Local News

Party promoter linked to UNC's Hairston accepts plea deal

Posted November 20, 2013

Haydn 'Fats' Thomas

— Haydn "Fats" Thomas, the Durham party promoter linked to rental cars driven by University of North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston, accepted a plea agreement Wednesday on drugs and weapons charges.

Under the agreement, Thomas will receive a suspended sentence, serve three years of probation, perform 100 hours of community service and undergo substance abuse assessment.

Prosecutors offered Thomas a plea deal in July, but he had not decided whether to accept it and entered a not guilty plea earlier this month. He made no comment during Wednesday’s hearing in Durham County Superior Court.

Thomas, who has a criminal record dating to 2006, was arrested in Durham last December on charges of maintaining a dwelling for selling a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a firearm by a convicted felon. In a hearing on the case in June, Griffin, expressed concern that his client could not get a fair trial because of his widely publicized links to UNC basketball players.

He was facing a maximum of 47 months on the firearms charge and 28 months on the drug charges.

Thomas' history includes at least nine offenses – four of them felonies – in Durham and Wake counties over the past seven years. His offenses include drug paraphernalia possession, obtaining property by false pretense, carrying of a concealed weapon, possession of stolen goods and printing and spending false money.

Hairston and two others were arrested in June when police found marijuana in their vehicle during a traffic stop. Hairston was also charged with driving without a license, and the vehicle, a rented GMC Yukon, was traced back to Thomas.

Hairston told police a man he referred to as "Fats" gave him the car to visit friends in Atlanta.

The arrest was Hairston's second run-in with the law. On May 13, he was stopped for speeding while driving a Hertz rental car that was paid for Thomas' wife.

Thomas has links as well to current UNC basketball player Leslie McDonald, former basketball players John Henson, Dexter Strickland and Harrison Barnes and former UNC football player Greg Little.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Stilllearnin Nov 20, 2013

    This is prime example of the judicial system not enforcing existing laws, probation for a felon in possession of a firearm sends a terrible message to those who want to carry a firearm and know they are prohibited to do so;

  • packalum09 Nov 20, 2013

    GETOUT- Roy and K don't go after lower level talent because they want to win!! They're going to go after the best and the most talented players out there. Will they get their money as a result, of course. Besides, I don't think it works that way in the ACC...the money is split amongst the schools.

    Additionally, I think what OS says applies to all schools. I mean, there's some shady stuff going on at both Duke and NCSU as well. These other schools just haven't been caught yet.

  • GETOUT Nov 20, 2013

    They keep handing out jerseys because these kids bring millions of dollars to these schools. The athletic directors, coaches, and everyone in each school knows it. They do whatever they can legal and illegal to get these kids to commit. They just hope everything stays quiet and not get to the level as UNC. Why don't you think K and Roy don't go after lower level talent??? Because lower level talent doesn't put people in the seats and fewer people in the seats mean less money for the school, which means less money in their pocket..

  • Indifferent...sometimes Nov 20, 2013

    Seems like he was already performing a community service. OS, you make some very valid points that should be given due consideration by everyone. Why are schools continuing to hand out jerseys to these kids?

  • noonya Nov 20, 2013

    "The arrest was Hairston's second of the summer. On May 13, he was stopped for speeding while driving a Hertz rental car that was paid for Thomas' wife."

    Did he get arrested for speeding on 5/13?

  • KillswitchEngage Nov 20, 2013

    So he's had 9 previous offenses, including 4 felonies, on top of his current drug/weapons charges, and he gets 3 years probation? What a joke.

    Has never served a day...

  • fbguru Nov 20, 2013

    Why is this man not serving time???? I guess the same reason PJ wasn't convicted and will be playing college basketball again this year. Money talks!

  • Objective Scientist Nov 20, 2013

    As a "Carolina alumnus" I read this article and conclude that we - "UNC" - absolutely must do a better job of vetting the character and background of athletes we recruit and to whom we award scholarships - in effect "rolling out the red carpet" for them and treating them like "Gods". We must also do a better job of "educating" UNC students and fans about what it means to be an athlete with "North Carolina" and "Tar Heels" on the uniforms while representing the University. The greatest sign for me that indicates a need for such education was Hairston receiving the ovation he did when appearing at "Roy's Night Out". RIDICULOUS! I wanted to ask each person clapping and yelling for Hariston-- WHAT ARE YOU THINKING???

    The "thought" that any athlete at UNC would associate with the likes of this character "FATS" is unsettling! My statements thus far apply specifically to UNC... but - it could and likely does apply to most, if not all, NCAA D-I schools.

  • BlueDeviIs00 Nov 20, 2013

    So he's had 9 previous offenses, including 4 felonies, on top of his current drug/weapons charges, and he gets 3 years probation? What a joke.