Criminal Justice

Lawyer acquitted in voice-mail intimidation case

A North Carolina lawyer who told a sheriff’s detective in a voice mail that he would “whup your ass real bad” has been acquitted in a criminal trial.

Jurors acquitted Greenville lawyer David Sutton on Thursday on charges of intimidating a witness and obstruction of justice, report WITN, WCTI12 and the Greenville Daily Reflector.

Sutton had maintained the comment referred to his plan to beat the detective at trial when she appeared as a witness against Sutton’s client. Sutton’s client was accused of hitting her daughter with a skillet.

His voice mail said: “I don’t know what you’re doing. You obviously don’t know what the hell you’re doing. So I’m just going to whup your ass real bad next week unless you get your ass down there and get this case dismissed. Do your job and have some sense.”

Jurors began deliberating around 11 a.m. on Thursday and returned a verdict around 2:45 p.m.

Sutton still faces an ethics hearing stemming from the incident, according to SCTI12.

Story updated at 7:30 a.m. to correct spelling of “whoop” to “whup.”

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