No Charges Against Man Who Built Roadside Gallows

There will be no criminal charges brought against a Duplin County man who built a huge roadside display with government officials hung in effigy.

District Attorney Dewey Hudson, who is one of those in the display, says they researched the possibility of bringing charges against Lacy Phipps, but have determined the Faison man is not breaking any laws.

The sheriff, a couple of judges and former Governor Mike Easley were also included in the display along Warren Road.

Phipps told reporters he erected the display after his son was murdered and he wanted to bring attention to problems with the way the case was handled.


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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Aug 4, 2009 at 04:12 PM
    Bigfruit, well said, Lavon, and others, hate crimes? Well, lavon, we all know you voted for the communist party with Obama and you love the guys so much your thighs quiver. Well, American is not about loving a president, its about a country we love. We fight for it and die for it so you can post the most ignorant things we have ever heard from a progressive liberal. But its you right to. Like I have told you, I didn't vote for the communist Obama since I had taken the time to learn about the man and what his policies are. I am a democrat, but I am responsible. Well, just because you did the sheep thing, well, horses follow themselves if on a path too. Whether the path connects with corruption, higher taxes and loss of job, isn't important to you, well, fine. I could see the fog and found my way. So, if you are a communist, you do not want us to post our opine here, just those of the chosen one. Well, you didn't like Bush and let us know. So, how does that make you feel....
  • by Disgusted B Location: NC on Aug 4, 2009 at 09:52 AM
    Why was this in question to start with??? Isn't it freedom of speech, on his own property??? So what if it offends the corrupt officials??? Our corrupt officials from the city level to he President offend me, but they R still in office. Crap rolls downhill!!!
  • by bigfruitbasket Location: NC on Aug 4, 2009 at 08:54 AM
    Mr. Hudson: I saw Mr. Phipps' comments on WITN as well. I too understand the nuances of the 1st Amendment, and that nothing is absolute--the law and the practice of the law allows for compromise in many instances (see also: plea deals, interpretation of the law). Yes, Mr. Phipps wanted to be charged with something. It bolsters his cause. It's obvious he wants to pick a fight; he chose the wrong avenue from which to have charges brought against him. On the surface of this report, everything he did with the effigies is legal. After seeing his comments, I fear he will actually DO something to get himself in trouble with the law. That would be another matter altogether. He must figure he has nothing to lose. In that case, I DO NOT support the breaking of the law and hope he would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Like you, sir, I am also an ardent supporter of the 1st Amendment--on that subject we agree.
  • by Me Location: NC on Aug 4, 2009 at 08:01 AM
    I dont' think my post yesterday violated any WITN rules.....why was it not posted.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Aug 3, 2009 at 06:06 PM
    Lavon, have you ever heard the saying"It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees"?
  • by bigfruitbasket Location: NC on Aug 3, 2009 at 06:00 PM
    Although I may not agree with what you say, I will defend your right to say it. That, boys and girls, is your lesson today on Free Speech. And to answer Bo--I am quite in tact, thank you very much. The name "bigfruitbasket" guarantees my anonymity.
  • by DeweyHudson Location: NC on Aug 3, 2009 at 05:48 PM
    Bigfruitbasket Today,I said in my press conference that there would be no criminal charges filed because Mr Phipps actions were protected by the First Amendment. I further stated that Americans have been hanging public officials in effigy since colonial times when the King was hanged in effigy! I knew about the First Amendment before attending law school.However, I did learn in Constitution Law that the First Amendment does not protect all speech. I recall two examples; no one can run into a crowded movie theater and falsely shout fire or report the departure and arrival times of our ships during time of war. Many people are confused about the First Amendment as being absolute. I am an ardent supporter of the First Amendment but also understand that there are limitations. I can assure you that I will not be filing criminal charges against anyone unless supported by the evidence and law.Ironically, Mr Phipps told the newsmedia today that he was dissappointed that no charges were filed.
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Aug 3, 2009 at 05:10 PM
    Lavon - Aug 3, 2009 at 02:12 PM Quote " Always hold someone accountable for what they say and do to you. You folks are going to realize one of these days that free speech will get you killed! --- You can say that again Arlington Cemetary is full of the defenders of free speech.
  • by To Bubba Location: Ayden on Aug 3, 2009 at 04:50 PM
    Being from Duplin Co I know the story behind the shooting. The shooting was only the reason he erected the gallows. The killing has absolutely nothing to do with free speech or freedom of expression. No matter why its there, its his right to have it on his poperty and no one should be able to make him remove it.
  • by DC Location: Kinston on Aug 3, 2009 at 04:05 PM
    A man named Chicken Ledbetter has been hired to be the attendant of the site. for .25 cents you can pose with your name under your neck. This is expected to be a big boom to the Duplin County economy.
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