Sharon Whitford freed on $100,000 bond; attorney admits woman had adulterous affair

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) - A woman accused of killing her husband has been released from jail after posting a $100,000 bond.

Sharon Whitford was arrested on Tuesday by the SBI for the December 30th fatal shooting of Jimmy Lee Whitford at their home in Ernul.

In court this morning, the woman's attorney claims the shooting was in self defense. Sharon Whitford suffered eye injuries, scalp lacerations and other injuries due to what the attorney said was aggression by the husband after discovering her adulterous affair.

Whitford had been held without bond, and her attorney told the judge that was excessive and unreasonable.

Whitford, who worked 19 years for the Craven County Clerk of Courts Office, was originally in court on Wednesday for her first appearance, but that judge recused himself from the case.

A special out-of-district judge presided this morning along with a special prosecutor. It appears that Whitford wore a bullet proof vest while in court.

As conditions for bond, Judge Paul Hardison said the woman is to be electronically monitored, have no contact with the victim's family, is prohibited from obtaining a passport, she cannot purchase a firearm, her concealed carry permit is suspended, and she is not allowed to drive by the home of the victim's brother.

Earlier this week, Craven County Sheriff Jerry Monette said Lt. Dan Garden was involved with the murder suspect, and he has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

The special prosecutor said Garden would not be facing any criminal charges in the case.


Previous Story

A special prosecutor says there will be no criminal charges against a sheriff's lieutenant who was "involved with" a woman charged with killing her husband.

Sharon Whitford was arrested on Tuesday by the SBI. The Craven County woman used to work for the Craven County Clerk of Courts Office.

She is accused of killing her husband, Jimmy Lee Whitford, back on December 30th at their Ernul home.

Sheriff Jerry Monette says the SBI was brought at his request. "I informed the SBI that my employee, Lt. Dan Garden, was involved with Sharon Whitford and my office would cooperate fully with their investigation," the sheriff said in a statement.

Monette says after receiving information from the special prosecutor, Garden has been placed on administrative leave while he conducts an internal investigation.

A special prosecutor was brought in because District Attorney Scott Thomas was a lifelong friend of the victim, as well as the suspect being a former courthouse employee.

At a first appearance this morning, District Judge Clinton Rowe removed himself from the case as well and said an out-of-district judge would be brought in to handle Whitford's court appearance on Friday.

The woman remains in jail without bond in the Pamlico County jail.

The 51-year-old Whitford worked for Craven Wood Energy for over 25 years and was former chief at Little Swift Creek Volunteer Fire Department.


Previous Story

The judge overseeing the first appearance of a woman accused of killing her husband last December is recusing himself from the case due to a conflict of interest.

Judge Clinton Rowe told Sharon Whitford that her next court date will be this Friday at 9:30, when an out of district judge will be available.

Whitford was advised of what she was charged with and if she wants a court appointed attorney. If she does, it will be appointed on Friday.

Warrants say on December 30th the woman shot and killed Jimmy Lee Whitford on December 30th in their home on Aurora Road in Ernul.

At the time, deputies said the 51-year-old victim was shot in a domestic-related shooting, while the wife was also injured.

The woman is a former employee of the Craven County Clerk of Courts Office, so the SBI was brought in to investigate. A special prosecutor will also handle the case, while Whiteford was being held in the Pamlico County jail without bond.


Previous Story

More than a month after a man was shot to death the SBI has charged his wife with the murder.

Sharon Whitford will go before a judge this morning in New Bern after her arrest Tuesday afternoon.

Warrants say on December 30th the woman shot and killed Jimmy Lee Whitford on December 30th in their home on Aurora Road in Ernul.

At the time, deputies said the 51-year-old victim was shot in a domestic-related shooting, while the wife was also injured.

The woman is a former employee of the Craven County Clerk of Courts Office, so the SBI was brought in to investigate. A special prosecutor will also handle the case, while Whiteford was being held in the Pamlico County jail.

The woman's first appearance is expected this morning.