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DA: Sheriff "unprofessional" in bomb threat allegations

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Apr 25 2014 10:59:41 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2014 08:39:23 PM CDT
ONSLOW COUNTY -

The district attorney announced Friday that there is no credible evidence to suggest Onslow County sheriff candidate Hans Miller was involved in any bomb threats, calling current Sheriff Ed Brown "unprofessional" in making the allegations.

In a phone conversation with Miller on April 11, Sheriff Brown said he was told that Miller was connected with the numerous bomb threats against schools and businesses in Onslow County over the past few months.

Sheriff Brown said he was told by the teen charged in those threats that Miller was involved.

"This young man has told me you're the reason for these bomb threats and the general public is going to believe that," Sheriff Brown said in the phone conversation.  "I've been told that you incited it, caused the bomb threats and I don't know what to do but hand it over to the district attorney for an investigation."

(CLICK HERE: Hear more from the phone call.)

But District Attorney Ernie Lee said Friday morning the only "evidence" that Sheriff Brown had was the fact that the teen suspect had looked at the 'Hans Miller for  Sheriff' Facebook page.

Lee said he has read hundreds of documents and listened to hours of recordings, and has determined that neither Miller nor his staff had anything to do with the bomb threats.

Lee also said he has determined that Brown's phone call was protected under the First Amendment and did not violate election or criminal rules. But Lee did say he does not agree with what Brown did.

"I do not condone the actions or words of Sheriff Brown during his phone call to Hans Miller on April 11, 2014. I find those actions and words to be unprofessional and to reflect unfavorably upon Sheriff Brown," Lee said.

"When someone makes an allegation against you that is false, the trust goes away," said Miller.

Sheriff Brown and Miller, both Republicans, will face off in the primary on May 6. The winner will face Democrat Scott Himes in November.

Meanwhile, the teen charged for the series of Onslow County bomb threats, 18-year-old Gerald Jackson, had his bond reduced from $103,000 to $50,000 Friday morning. He was also told he cannot use any electronic communication device and cannot go on any school property.

According to investigators, Jackson was responsible for 20 bomb threats to Onslow County schools and businesses since mid-February.