Deputy remains on administrative duty awaiting SBI
Vance County Sheriff Peter White said he hopes he can return Sgt. Tony Wallace to his regular duties soon, but a probe by the State Bureau of Investigation remains in progress.
Wallace was involved in a shooting June 24 with 25-year-old John Thomas Mann near the Flemingtown Road boat launch. Wallace’s assignment to administrative duty is standard protocol.
In the statement for the SBI, Noelle Talley stated that the investigation is still active and it was too soon for results.
“They usually take quite a bit longer than two weeks,” Talley wrote in the statement. “Each investigation is unique so we try not to speculate on how long an officer involved shooting investigation may take.”
Talley said that there is no delay in the processing of this investigation related to any backlogs. White said the report would not be coming back to his office, but would be sent to the office of the district attorney.
Bill Griffin, an assistant district attorney, confirmed he had not received any report. He believes the reporting is done directly to the district attorney’s office in order to protect the “independent nature” of the probe.
White said Wallace is doing fine, “still on administrative duty,” and he and the department are having to simply maintain patiently during the wait. White added that he understood there are good reasons why the SBI probe may take more time.
“I understand there have been several officer-involved shootings across the state,” he said, “and they have to go out to each one. The report will be sent to the DA’s office, so I don’t get to see it.”
Mann, of 141 Spain Road, faces a felony charge of fleeing to elude arrest, felony assault of a government official with a deadly weapon, reckless driving and driving while license revoked.
According to White, a high-speed chase ended in the woods near the Flemingtown Road boat launch. As Mann drove his vehicle toward Wallace, the deputy fired several rounds, with two striking Mann in the shoulder area. Other deputies were also in the woods on foot.
Mann was treated and released from Duke University Medical Center into the custody of Vance deputies.
White said arrangements to transfer Mann to a state facility that could better monitor Mann’s injuries resulted in his transfer to central prison, where he remained on Tuesday under a $46,000 bond.
Mann is facing other unrelated charges. Included are felony larceny, breaking and entering, and traffic cases. He is scheduled for appearance in court on six dates in July, August and September.
According to state and county records, Mann is named in prior cases that include more than 30 larceny and fraud-related charges.
He is scheduled to appear in Vance County District Court on Aug. 5 for the case stemming from the June 24 incident.
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