SBI investigation

ROBERT C. REED/HICKORY DAILY RECORD: Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid addresses local media recently about his son Jason Reid being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for stalking.

NEWTON – As a rule, search warrants are public documents. But the one served last week on the Catawba County Sheriff's Office remains shrouded in mystery.

The SBI search warrant in the matter of Jason Reid and the narcotics division of the Catawba County Sheriff's Office was sealed, and remains sealed. Jason Reid is a former captain with the sheriff's office and now a Republican candidate for sheriff. His father, Coy Reid, is the current sheriff.

The search warrant was executed Thursday, April 19. That same day, an order by the court sealed the warrant. Court records show county attorney Debra Bechtel did not know of the existence of the search warrant, nor the hearing that took place to seal it until after they both occurred.

The courts took another step this week.

Court records show defense attorney Lisa Dubs was on hand this week to represent Sheriff Coy Reid in an individual capacity during a closed session before Judge Daniel Kuehnert. At issue was whether to seal the order executed April 19 that removed the warrant from public record. Bechtel also appeared on behalf of the Catawba County Sheriff's Office.

Kuehnert signed the agreement on Wednesday, keeping the order to seal the warrant out of public view until the next hearing on the matter May 21.

The warrant focuses on Jason Reid, candidate for sheriff. The Republican primary vote for Catawba County Sheriff is May 8.

The warrant remains sealed, as does the order to seal it.

Sheriff Reid offered no comment on questions surrounding the order Thursday, saying he was under a judge’s order not to do so. The order prohibits anyone with knowledge of the warrant, as well as the order to seal it, to disclose information about it.

When asked about why this search warrant is not a public record when most search warrants are open for inspection, Reid said, "I have no comment. You don't have to ask those questions because you know my answer right now. Now why you want to keep asking me when you know I can't talk about it?"

Reid refused to hear some questions.

"I can’t answer anything, so there’s no use in asking me any more questions about it,” he said.

Sheriff candidate Jason Reid said Thursday he had no idea about the hearing, and that he hasn’t been part of the conversations.

Jason Reid was asked whether he considers it a conflict of interest for the sheriff to be represented in the arguments before the court. The sheriff is, after all, his father and the warrant is in Jason’s name.

Jason Reid said, “I don’t have a feeling about that either way… feels like I’m going to win.”

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Max Seng is the crime reporter for the Hickory Daily Record. ​Follow him on Twitter @HDRmaxseng

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