Former Newton Grove police chief acquitted in domestic violence case

February 27, 2019
Everett Franklin "Frankie" Harrell

Former Newton Grove Police Chief Frankie Harrell has been acquitted of assaulting his wife, authorities said Wednesday.

Harrell, 48, of Four Oaks, resigned in November after his arrest on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female.

Authorities said Harrell’s wife called 911 and told a dispatcher that Harrell became agitated when he saw her sitting in her van outside their home while finishing a phone conversation. Harrell told his wife, “I have guns,” and made a pistol gesture with his hands, authorities said.

Harrell then grabbed his wife by the neck, causing her to drop the phone, authorities said.

When deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the home, Harrell reportedly tried to deny the incident, but his wife played a recording of a hostile conversation she and her husband had the previous week.

Harrell had headed the Newton Grove Police Department for more than 14 years.