Greenville attorney indicted by grand jury - WRBL

UPDATE: Greenville attorney indicted by grand jury

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A grand jury indicted Greenville attorney David Sutton on criminal charges today.

 Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb says he was indicted on charges of felony intimidating a witness and a new charge of felony obstruction of justice.

Robb says Sutton presented himself to Judge Alma Hinton for a first appearance. He then went to the Pitt County Detention Center for processing, but he remains out on a bond of $15,000.

Judge Hinton set several new bond conditions.

 Sutton's next court date is set for Oct. 10 in Superior Court.  

--- Previous Story ---

New details emerge in the state's case against David Sutton, a well known Greenville attorney. 9 On Your Side has learned that the North Carolina State Bar filed a complaint against Sutton with 6 different claims. If found guilty, the bar could decide to strip away his license.

May 13, 2011 is the first da David Sutton's license came into question---according to a 13 page complaint.

At the time, Sutton represented the mother of Stacey Pollard in a civil suit. The North Carolina State Bar claims that during one of his client's depositions, Sutton interrupted opposing council several times and made rude and inappropriate comments about them after the deposition.

The second claim says Sutton was dishonest and deceitful to the court. The third, he and his office sent a group email that disclosed clients' identities and email addresses and the list goes on.

Overall, Sutton denies any wrong doing in this complaint; he says about 25% of it is true. He was recently in the news for intimidating a state's witness.   

The Pitt County Sheriff's Office charged and arrested him on July 3rd. Last week, the Attorney General's office confirmed they will try the case this coming August.   

Sutton tells 9 On Your Side that he and his legal team are battling both fronts. The outcome of the Bar's complaint will be up to a 3 person disciplinary committee. They are scheduled to meet September 4th.

--- Friday July 19 update---

The State Attorney General confirms his office will prosecute a Greenville attorney for threatening a state's witness.

July 3rd, David Sutton turned himself in after a Magistrate issued a warrant for his arrest. They say he left a deputy what they call an intimidating voicemail.
Sutton was expected to appear in court Thursday. The judge moved the hearing to August 15th.

9 On Your Side spoke to Sutton Friday evening who says, "I don't know if there will be a different outcome. There is no case there. There is no threat there. And I hope it gets resolved."

Sutton also says he is not surprised by the Attorney General's decision to try the case. He calls it a common practice if the defendant in a case has ties to the state attorney's office.

--- Friday July 5 update-----

The NAACP is lashing out at the Pitt County Sheriff's Office for charging a well-known Greenville lawyer with intimidating a state witness.

David Sutton turned himself in Wednesday night after learning the magistrate filed a warrant for his arrest. Friday, he made his first appearance in court.

"I think we're going to win." A confident and adamant group stood before a judge Friday morning, all in support of Sutton.

Sutton's lawyer, Matthew Jackson says his client did not intend to threaten or harm the investigator. "The statement clearly refers to court next week and it's been taken way out of proportion and out of context."

The NAACP also came to Sutton's defense, claiming the Sheriff's Department charged Sutton because of his involvement in the Pactolus Elementary School student case.

"We thoroughly feel that it is retaliation and Sheriff Elks should be ashamed today. He should be ashamed today to allow his officer to be allowed to take this kind of approach," Calvin Henderson said.

But the Sheriff fired back, debunking such allegations."That decision was made unbeknown of any press conference…. and I'm not going to allow people on the street to threaten my officers' lives." Elks adds.

"If you commit a crime you're not exempt and Mr. Sutton even reminded me in jail that he was a big campaign supporter of mine and am I suppose to give him special privileges?"

The Sheriff's Office addressed other allegations that surfaced. Earlier this week, the NAACP accused them of failing to conduct a thorough investigation into the sexual assault of a seven-year-old girl. But the main investigator says they exhausted all potential leads.

"We have no ulterior motive to not do that in this case. There is nothing to benefit us. I am the strongest advocate you'll find for a child. If somebody has perpetrated some crime against a child, especially sexual assault, you are going to find me at the top of the chain saying let's do something about this if we can." Investigator Paula Dance said.

In accordance with the Pitt County Sexual Assault Protocol, the District Attorney's office will review new evidence they requested and will determine whether or not charges are filed in that case.

--- Friday 12 p.m. update ---

A Greenville attorney charged with intimidating a state witness appeared in court Friday morning.

David Sutton a well known attorney across town, made his first appearance this morning.

The Pitt County Sheriff's Office said Sutton left an investigator a threatening voicemail.

However, Sutton's lawyer said he didn't intend to threaten or harm anyone. He also said that when this is all said and done, the law will be on their side.

A judge decided to maintain Sutton's $10,000 secured bond. He is expected to appear in court again on July 18.

If convicted, Sutton faces a maximum sentence of 50 months in prison.

Earlier this week, Sutton was in the news during an NAACP press conference, after he accused the Pitt County Sheriff's Office of dropping the ball in a sexual assault case involving a Pactolus Elementary School student.

Friday, the NAACP released a statement about Sutton's arrest that said, "We feel that had attorney David Sutton not taken a stand to offer his service to the under-served and the African American community, his arrest would have never taken place. This total case has come down to race."

--- Original Story ---

Dave Sutton, the Greenville attorney involved with the NAACP's criticism of a sexual assault investigation, turned himself in Wednesday night after learning he was being sought for intimidating a state witness.

Matthew Jackson, an attorney for Sutton, tells 9 On Your Side, the claims are "blown out of proportion."

Jackson says the charges stem from a child abuse case that Sutton was representing. The witness in question is not connected to the sexual assault investigation of an elementary school student.

Sutton believes the charges against his client are unfounded so he called the District Attorney's Office, requesting they charges be dropped.

But through several back-and-forth conversations, Sutton allegedly threatened a deputy from the Pitt County's Sheriff's Office---that according to Jackson.

Jackson says Sutton did not intend to threaten or harm anyone.

Sutton has first appearance, Friday morning at 9:00 a.m.

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