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Football Coach Found Guilty Of Assault On Female Student
BY ERIC CARLSON
Call it an indiscretion. Consider it a temporary lapse
in judgement. Or blame it on a moment of alcohol-in
Whatever caused South Brunswick High School's
football coach to touch a 17-year-old student at a local
restaurant last November, the result was months of pain,
embarrassment and recrimination for Tina Mount and
the end of a 17-year teaching career for Bill Hewett.
The veteran coach was convicted of assaulting a fe
male Friday. But as his attorney Roy Trest remarked, the
$60 in court costs levied after the guilty verdict seemed
insignificant compared to the price Hewett paid for the
offense while he was supposedly picsumcd innocent.
A! T~r.t r. urging. District Cuuii Juugc Gary Lockiear
agreed to postpone sentencing Hewett as long as he isn't
convicted of a similar offense in the future.
"This man has already been punished beyond any
thing the legislature would allow, as much an any client
I've ever had." Trest argued. "We're talking about a
whole career gone "
Besides losing his job at South Brunswick, Trest said
Hewett was also denied a similar position in Ft. Meyers,
Fla., when school official there learned of the assault
charge. Hewett's ninth-grade daughter was forced to
transfer to a school in Charlotte because "people made
him ou! to be Attila the Hun," Tresi said. Hcwcii has iosi
his North Carolina teaching credentials and is currently
workisg as a cat desman.
In setting aside sentencing. Judge Lockiear said he
rccognized the trouble Hewett had encountered, but in
sisted the damage was self-inflicted and brought about
by Hewett's heavy drinking on the day of the offense
"Lest anyone forget, she is the victim in this case, not
your client," Lockiear said. "He may have taken a hit.
But he brought this upon himself and there are conse
quences for that. I am satisfied that if he had been sober
that night, if he had been thinking clearly, we wouldn't
be here today. I'm sure this sobered him up."
Dressed in a blue dress and white blouse, the tall,
slender teenager was visibly upset by the proceedings
and broke into tears as the judge explained his reasons
for finding Hewett guilty.
Mount testified that she was waiting tables at the
Shamrock restaurant in Southport when Hewett came in
to (he empty dining room at about 8 p.m. When she ac
knowledged recognizing him as a coach and teacher at
her school. Mount said Hewett told her he had been
drinking and asked her not to tell.
He offered to buy her a drink and gave her five dol
lars "to buy one later when site refused. Mount said.
After ordering an appetizer, Hewett asked her to sit at
his table, where he put his arm around her shoulder and
"blew a kiss in my ear," she testified.
Then, as he was standing near the door on the way
out. Mount said Hewett "grabbed my breast." She said it
made her "feel very uncomfortable and very mad." She
said she tried to give back the five dollars, but Hewett
refused and told her, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do
Hewett testified that he "was real upset" that day
about his team losing a playoff game . He said he drank
"a couple beers" while playing goif and had "four or
five drinks" at another bar before coming to the
Shamrock, where he drank more beer.
He admitted offering to buy Mount a drink while the
two sat "shooting the breeze" at his table. Hewett testi
fied that he may have touched Mount during the conver
sation but denied making any other advances.
"I'm a toucher," Hewett said. "I touch people. But I
don't blow kisses in their ears."
On the way out, Hewett said he reached toward
Mount to give her "a little squeeze on the arm" and acci
dentally touched her breast. He said he immediately put
uis bauds to uii. head and apologized several times.
"I did not intend to touch her breast," Hewett said.
In arguing for a nui-guiity ruling. Crest insisted that
Hewett 's action did not constitute an assault, but merely
an unintentional "touching in an inappropriate place" for
which his client gave an immediate apology.
"If that's a crime, then I'm guilty. If that's an assault,
I'm guilty and a lot of other men are guilty," Trest said.
**! hope they don't have to to through what Bill Hewett
Trest suggested ihai the charge might never have been
made if the incident did not involve a coach and a stu
"This case is about a man touching a woman. That's
all it is," Trest said. "But that's not why the TV cameras
are here. They're not here because of what it is. but who
it is. Or who it was. Becausc it was a football coach. But
Assistant District Attorney Lillian Salcines insisted
that Hewett 's action did constitute an assault on a female
as defined by the law.
"We have a grown man who had been drinking a
quite substantial amount of alcohol, who went to a place
of business and touched a woman on the breast." she
said. "There was some fairly inappropriate conversation
leading up to it. The touching made her feci uncomfort
able and at some point everyone realized that he had
done something that was way out of line."
