LILLINGTON, N.C. – A Harnett County Grand Jury has declined to indict Deputy Nicholas Kehagias who shot and killed a man in November.
Family and friends of the man who was shot and killed doubted that justice would be served. They have been protesting for months.
Grand jury proceedings began Monday for Harnett County Deputy Nicholas Kehagais.
Kehagias’ attorney filed motion asking the judge if Kehagias could testify before grand jury but the judge denied request.
“I almost feel like the grand jury’s gonna be a waste of time,” said Carmen Saylor, a friend of John Livingston, who was killed after an altercation with Kehagais.
Kehagias’ father is a retired police captain in Lee County.
Livingston, 33, a father of three children, was at his Spring Lake home when Harnett County deputies Kehagais and John Werbelow came looking for a suspect in an assault around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 15, 2015.
Livingston told authorities to leave since they didn’t have a search warrant, his roommate said.
But during that incident, authorities claim Livingston shut the door on a deputy’s foot, which sparked the altercation between Livingston and Kehagais.
The roommate said deputies kicked open the door but, in court documents, authorities say Kehagais dropped his stun gun and Livingston picked it up and shocked the deputy which led to Kehagais shooting Livingston at least three times.
Werbelow’s mother works for the Harnett County Sheriff’s office while his sister works for the county’s district attorney.
“I feel that by that being a son and a brother to Harnett County employees, I don’t feel we could get a fair trial,” Saylor said.
Last month, the SBI turned over its investigative report to Vernon Stewart, the county’s district attorney. The report is not public.
Friday, Jesse Jones, the Livingston family’s attorney, filed a lawsuit against Stewart saying records have been withheld that would aid his case.
“He had no justification for being at that house, there was not a domestic call, there was nothing,” Jones said of the deputy.
The grand jury will decide if Kehagias should be charged with second degree murder, manslaughter or neither. The Livingston family and attorney are not allowed to hear the evidence presented to the jury.
“I’m not entitled, they don’t record it, they don’t transcribe it, they don’t do anything,” Jones said.
Livingston’s supporters will hold another demonstration outside the courthouse Monday as the grand jury is hearing the case.