Escaped inmate, family members to appear in court next month

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Deputies take William Earl Hewett into custody. Photo courtesy of the BCSO.
Deputies take William Earl Hewett into custody in February. Photo courtesy of the BCSO.

And then there were three.

All but a handful of family members arrested in connection with allegedly helping an inmate escape from the Brunswick County jail have pleaded guilty or had their charges dismissed in Brunswick County District Court.

William Hewett, 22, escaped from the Brunswick County jail at about 4 p.m. Jan. 29, when he reportedly switched arm bands with his brother, Curtis Hewett, who was set to be bonded out, according to Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram. On Feb.3, sheriff’s deputies stormed what was described as a “family compound” off Trails End Drive in Southport, where they arrested William Earl Hewett and several family members.

Read related story: Deputies capture inmate who escaped from Brunswick County jail

Curtis Hewett pleaded guilty last month to assisting in his brother’s escape. He was given a prayer for judgement.  The State dismissed charges against Robert Hewett, 20, and Audry Thompson. Bobby Hewett, Robert Hewett’s father, who was arrested in court while testifying on behalf of his wife during a bond hearing, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor accessory after the fact to William Hewett’s escape.

William Hewett’s mother, Catherine Hewett Carter, and her husband, Earl Carter, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the escape.

Charges are still pending against Caitlyn Olivia Moyer, 23, charged with helping William Hewett escape and harboring an inmate. Moyer was released from jail in February after her $1.5 million bond was unsecured. She is scheduled to appear in Brunswick County District Court on the charges on June 3.

Tanna Lynn Hewett, 36, will also appear in court on June 3 on charges of harboring an escaped inmate, accessory after the fact and animal cruelty.

And William Hewett, who remains in custody at the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $3 million secured bond, is scheduled for an administrative hearing in Brunswick County Superior Court on June 2 on charges of escaping from a county jail, assault with a deadly weapon, flee to elude arrest, possession of marijuana and burning personal property.

William Hewett’s arrest at the Southport compound was after a five-day manhunt, which spanned Brunswick County to Fayetteville, Scotland County, Richmond County and South Carolina.

“This morning around 6:45, we executed a search warrant at his family compound on Trails End in Southport,” Ingram said in February. “We searched several structures, buildings. We found him in a small camper shell located on the edge of the property in an area that was grown up with weeds and vines and several junk items around it.

“Inside he had a sleeping bag, a phone, cushions. He also had a pit bull with him. Everything went fairly smoothly. No one was injured and he was taken into custody without incident. And everyone at the compound was arrested, too, for their roles in aiding and harboring him—being a fugitive—from us.”

One detention officer was fired and three others were disciplined following William Hewett’s escape.

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Caroline Curran is the managing editor of Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6336 or caroline.c@portcitydaily.com. On Twitter: @cgcurran