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Sheriff Elks and his wife speak out about death threat plot

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Oct 19 2012 06:37:48 PM CDT
GREENVILLE -

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks and his wife, Connie, are speaking out about the murder and kidnapping plot where he and his family, and the daughter of an assistant district attorney were threatened.

They said in an interview Friday afternoon, the death threat plot against them and those in the district attorney's office have had them on high alert.

"These were not just jail house threats. These were well planned," Sheriff Elks said.

It was a detailed plan allegedly concocted by Willie Whitehead to get himself out of jail. He is one of four men charged in Hustle Mart triple murders on April 1, 2012 in Farmville.

According to warrants, Whitehead had approached 28-year-old Brandon Johnson to carry out his plots.

"It was quite disturbing and to be honest it has totally consumed me for the last two weeks of how to deal with this thing," Sheriff Elks said.

Sheriff Elks said it's not uncommon to get threats working in his line of profession. However, it was an interview tape with a witness that made him realize these threats were different.

"It was enough mention about personal habits and where people frequent that would make you sit on the edge of your seat," he said.  

His wife, Ccnnie, said she knew this was a big deal when she saw the panic on his face.

"It was a little nerve-wracking. The worst part of it was having to tell our children and we felt obligated to tell them so they would protect themselves," she said.

Connie said what most people don't know is how much time her husband spent worrying about protecting his family.

"He was up many many hours checking doors. Checking windows. He just felt guilt...because if anything were to happen to any of us he felt it would be because of his job," she said.

Connie said she does feel some relief knowing someone has been charged in the case. However, Sheriff Elks said it's going to take some time before he truly feels like the threat is over.

"What I'm afraid of now is what I don't know. Who else has been contacted. Who else has taken the offer," he said.

Whitehead is being held under a $5,000,000 bond. He is charged with two counts of solicitation to commit 1st degree murder and solicitation to commit 1st degree kidnapping.

Johnson, who was approached to carry out the plots, has not been charged with any crimes connected with this alleged threat.