don't see any mention of that here.

  • Ryan Sakrison Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    You can spin all the "what-ifs" that you want to, but without a warrant you can't enter the house. Doesn't matter if someone is drunk in their own house. I'm curious if the couple that LEO was looking for was even *IN* the house even if the victim said they weren't. I've read no indications they were even there.

  • Rudy Bizzell Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Ben Franklin Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Its called he Constitution and the right to say no. I also think cops should also be drug tested when they kill someone.

  • Mark Cooper Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    There is a concept that the punishment fits the crime. A person does not deserve to be shot on his own porch no matter what is in his system. A large part of the problem is police are not given enough training in de escalating a situation.

    This article has a video in it that is a wonderful example of a training officer trying to explain de escalation to an officer and the officer says that sticking a gun in the person face is de escalating (in a very agitated manner to the trainer)... as long as this exist we will have people getting shot on their porch.


  • Rudy Bizzell Apr 12, 2016
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    What do you expect from not to bright grand juries in NC. What if is not a reason to break into his home.I hope his family takes this into the Federal Courts maybe then they will get justice served.

  • Crystal Czeck Apr 12, 2016
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    He had cocaine in his system. He was hardly upstanding. Maria Livingston got it right; they need to clean it up and throw out the trash. And they did. If you have nothing to hide, why keep the police from searching your home? They were responding to a report of assault. What, just leave someone to potentially die in the house because of a drug addict doesn't want you in there? I don't think so.

  • Lewis Smeltzer Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Or they could simply leave. Or sit in their car, or use a stun gun or...

    Cops refuse to back off to allow situations to deescalate. This cop was not in any danger - i.e. the "medium to intermediate range"

  • Sean Creasy Apr 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Authorities said Livingston then became combative and was shot. A deputy suffered minor injuries in the confrontation.
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/harnett-deputy-won-t-face-charges-in-fatal-shooting/15635854/#QaECD04M5sO1m4cQ.99... Once again WRAL has left out one important fact; he didn't become combatant until the deputies tried to FORCE their way into his house after he refused to let them search. With that said it seems that in Harnett Co. you are guilty until prove innocent and they will sling as much mud as possible just to see what sticks in the pursuit of covering their own backsides..