Updated: RC Jail antics end Rutherfordton lawyer’s career

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. — The N.C. Bar Fall 2017 Journal reported that RC attorney Marvin Sparrow pled guilty and was convicted of three misdemeanor counts of assault on a female in Buncombe County Superior Court. All three counts occurred in the Rutherford County Jail. Earlier Sparrow of Rutherfordton surrendered his law license and was disbarred by the Wake County Superior Court.

As an attorney Sparrow had special privileges when meeting his clients for a consultation in the jail. With the poor security in the jail in the booths used for attorney client consultations, he abused some of his female clients. In at least one case Sparrow traded drugs for a look at the private body parts of an incarcerated inmate. For another he wanted to watch a piercing in an intimate area.

Sparrow also traded lawyer fees for favors in his office. There were more than 3 alleged incidents.

Given that inmates aren’t considered the best witnesses, it took effort to get law enforcement’s attention. They didn’t want to believe the women because of their past and present charges. However, there are a few good guys who did try and ultimately did help these victims. Someone believed them and the State Bureau of Investigation was called in.
Sparrow was not prosecuted in Rutherford County due to his extensive long term relationships within the legal community. District attorney Ted Bell provided the following statement:

Having been an attorney in Rutherford County for over 30 years, and as the most senior and most experienced defense attorney, Marvin Sparrow had been a friend and mentor to every attorney in the Courthouse and to every prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office.  To ensure that those relationships did not influence or even give the appearance of influence in the handling of this matter, as soon as the allegations came to light we referred the case to the SBI for investigation and to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office for all prosecution decisions.

For his misdeeds Sparrow received a 120 day sentence that was suspended, received unsupervised probation, and 120 hours of community service.

Sparrow, Marvin Suspension Order