Party promoter linked to UNC's Hairston accepts plea deal
Posted November 20, 2013 1:48 p.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2013 5:25 p.m. EST
Durham County, N.C. — 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.