Six Wake County detention officers suspected of fraternization with inmates

From staff reportsMarch 19, 2014 

— Six officers at the Wake County detention center have resigned or been fired amid accusations that they fraternized with inmates, including one lieutenant said to have given preferential treatment to Amanda Hayes, the woman convicted last month of second-degree murder in a high-profile trial.

“During the Amanda Hayes trial, we received information indicating that a member of our detention staff may have been showing Mrs. Hayes favoritism,” said Capt. Jimmy Stevens, a spokesman for the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail.

The sheriff’s office began an internal investigation into the accusations. Lt. Linda Hicks resigned on March 3, and the investigation into her case was discontinued, Stevens said. She was employed by the sheriff’s office for nearly 17 years.

The inquiry also widened to include several other employees.

“During the course of that investigation, it was discovered that other detention officers might be fraternizing with inmates unrelated to the Hayes situation,” Stevens said, reading from a prepared statement.

The sheriff’s office subsequently fired five other detention officers on March 7 for “unbecoming conduct,” he said.

According to Stevens, they were: Shaniqua Robinson, an employee since May 2012; Sheree Bates, hired November 2013; Lauryn Whittler, hired October 2013; Annette James, hired April 2006; and Sheila Banks, hired April 2011.

Stevens declined to comment on how the officer’s suspected interactions with inmates would have broken the department’s rules, saying it was not public record. The sheriff’s office does not suspect any criminal violations by any of the officers involved, Stevens wrote in an email.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service