Party promoter linked to UNC's Hairston pleads not guility
Posted November 5, 2013
Durham, N.C. — Haydn "Fats" Thomas, the Durham party promoter linked to rental cars driven by University of North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston, pleaded not guilty Tuesday on drug and weapons charges. Thomas' attorney, Randy Griffin, said he is holding out hope of resolving the matter without the need for a trial.
Prosecutors offered Thomas a plea deal in July, but he has not decided if he will accept it.
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.
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 of the summer. On May 13, he was stopped for speeding while driving a Hertz rental car that was paid for Thomas' wife.