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Sampson deputy cleared of wrongdoing

Posted July 24, 2009
Updated August 1, 2014

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Editor's Note: Subsequent investigations cleared Deputy Bobby Smith of any wrongdoing. The district attorney's office resumed prosecuting Smith's cases. He remained with the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, and as of August 2014, was a sergeant who oversees booking at the county jail.

Sampson County's district attorney says he won't prosecute any cases handled by a sheriff's deputy.

Citing "false and misleading information" in Deputy Bobby Smith's reports, District Attorney Dewey Hudson said in a June 30 memo to all court officers that he would no longer prosecute any criminal cases the narcotics investigator has handled.

Hudson, the chief prosecutor in the Fourth Prosecutorial District, which also includes Duplin, Jones and Onslow counties, said he based the decision on two felony cases from Smith that he has had to dismiss.

"I found in one case, when a husband and wife were charged, he had misunderstood the law and that they probably should not have been charged," Hudson said.

In another case, Hudson said Smith falsely reported seeing a drug suspect running out of a building.

"I'm not going to sit here and say Mr. Smith is corrupt," Hudson said. "The quality of how he handled these particular cases concerns me so that I was compelled to do what I did."

Smith, who has been in law enforcement for 16 years and has worked in Sampson County since 2006, is currently on administrative duty.

"He's a good employee, but we are concerned," Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said.

Thornton said he began his own inquiries after Hudson alerted him weeks before the memo.

Hudson will review all of Smith's cases from last year. It's unclear how many cases Hudson's decision will affect or if Smith acted illegally.

"We'll just have to wait and see," Thornton said. "Just because there may be a dark cloud out there, doesn't mean it's going to rain."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • tatermater Jul 24, 2009

    I am appaled by the apparent lack of information in this story and the fact that WRAL would feel the need to rush it as news. There is no mention as to how the deputy was found to be at fault, there is no mention of due process for the deputy. There is simply one who has decided he is the all encompassing law. I am disturbed that the apparent lynch mob is ready to convict someone who has been in law enforcement a great number of years on two of how many cases? I wish WRAL would be responsible and have facts to post in their stories before they roll with a story that I would imagine could destroy this deputy and his career without cause.

  • Apex Man Jul 24, 2009

    How many other law enforcement people have done the same as this deputy? How many District Attorney's could care less and would like to have a deputy make false claims, as a jury is more likely to believe a deputy then a defendant?

    Smith, who has been in law enforcement for 16 years and has worked in Sampson County since 2006, is currently on administrative duty. Where did he come from that he basically worked there for 16 years before going to Sampson County? Was he a problem before he was hired in Sampson County? What is the rest of the story?


  • BlueLine503 Jul 24, 2009

    The DA needs to have the SBI look into the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy down there too. They are both crooks...I know from experience.

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Jul 24, 2009

    It's already "rained". Now they've got to clean it up.

    If he's become a liability, they know what to do.

  • teacher-mom Jul 24, 2009

    If they will not try his cases, what good is he as an employee? Fire him.

  • Boogalooboy Jul 24, 2009

    he is trying, maybe he, the deputy, will say I will not arrest anyone unless i'm 200% sure they are guilty...then we will not need the DA, jurors or judges...now that's saving $$$$

  • mrcritic Jul 24, 2009

    haha... jurydoc... not a thing

  • sniper Jul 24, 2009

    Good qustion jurydoc... Absolutely nothing!

  • jurydoc Jul 24, 2009

    What does the caption under the picture of the DA have to do with the story???

  • protestthis Jul 24, 2009

    What difference does that make? He has not been charged with anything?