A series of 911 calls emanating from Rev. T. Anthony Spearman’s alleged robbery – and his death about one week later – provided some clues as to what may have transpired before the death of Spearman, the former NC NAACP chairman, civil rights leader and Guilford County Board of Elections member.
In the first of four 911 calls related to the incidents, Spearman can be heard negotiating and arguing in the background with someone – presumably 20-year-old black male Jayden Hawthorne – and telling the young man that they could “work it out.”
Gerald Jackson, a New Bern man who runs social media sites for a living, told the Rhino Times last week that he was contacted by a 20-year-old who claimed to Jackson that Spearman sexually assaulted him on Wednesday, July 13 – the day of the 911 call in which Spearman can be heard arguing in the background and attempting to negotiate some sort of deal.
The alleged victim also told Jackson that he had recorded some of the sexual assault on his cell phone video.
According to Jackson, the 20-year-old told him that Spearman had texted the young man earlier that day and asked him to clean the gutters. After that, according to Jackson’s account, the alleged victim told Jackson that, as part of a prayer ritual over the young man’s financial situation, Spearman began anointing and rubbing the 20-year -old’s bare feet and then moving his hands up the legs, when it soon became a sexual assault.
In the first 911 call on July 13, Spearman can be heard saying, “Listen, Listen, man, didn’t I tell you that I would work it out with you?”
After an inaudible response, Spearman added, “Not like that, either.”
In a 911 call later that day, Spearman claimed he had been robbed by Hawthorne, who had been doing odd jobs for Spearman for five years before this incident.
Spearman told the 911 operator on that call that the young man had assaulted him, robbed him, taken his phone and was attempting to obtain money using a financial app on the phone.
During the 911 call that came before the robbery call, Spearman, for most of the time, was speaking to someone in the background rather than to the 911 operator. For an extended period during that first 911 call, there was no response to the operator’s questions.
When a deputy arrived at the house after the first call for a welfare check, the deputy was told, presumably by Spearman, that the caller thought he would need help, but the person who was the cause of that concern had since left.
Jackson and many others have speculated that the expected disclosure of that supposed sexual assault led Spearman to take his own life. However, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department put out the following statement on Friday, July 22: “The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the circumstances of Dr. Spearman’s death and has not yet reached a conclusion as to the cause of death. Any information presently circulating as to the cause of death has not originated from the Sheriff’s Office. Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 132-1.4, and because this is an ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time.”
Looks like the Sheriff’s Office is attempting a cover up.
Dead is just as dead either way.
If you dig far enough you’ll find skeletons in the closet of most people with “power” in the community. Why would this one be any different?
By law there are 5 causes of death, one if which will be included on the autopsy report. The first natural causes, is self explanatory. The second also easily explained, accidental. The next two, homicide and suicide are a little less clear since a suicide can be made to look like a homicide and vice versa. When this occurs it’s because someone trying to make it look like one or he other because of insurance, family honor or to avoid prosecution. Matters are even more complicated when the crime scene (death) has been contaminated by multiple persons being in the area. My understanding was there were a great number of law enforcement on the scene, including the sheriff as well as family and friends. The question could easily be, why so many, there was no danger or threat and is that now standard procedure. If it is, it is a waste of resources. It will be interesting to see how quickly an answer, arrest or resolution occurs. What ever happened, any loss of life is a waste and my heart goes out to the Spearman family, this should be put behind them as soon as possible, prolonging it does them nor the community any good.
The fifth and last cause of death that can be listed on a autopsy report is undetermined. This cause is used when it cannot be conclusively determined the cause either is a homicide, accidental, suicide or natural. From what I understand, with what evidence they have, this is not going to be the case. My guess homicide or suicide.