Monday, June 24, 2024

Wilmington council member invokes Trump in statement on contempt arrest

Council member Kevin Spears offers comment on his Monday arrest for contempt of court. (Port City Daily/file photo)

WILMINGTON — A council member addressed his arrest at Tuesday’s Wilmington City Council meeting after being released from jail that morning, though his statement touched little on the events in his case. 

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Council member Kevin Spears was present in Columbus County Court Monday for a child custody hearing and was found to be disruptive, according to the district attorney’s office. Details of the incident have included Spears not answering questions on the stand and engaging in “irrelevant banter,” despite being warned of its impropriety. 

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office arrested Spears for criminal contempt; he was held without bond but released at noon Wednesday.

Spears took some time at the end of Tuesday’s council meeting to address the incident, though did not explain why he was arrested or admit fault. Instead, the council member was wry about the arrest, framing it as a positive experience. 

“This is kind of a joke, but I wanted to create an initiative that will put me in a situation that would help me to run for president,” Spears said. 

Former President Donald Trump is undergoing prosecution for falsifying business records and election fraud conspiracy in a New York trial. Trump is simultaneously running for president this year, despite three other indictments, and studies show the majority of surveyed Republicans still support Trump’s bid.

Spears then spoke more directly to Trump’s legal predicament. 

“Trump opted not to testify in his hush money trial — criminal hush money trial — today on Tuesday, bringing his defense to a quick close reading between the lines, clearing the way for the deliberations,” Spears said. “I would say what takes place in court settings between opposing counsels — questions happen between counsel and people, witnesses, and things of that nature — and I would ask a question of what does irrelevant banter mean? To whom? And how is any banter about a person’s life irrelevant?” 

The jail stint was also a learning experience, Spears said. 

“I want to thank Judge Nance and Columbus County Detention Center for helping me to shine a light on issues of jail overcrowding, clean and safe conditions for inmates and staff, better access to resources,” Spears said.

The council member said a “newly-made friend” at the detention center informed him he had yet to receive his medications, prompting Spears to shout-out the inmate and call for the Columbus County Detention Center to make improvements.

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