Two employees suspended from Robeson County Sheriff’s Office

State - Regional

Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins has suspended two sheriff’s office employees, including the former chief of detectives, Wilkins confirmed Friday morning.

Wilkins confirms he has suspended Major Anthony Thompson and Detective Darryl McPhatter with pay “pending the final outcome of an internal investigation.”

Major Thompson previously served as the Chief of Detectives under former sheriff Kenneth Sealey who recently retired. Thompson is a 34 year veteran of the sheriff’s office, Wilkins said. Thompson currently serves as major over the county detention center. Detective McPhatter is a 10 year veteran of the sheriff’s office assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit, according to Wilkins.

Wilkins said he could not comment on the reason(s) for the suspensions at this time. He also would not say if the suspensions were related to the handling of a 2016 rape case that is currently part on an internal review at the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.

The 2016 rape was linked to Michael Ray McLellan. McLellan is the suspect arrested and charged in the kidnapping, rape and murder of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar.

Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt said DNA linked McLellan to a rape in 2016, but he said the Robeson County Sheriff’s office did not follow up on the information when his office sent it to the sheriff’s office.

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