Sheriff helped plot his own deputy’s killing over ‘racially offensive’ tape, prosecutors say

According to the indictment, Wilkins found out in 2014 that Joshua Freeman claimed to have a recording of the sheriff using “racially offensive language,” and that the deputy planned to publicly reveal the tape and turn it over to authorities in Raleigh. It’s unclear what Wilkins might have said on that alleged tape or what became of the recording.

In the August 2014 phone call, prosecutors said, Wilkins’s “personal animosity” toward Joshua Freeman led him to go along with the plan to kill the deputy. The recorded call makes it clear the sheriff had no intention to protect Freeman or intervene, according to the indictment.

On the call, the sheriff advised the unnamed man, whom Wilkins knew, that “if you need to take care of somethin’, just take care of something,” according to the indictment.

The man gave Wilkins a specific time and location detailing when he planned to kill Joshua Freeman, plus described the firearm he planned to use in the shooting, the indictment says.

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