Greenville Attorney David Sutton Found Not Guilty On All Counts

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A jury has found a Greenville attorney not guilty on all counts.

David Sutton had been charged with obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness.

Jurors got the case around 11:00 a.m. and returned a verdict around 2:45 p.m.

Sutton smiled as he walked out the Pitt County courthouse around 3:00 Thursday afternoon.

Last summer, he left a voicemail on Pitt County Deputy Nikki Dolenti's phone, asking her to drop the case against his client.

Sutton admits his language used in the voicemail was crude, but not criminal.

Prosecutor Steven Arbogast from the state Attorney General's office said Sutton was a bully who used his position to demean Dolenti in a condescending way.

While noticeably relieved, Sutton was also apologetic.

Sutton told WITN, "I shouldn't have used that language that I used to Deputy Dolenti. If I have the opportunity, I will apologize to her personally. I'm not proud of the language in which I used, I just contend that it wasn't a crime."

On the witness stand Wednesday afternoon, Sutton explained his version of what happened. He testified that he thought his message was a "clear reference to the trial next week."

Sutton still faces trial on a resisting charge after a November 19th disturbance at the Pitt County Courthouse security checkpoint as well as a hearing before the State Bar in May.

WITN also asked to speak with District Attorney Kimberly Robb on Thursday. She declined, citing the pending court case.



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The jury has begun deliberating the case of a Greenville attorney who is accused of obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness.

David Sutton's trial began Tuesday at the Pitt County Courthouse and jurors got the case shortly after 11:00 a.m.

This afternoon jurors asked the judge two questions. First, they wanted the definition of unlawful, and second they asked whether obstruction of justice had to be completed or attempted.

The attorney was charged after a July 5th voicemail he left for a Pitt County Sheriff's Office investigator about a case he was handling. That case was to go to trial the following week.

On the witness stand Wednesday afternoon, Sutton explained his version of what happened. He testified that he thought his message was a "clear reference to the trial next week."

He told jurors that he feels strongly that any trained and armed law enforcement officer would have not been afraid to show up for the case in question.

Here is the voicemail: "I understand that you know more than the kids Dr. and D.S.S. worker who said it wasn't abuse. So I ain't gonna beat around the bush. I don't know what you're doing. You obviously don't know what the (expletive) your doing so I'm just gonna whoop your (expletive) real bad next week unless you get your (expletive) down there and get this case dismissed. And do your job and have some sense."

In his closing this morning, Sutton told jurors he was innocent, and that the case was unjustified. He said the case was not about a voicemail message, but about something else, alluding to the poor relationship he has with the District Attorney's Office and the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.

During it's closing, a special prosecutor from the Attorney General's Office played the voicemail, and told jurors that Sutton was using his position to bully, demean, and intimidate the investigator to do what he wanted.

The judge is not allowing cameras inside the courtroom.


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A Superior Court judge this morning refused to toss out the case against a Greenville attorney who is accused of obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness.

David Sutton's trial began Tuesday at the Pitt County Courthouse.

The attorney was charged after a July 5th voicemail he left for a Pitt County Sheriff's Office investigator about a case he was handling.

Prosecutors finished presenting their case this morning, and that's when Sutton's attorney made the motion to throw out the case because of a lack of evidence. But the judge denied that request saying he wants jurors to hear both sides.

Just after 2:00 p.m. Sutton took the stand. He is expected to be the final witness in the trial.


Previous Story

The trial for a Greenville attorney, who is accused of obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness, began Tuesday afternoon.

David Sutton has maintained his innocence since his arrest last summer.

The attorney was charged after a July 5th voicemail he left for a Pitt County Sheriff's Office investigator about a case he was handling.

Sutton left this message on the detective's voicemail, "I understand that you know more than the kids Dr. and D.S.S. worker who said it wasn't abuse. So I ain't gonna beat around the bush. I don't know what you're doing. You obviously don't know what the (expletive) your doing so I'm just gonna whoop your (expletive) real bad next week unless you get your (expletive) down there and get this case dismissed. And do your job and have some sense."

Sutton says the message was taken out of context. The Pitt County District Attorney's Office turned the case over to the state Attorney General to handle.

Late last month the attorney filed to run as a district court judge in this year's election. He also faces a resisting charge after a November 15th disturbance at the Pitt County Courthouse security checkpoint.

On the stand Tuesday afternoon was the detective who received the message and a former assistant district attorney.

The case resumes at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.


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