Local News

Sheriff's Deputy Accused of Stealing Guns While on the Job

Posted January 22, 2008
Updated January 23, 2008

— A Franklin County sheriff's deputy is out of a job after being charged with larceny.

Richard (Ricky) Bryan Shearin was accused of stealing guns from a Louisburg home on Aug. 18. He and other emergency workers were at the home of David Gillespie Sr. responding to a 911 call.

When they arrived, Gillespie's body was found inside. He had died of natural causes.

Investigators said Shearin then stole two valuable pistols and an UZI 9mm submachine gun from the home.  He returned the guns after a family member reported them missing.

Shearin was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 21 in response to the incident. He was fired Tuesday after being indicted on three counts of larceny of a firearm.

“It's my job to run this place fairly, in an honest, upfront manner to the public and I'm not going to tolerate these kind of actions with my employees,” Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green said.

Green said he will call a meeting Wednesday to address his staff about Shearin's actions.

This is the second incident involving a Franklin County sheriff's deputy in less than a month. Deputy Crystal Mitchell struck and killed a pedestrian on New Year's Eve when responding to a non-emergency call.


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  • mindcrime Jan 24, 2008

    @Neutral Observer: maybe, maybe not. What does that have to do with anything? The point still remains that cops do not have any special authority that allows them to violate the inalienable rights of sovereign individuals. And we all have an innate right to self-defense, that certainly extends to defending ourselves against police. A tin badge and a gun do not make one man superior to another.

    Sure cooperate with the cops as long as you feel that it's justified. 998 times out of 1000 that works out fine. But if a cop is threatening your health, safety, and welfare, your are certainly justified in defending yourself.

    As this story illustrates, cops are fundamentally just normal people: some good, some bad. In either case, there's no reason to let them trample on your rights.

  • OD Norwood Jan 23, 2008

    Would it be Law Enforcement Officer?

  • OD Norwood Jan 23, 2008

    In the context of this story; can someone explain to me what LEO means? I'm not up on the law enforecment acronyms.

  • mindcrime Jan 23, 2008

    @Godshelper: What you think you have the authority to do is irrelevant. My right to self defense is absolute, and it is absolute since I, as a sovereign individual, decree it so. Would I resist a cop with force? Under most circumstances no, because I (generally) trust the criminal justice system to function as designed and would expect to be freed if I'd done nothing wrong. But would I resist a cop with everything up to, and including, lethal force under certain circumstances? Absolutely. And in that case, yes, somebody might lose their life. All I can say is that if it comes to that, I'll do everything in my power to make sure it's the other guy. And I expect him to do the same. BTW, the courts have ruled on numerous occasions that individuals can resist a false arrest forcefully, FWIW. But what I'm talking about transcends the opinion of "the courts" anyway.

  • neutral observer Jan 23, 2008

    Mr. Minecrime, if not for LEO's, big boys like you would be eaten for breakfast by criminals.

  • say cheese Jan 23, 2008

    The good ole boy network must be falling apart. This stuff has gone on for years. Corruption in law enforcement is nothing new. The tolerance has changed. Zero tolerance is the way to go!

  • godshelper Jan 23, 2008

    mindcrime, the right to self defense is questionable. If you are saying that a person has the right to willfully and wantonly disobey a direct order and defend themselves against an officer, you could have just costed someone there life. If I were to stop a car and the person was combative and hostile towards me because....all criminals have law degrees, someone is going to get hurt, and it's not me. I do not support what this officer has done nor do I think he needs a job anymore.

  • VT1994Hokie Jan 23, 2008

    How many times have we listened to TV reports and read in the media about law enforcement personnel doing something like this. This is another reason why most citizens don't trust their neighbor.

    But, it semms there are more cases of abuse like this lately than I can remember of late. I hope that he has to serve several years.

  • mindcrime Jan 23, 2008

    Perfect example of why we should *never* assume that cops are in any way special. They are just regular joes, some good, some bad, all human and imperfect. But because they get to carry guns and that stupid little tin badge, some of them think they are above the law and can do whatever they want.

    Folks, anytime you deal with police/cops/deputies remember this: YOUR inalienable rights are absolute, and your right to self defense, your right to your property, etc., always trump any sort of authority claimed by the State (whether it's manifested as the State of NC, a County, City, Town, whatever).

  • empowered activist Jan 23, 2008

    The Franklin County Sheriif department is nothing but a bunch of racist good ole boys. They fired Lt' Lynch for being active in politics and voicing his opionon. Then they lie and maniuplate to franklin county , bob etheridge, and a few banks to buy a beat up old helicopter tha kills a deputy. How noone went to jail for that i dont know?. oh yeah the DA is in with them! Not to mention the imcompetence of the county jail in lettimg a prisoner die without her medicine in custody.