Judge Locklear agreed with Salcines that an assault
"can be an offensive touching that doesn't have to put
hci in fear." He aiso agreed with frest that there can be
incidents of accidental touching that a woman "may not
like, but that do not constitute an assault." But in the end
the judge found the former example to apply in this
"If he simply came in drunk, accidentally touched her
and said he was sorry, I wouldn't think twice about find
ing your client not guilty," Locklear said. "But I believe
her testimony. 1 don't believe your client just stumbled
and grabbed her breast instead of her arm. I find that he
did it intentionally."
Salcines asked the judge make Hewett write a letter of
apology to Mount and to "the community" as part of his
"This has been a very uncomfortable experience for
Ms. Mount," Salcines said. "There has been such an in
terest in this proceeding and it has affected the lives of
manv an aawmw* unity ?!>??? eijiiiia cnft nf rlAcnr# ??
needed. The community is owed an apology. They are
entitled to know that they have been let down."
Judge Locklear denied the request when Trcst argued
that such an admission of guilt could be used as evi
dence in a later civil action.
After wrestling with the arguments of both sides, the
judge agreed to hold sentencing open as long as there
are no further incidents of this sort. He pointed out that
the ruling prevents Hewett from appealing the convic
"I'm trying to think what I would do if this were just
John Doe," Locklear said. "! would probably say 30
days suspended, pay a fine and go home. I am con
cerned about the appearand; of continuing judgment.
The punishment should fit the crime."
"Yes sir. And he's been punished." said Trest. "What
more is there to be served?"
"This case is not just about him. it'* shout y"","
Locklear said to Mount as she wiped tears from her face.
'This young lady has been humiliated and she ought not
to have been put in that situation. However, I think he
has been punished. I know you have."
Normal Weather Anticipated
Tfcmperataies cad rainfall are expected to be "about normal" far the
wat few days, Shallotte Point meteorologusJ Jackson Canady said
tilt expected temperatures to range from (he nud-60# at night into the!
?Mfc daring tfee daytime, v/ttb about one-half inch of rainfall.
Bar tbe period May 31 ttaongh Joo* 6, Canady recorded a high of 90
degrees on June 2 and a low of 63 degrees an Ante 4.
. . - - *.*_?- ? w ??,. ? . . m. ? ? . ?.? ....
w ?J-r iiymi wmmwi wmi a Mgmiy average
iss? far an average dauy temperatnre of 76 degrees, which
he said is aboot 2 degrees above average.
- ft? illl.-iV'T; I.i % ?"??????? utiy-twu oac-fHmdrcdrhs
County's Budget Proposal
Recommends 4 Percent
Increase In School Funds
(Coattaued From Page I -A)
grams, there would be no money
available to continue the extended
day program at county high schools,
to increase local supplements for
teacher assistants, bus drivers and
teachers, or to hire additional non
state teachers, a principal to begin
planning for the new Leland
Elementary School, or a site facilita
tor for the N.C. Information
Highway link-up at West Brunswick
The county allocated another
S260,000 for capital outlay, while
the schools had asked for $2.5 mil
No county funds ate budgeted for
Category I needs, which include site
improvements, repairs and replace
ment* of items such ss roofs ssd
heating systems. In a bottoms-up
budget development process, the 12
schools had requested $468,462 in
Category I funds and another $1.93
million in Category II funds, which
arc used for instructional equipment
The capital outlay allocation in
cludes $15,000 per school in
Category U funds, and $80,000 in
Category 111 to purchase ooe activi
ty bus and one yellow school bus,
but not the two maintenance trucks
requested to replace high-mileage
Those figures don't include costs
of $294,550 in principal and interest
budgeted for debt retirement of old
Series A school bonds and certifi
cates of participation the county ex
pects to issue to finance construc
tion of the new Leland Elementary
Johnston said the school board
had asked for the opportunity to pre
sent its budget needs to the county
?ud to iluu Out details of ihc Lcianu
Elementary School funding pack
age. But with an interim county
manager grappling with a tight bud
get schedule, there hasn't been time
for either, he said.
Sunset Meeting Heats Up Over Mini-Golf Proposal
(Continued From Page 1-A)
said. "I want all those who have a
stake in this to have an opportunity
Gore, a principal in Sunset Beach
& TWin Lakes and whose family
owns the site in question, asked
whether those respondents would
oppose development of island prop
erty already zoned for commercial
When Klinker questioned whether
drafters of the zoning ordinance had
envisioned this type of development
on the island. Gore interjected that
beach business zoning wasn't like it
is now "until that b of a zoning
officer we had at one time screwed it
"She refused to allow a $400,000
swimming pool to be built in front
of where a house was to be built be
cause she said she didn't like look
ing at naked bodies."
"What did you call me?" asked
- former councilwoman and zoning
officer Minnie Hunt from the audi
ence. "Would you say that again
louder so everyone can hear?"
