Local News

News Reporter Indicted On Wiretapping Charges

Posted May 19, 2005

— A former television news reporter who worked in North Carolina found herself in a courtroom Wednesday on wiretapping charges.

Shea Ann DeJarnette, 36, was indicted Wednesday on five counts of wiretapping. She was released from custody without bond.

DeJarnette worked for five years at WBTW News 13 in Florence, S.C., but was assigned to the station's news bureau in Lumberton, N.C.

Sources said she allegedly bugged a phone in the Lumberton newsroom and was fired after a manager discovered it.

A federal indictment states that DeJarnette had a tape recorder, phone-recording device and a two-line phone adapter; and that the wiretap may have been in place for more than a year, from January 2001 to March 2002.

FBI agents would not release a motive, but said they do not expect more arrests.

DeJarnette is currently the director of a Cooperative Extension Service youth program in Robeson County.

In North Carolina, it is legal for reporters to record face-to-face interviews when a tape recorder or video camera is in plain view. It's is also legal to record a phone conversation if one person in the conversations knows its being recorded.

It is illegal, however, for anyone to tap into phones and record conversations when neither party knows about it.

Violators can face up to 10 years in prison, plus fines.

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