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home : news : law enforcement July 18, 2019

4/29/2019 1:45:00 PM
No Jail Time For Reid
Probation & community service are ordered among conditions of sentence

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

Jason Reid, a former Lincoln County deputy, former Captain with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, and former candidate for Sheriff of Catawba County entered a guilty plea in a plea bargain agreement in Lincoln County Superior Court Monday (April 29th) to one felony count of larceny and one misdemeanor count each of cyberstalking and willfully failing to discharge duties. 

He was sentenced to 30 months supervised probation and 240 hours of community service. He will also have to surrender his law enforcement certification, surrender any firearms he owns and submit to drug testing, and not have any contact with the victim in the case, Erica Sigmon. She and Reid had dated from late 2015 until early 2017 before breaking up. That's when the trip down the wrong road apparently started for Reid.

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The case dragged on for a year and a half. During that time district attorneys Mike Miller and David Learner both issued Giglio letters saying that Reid would not be allowed to testify in cases they would try. The US Attorney's Office also said that it would not prosecute cases in which Reid had taken part.

While Sigmon was in court Monday, she did not testify. Instead, Special Prosecutor Boz Zellinger with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office gave details of the case. He said that in early August 2017, Sigmon was having dinner at a restaurant with her boyfriend when she got a text message from Reid with a photo of her car parked at the boyfriend's home in Lincoln County. When the couple returned to the home, Sigmon said a friend found the tracking device. She notified the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff David Carpenter turned the case over to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Prior to the tracking device incident, Sigmon told investigators that Reid had expressed a desire to get back together and sent her flowers on her birthday in May 2017. The invoice for the flowers was shown in court as were several text messages sent to Sigmon by Reid.

The SBI said the tracking device came from a company owned by Reid's uncle that sold tracking devices to the sheriff's office. The SBI executed a search warrant on the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office on April 19, 2018. The SBI discovered that the sheriff's office had purchased three tracking devices, but one had been missing since about the same time that Sigmon said she discovered a device on her vehicle. Reid was then working as a Captain in charge of the Narcotics Division, and he had signed the invoice for the devices.

The SBI got help from the FBI in solidifying the case against Reid, who maintained his innocence throughout. On the eve of the Republican Primary for Sheriff last year, he said it was Sigmon who had stolen the device and placed it on her vehicle.

Reid was originally charged with one felony count of embezzlement by a local officer, one felony count of larceny and one misdemeanor count each of cyberstalking, stalking and willfully failing to discharge duties. That was in June 2018.

The plea bargain agreement means Reid won't go to prison--he could have received a relatively short sentence--but his career in law enforcement is over. He had hoped to succeed his father, Coy, as Sheriff of Catawba County.

Sheriff Don Brown, who easily beat Reid in the election last May, issued a statement on the case. In a news release he said "Today closes an unfortunate chapter which has effected the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement and the County as a whole. Events like this have a profound impact on the public’s trust in law enforcement. When I took office in December of last year I immediately ordered an internal investigation into this matter and other allegations of criminal conduct. Today, with the conclusion of our investigations and the guilty plea in Lincoln County, we can move forward. It has been and will continue to be a priority of mine to restore and build public trust and confidence in the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.”

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