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Wife says alleged assault by husband a 'misunderstanding'

By WCTI Staff
Published On: May 14 2014 04:23:49 PM CDT
Updated On: May 15 2014 04:57:59 PM CDT
BEAUFORT COUNTY -

The wife of a former Pamlico County jailer accused of assaulting her told NewsChannel 12 the incident was a misunderstanding.

Phillip Shanks Jr. was a jailer for the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office when he was arrested on Wednesday. Shanks allegedly assaulted his pregnant wife at their home on Cherry Run Road near Washington earlier that day, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Shanks is charged with assault on a female, battery of an unborn child, and communicating threats.

But Shanks' wife told NewsChannel 12 Thursday that she did not call deputies; someone else did. She said the incident was a misunderstanding that has been blown out of proportion. She asked a close friend, Koiwan Keyes to speak on behalf of the couple's relationship. 

"I think this whole situation is nothing more than an argument between husband and wife that got blown out of proportion," Keyes said.

The local pastor said he's known the victim for about 8 years. Keyes said her husband has always been devoted to his family.

"Shanks is probably one of the hardest working people I know. When we first met he was working two jobs for his family," Keyes said.

Keyes said he was helping the two prepare a nursery for the couple's baby the day the incident happened.

"Probably a lot of stress going on and just had a regular argument," Keyes said.

Shanks was released from jail on a $500 bond. He worked as a jailer for the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office for two years, but no longer works there following his arrest, said Sheriff Billy Sawyer Jr. There is no word on whether he resigned or was fired.

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An employee with the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his pregnant wife.

Phillip Shanks Jr. allegedly assaulted his pregnant wife at their home on Cherry Run Road northwest of Washington Wednesday, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. 

However, Shanks' wife was not taken to a hospital, said investigators. No other details on the incident have been released.

Shanks was arrested later on Wednesday and has been charged with assault on a female, battery of an unborn child, and communicating threats, said investigators. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Shanks was still in jail, although there was no word on his bond.

Investigators said Shanks is an employee with the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office. NewsChannel 12 is working to learn his exact position.