The public may have to wait on results from the State Bureau of Investigation to find out what led to Commissioner Thurman Houston stabbing a man.
Houston, himself, could explain, but so far he hasn’t responded to Scoop questions, including whether the stabbing was in self defense. Another email sent yesterday went unanswered.
The police department has locked the incident report, meaning only a select few people can see it. Sources inside the police department say reports are typically locked only for high-profile or ongoing cases.
No charges were filed against Houston, but the town handed the case over to the SBI on Wednesday – 12 days after the incident occurred – due to possible conflicts of interest.
“Any criminal investigative record is not a matter of public record,” said Mooresville Police Department Deputy Chief Gerald Childress in response to Scoop questions on Friday. “If there is a conflict of interest for a crime committed in Mooresville, the Chief of Police, in consultation with the District Attorney, determines if an outside agency is warranted.”
Childress declined to answer questions about Houston being a suspect in a crime or about MPD reaching out to the SBI – including who called and on what date. He referred those questions to state investigators.
The stabbing occurred on May 10, several hours after the funeral for slain MPD Officer Jordan Sheldon. As per protocol, employees of Lake Norman Regional Medical Center reported to MPD that night that a person had arrived at the hospital with a stab wound. Mooresville police officers were not on duty; other agencies were covering shifts to give MPD employees time off for Sheldon’s funeral.
News of the incident involving Houston caught members of Mooresville’s board of commissioners by surprise last week. They say they will wait for SBI answers.
Commissioner Eddie Dingler, responding to Scoop questions about whether board members think it’s acceptable for an elected official to stab someone, replied: “No. We are not above the law, and we should be held accountable for our actions.
“It’s pretty tragic,” he added. “So much is going on in town right now, and this is just one more thing. I hate it all the way around.”
Commissioner Gary West said that aside from a defense of self-protection, “a jury of your peers will decide, based on the evidence presented, if such evidence exists to bring criminal charges.
“It is a troubling accusation,” he said, “especially on the heels of Officer Sheldon’s funeral. I will have to defer to the SBI, though, as they have access to the report and the status of this report as I do not.”
Added Mayor Miles Atkins: “When it comes to any kind of criminal complaints or investigations, I leave that to law enforcement officials and the District Attorney’s office.”
Commissioner Lisa Qualls said that she, like the others, was caught off-guard by the news: “I was unaware of the incident and trust that the proper channels are in motion for investigation of the facts of the alleged incident.”
We will continue to follow this developing story …