"If you didn't hear it, you didn't
need to," replied Gore.
A related SGmfi by Klinker to
have the planning board consider
doing away with "entertainment
ciirli ? hinon thnrin* ?wl ??hm ? nf
skill" as allowed commercial land
uses on the island died for lack of a
"I don't think we can bring people
down to the beach and not provide
things for them to do," said
Council woman Mary Kwbcrinc
Picking Up Garbage Coats
Starting with the fiscal year be
ginning July 1, local businesses will
be paying more for garbage pickup.
How much depends on the volume
of garbage collected at their estab
lishment. Each hiiKine*? will be
credited with the sum the town pays
for residential pickup, and will pay
any difference between that and
their actual collection cost. Condo
minium* would be considered indi
vidual residential units, not busi
nesses, said Fluegel.
Residential property owners have
been subsidizing commercial
garbage collection with their proper
ty taxes, Fluegel indicated.
No Watercraft Rentals
In light of the town's recent expe
riences with personal watercraft.
Sunset Beach won't be changing its
zoning ordinance to allow a personal
watercraft rental business.
l^st year two businessmen ap
proached the council about the pos
sibility of renting various small wa
tercraft from the beach, and the mat
ter was referred to the planning
board for consideration. Before the
planners could make any recom
mendation to the town council, the
vendors arrived for the Memorial
Day holiday ready to do business,
without a permit or town approval.
Not allowed on the beach, they
set up shop on the Intracoastal
Waterway instead. The operation
caused damage to the marshes and
in!~fered with other besting traffic,
with both the state Division of
Marine Fisheries and the U.S. Coast
Guard responding to complaints.
Town Administrator Linda Fluegel
The operators have been advised
that they were acting illegally and
are not to return.
More recently, a Jet Ski caught on
fire over the weekend, one of two
fires repotted on the island. The 0U1
Hearing June 1 3 On Proposed County Budget
(Continued From Fas* 1-A)
the county nutrition sites com
plained about food quality. County
Manager Wyman Yelton tried to in
crease revenues in the cafeteria by
reducing food portions and increas
ing the cost of meals, but later had
to lower the prices again after busi
"It is anticipated that the cafeteria
will incur a deficit of $4U,UU0 for
the fiscal year ending June 30."
McGinn is said. "Recommended in
this budget is the privatization of the
cafeteria, with only three months
money budgeted to provide for the
operation until contracts can be en
tered into. The board of commis
sioners should study the possible
economy in privatizing the house
keeping and rifaning services for all
county owned buildings."
In his budget message, McGinn is
said he recommended a 4 percent in
crease in spending for Brunswick
County Schools and Brunswick
Community College. However, the
budget worksheet made public
Monday night shows a suggested re
daction of $402,797 in the "net de
partmental" budget for county
schools and an increase of $29,171
Other highlights of the proposed
? A reduction of $137,284 in the
spending sought for the new four
branch county library system, in
cluding $10,000 less than was asked
for new books. A request for
$26/446 in part-time wages was de
nied along with $24,732 for vehicles
and S&J075 worth of travel mileage.
? Nearly $450,000 cut from the
sheriff's requested budget of $2.5
million. Moat of the reduction was
taken from total salaries, which
would increase by only $81,089 in
stead of the $319,903 hike sought
for the department
? An increase of $ 1 36,334 in the
county administration budget, of
which $66,500 would be added to
last year's capital outlay for the pur
chase of land.
? A recommended funding in
crease of $123,531 for emergency
medical services instead of the near
ly $1 million v?ught by the depart
ment. A request for $400,000 in cap
ital improvements was denied along
with $234,000 sought for vehicles.
Another $37,548 was cut from last
year's spending on the 911 Central
? A reduction of $464,713 in
Established Nov. 1, 1962
Published Every Thursday
At 4709 Main Street
ShaUotte, N.C. 28459
IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY
One Year $10 36
Six Months $5.55
KI .CFWHFDF TO
One Year.. $14.86
Six Months $7.90
ELSEWHERE IN U.&A.
One Year .115.95
Six Months $8.35
Second das* postage paid at
ShaUotte , N.C. 28459. USPS 777
780. Postmaster, send address
P.O. Bo* 2558,
ShaUotte, N.C. 28459-2558
spending for county engineering, in
cluding the elimination of last year's
$426,447 capital outlay for future
solid waste disposal sites. The allo
cation for recycling sites was re
duced from $135,000 to $50,000. A
$95,750 capital outlay was recom
mended for heating, ventilation and
air conditioning replacement at the
? A $250,000 outlay suggested
for county legal services, a recom
mended increase of $75,000 over
the current budget.
