Trespassing and weapons charges against a process server attempting to deliver a subpoena to Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter have been dropped by prosecutors, according to public documents on file at the Lee County Clerk of Court.
Multiple outlets reported last week that a federal judge had granted a restraining order against Carter in connection with the arrest of the 71-year-old process server, Robert Terry Wade of Clayton. Wade was charged on May 12 by Lee deputies with trespassing and carrying a concealed weapon as he attempted to bring the subpoena to testify in a federal lawsuit against the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to Carter at his home.
According to WRAL, Wade said in court documents that “when he showed up at Carter’s house, the sheriff yelled at him and blocked him from leaving until deputies showed up to arrest the man.”
Tuesday, Lee County prosecutor Ray Pleasant signed a dismissal of both charges, writing “interest of justice” as his rationale.
The Sanford Herald reported Saturday (subscription required) that all of the parties in the lawsuit, including Carter and Lee County Attorney Kerry Schmid, had declined comment. But a magistrate’s order obtained by the Rant outlines in legalese the sheriff’s version of events.
The order indicates that Brad Wood, a Winston-Salem attorney contracted by the county to defend against the lawsuit, had ordered Wade to deliver any subpoenas to him personally.
“…the defendant named above unlawfully and willfully did without authorization enters (sic) and remains (sic) on the premises of TRACY CARTER,” reads the order, before noting that he had been “notified not to enter or remain there by the owner, a person in charge of the premises and a lawful occupant, TRACY CARTER VIA LEE COUNTY ATTORNEY BRAD WOOD.”
The order also indicates that the concealed weapon in question was a “SMITH AND WESSON BODYGUARD .380 PISTOL.”
According to The Herald’s report, the lawsuit itself dates to 2009, when Steven Wayne Thomas “sued the sheriff’s office for $5 million … after an incident in which he alleged deputies used excessive force by punching him repeatedly and shocking him with a stun gun after he was handcuffed on the ground.”
Thomas’ attorney is Kieran Shanahan, a Republican and onetime Raleigh City Councilman who also served as N.C. Governor Pat McCrory’s Superintendent of Public Safety for several months in 2013.