? More than $600,000 cut from
last year's land records budget,
mostly due to a $566,000 reduction
in spending for contracted services.
I Spending cuts totalling $46,916
for the county parks and recreation
department. Suggested outlays for
the six township parks were reduced
from $254,494 in the 1993-94 hud
get to $147,000 for 1994-95.
Don't miss the July 4th
deadline is June 9!
CALL AN ADVERT1SWC *EPKESBfT*TTVt, 754-6890
er started when someone dumped
hot coals into a grassy area.
OtiiCr njlim "i i
In other business Mayor Barber
named a committee of volunteers
Doug Mehne, John Ewart and
Wayne Run to explore Sunset Meacti
residents' needs and interests in
terms of cable TV service, as the
Atlantic Cable TV franchise comes
up for renewal in 1995. Barber said
he planned to contact David Kanoy,
Eudie Gore, Bud Scrantom and Jim
McDavid, members of an earlier
committee that met only once on the
subject to see if they are interested
? authorized Fluegel to investi
gate the adequacy of a petition for
voluntary annexation from Sea Trail
Corporation for an area within Sea
Trail Plantation 2nd across from
River Creek condominiums that will
include the new subdivisions of
Woodstock Village, Osprey Watch
and Barony Place.
? adopted resolutions establishing
four capital reserve funds to meet
identified future needs, initially
funded as follows: $66^34, water
fund ft n mini IO nwrwil of
% "? - - g? ? ? ? J - "
operating and maintenance costs);
$10,000, water fund, toward paving
the parking area and driveway of the
g?i?gc ?nu maintenance shop;
$60,000, future development, in
cluding beach accessways over
dunes and public restroom facilities;
and $10,0000, beach erosion.
? approved an audit contract with
S. Preston Douglas & Associates not
to exceed $10,650, and expected to
Fed Judge Dis
(Continued From Page 1-A)
making authority to the serotinous
eye of the court," Fox wrote. "It is
this separation of powers that the
doctrine of legislative immunity
seeks to preserve."
Such immunity protects H olden,
Jones and Shaw from having to tes
tify in their defense about their "ob
jectives and motivations" for mak
ing the budget cuts that resulted in
Alexander's termination, the judge
"Plaintiff's claims against the de
fendants in any capacity would tie
cost between $9,950 and $10,650.
? while recognizing the value of
uie walks in pubiic education, took
no action on a request from Bird
Island Preservation Society
President Bill Ducker to exempt
Bird Island nature walk schedules
from the new sign ordinance so the
schedules could continue to be post
ed at hrach crossovers. Isstssd the
matter was referred to the planning
board for consideration of a town
bulletin board on which such notices
could be posted in the future.
? Council authorized seeking
bids for construction of a new town
hall after reviewing schematics
drafted by architects Renaud &
Johnson and presented by Building
Committee members Julia Thomas
and Cherri Cheek. The floor plan "i*
very workable and has good flow,"
t?aiu Cheek, with privacy fur the ad
ministrator, good public access to
departments, and plenty of room for
council meetings. The two estimate
an increase in cost of about $24,000,
reflecting higher lumber prices and
relocation to a new site, for a pro
posed cost of $324,000.
? approved a request from
Csrelys and Wsyss Jones to trim
overgrown myrtle bushes on their
beachfront property, and, at Gore's
suggestion, agreed to have the plan
ning board review the town rules
that require ease -by -case permis
sion. "Stop harassing property own
ers," said Gore. "You cannot destroy
an environment; you can only alter
it" He rejected outright KJ inker's
suggestion to get advice from a *l?tr
agency on an alternative.
cessitate, in their defense, the testi
mony of the commissioners as to
their legislative decision making
process," said Fox. "Such testimony
is precisely what the doctrine (of
legislative immunity) seeks to avoid.
"This immunity may be invoked
by the defendants to prevent judicial
scrutiny of the objectives and moti
vations underlying the legislative ac
tion that resulted in the loss of plain
tiff's position," Fox concluded.
Judge Fox's ruling applies only to
Alexander's federal lawsuit and
would not prevent her from filing a
similar complaint in state courts.
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ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES BY MAIL: Sr.CNtaan
In Brunswick County Q0.3O ?6.30
N.C. Sales Tax .38 32
Postage Charge 3.68 3.68
TOTAL 1036 Ml
Elsewhere in North Caroline O03O 06.30
N.C Sales Tax .38 .32
Postage Charge a.ifl 8.18
TOTAL 14J8 13*0
Outside North CaroHna J6 30 ?6.30
Postage Cherge _9JB5 q ft*
TOTAL 15.98 14.96
Complete And fletum To Above Addrees
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