RUTHERFORD COUNTY — The second degree trespassing charges against John Huddle, Wayne Guffey and David Wheeler by Word of Faith Fellowship will be brought into court for dismissal by the NC Attorney General’s office. The special prosecutor stated:
After carefully reviewing the evidence in this matter, I did not find any criminal misconduct constituting second degree trespass pursuant to N.C.G.S. 14-159-13.
While incident reports were filed by Word of Faith Fellowship (WoFF) with the Sheriff’s Department for:
- David Wheeler
- John Huddle
- Wayne Guffey and
- Jennifer Emert of Channel 13 News
No charges were brought against the media-Emert and Daily Courier reporter MacKenzie Wicker who participated in the visit.
The controversial visit by NC Senate candidate David Wheeler was broadcast live on Facebook.
Wheeler was accompanied by former sheriff candidate Wayne Guffey, ex-member and activist against WoFF John Huddle, a WLOS Channel 13 camera crew accompanying Channel 13 anchor Jennifer Emert, and Daily Courier reporter MacKenzie Wicker.
According to Word of Faith Fellowship pastor Jane Whaley, “No one was invited except David. The appointment time was between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Wheeler showed up at 2:45 p.m.”
WoFF attorney Josh Farmer previously issued the following official statement:
“David Wheeler and Jane Whaley agreed to meet at the church on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Wheeler barged in at the church well before the scheduled time for the meeting with members of the media and several critics of the church, none of whom were invited. They were asked to leave numerous times and only did so after they heard that someone at the church was calling for the police. Mr. Wheeler’s behavior was deceptive and the behavior of all in the group was appalling and unacceptable in their refusal to leave.”
Josh Farmer | Attorney at Law
In the video, Wheeler is shown refusing to leave until he could meet with pastor Jane Whaley. Minister Jayne Caulder who met the group in the hall pointed out the sign on the door stating that curiosity seekers, cameras and recordings were not allowed or welcomed on the property.
The Attorney General prosecutor further wrote as explanation on all three dismissals this excerpt:
“Although it is evident from the video that Ms. Caulder repeatedly asked the defendants to leave the Word of Faith Fellowship church premises and they remained while seeking clarification, it would be unreasonable to interpret the word “remain” to include such a brief or temporary interlude that lasted only a few minutes. This is particularly in light of the fact that defendant Wheeler was invited to meet with Pastor Whaley at 3:30 pm that day.
Further N.C. case law does not support a charge of second degree trespass.”
Also cited was the fact that the defendants left the premises prior to law enforcement’s arrival and were not subject to removal by law enforcement. The Attorney General Office declines to prosecute this matter.
Statement from David Wheeler
“Wayne Guffey, John Huddle and I welcome the filing by the Attorney General’s office that the false charges brought by the Word of Faith Fellowship and Senator Hise are without merit and have been dismissed today.
Despite desperate intimidation attempts by Word of Faith Fellowship and Senator Ralph Hise, we are proud of our efforts. Don’t forget we were invited on thee separate times.
We will continue to stand with other Word of Faith victims against such harassment and hold WoFF accountable.
Unlike my opponent, who has 2 investigations ongoing against him, my team and I can now spend all my time meeting with voters in the district and talking about solutions instead of wasting the NC Court’s time.”
Candidate for NC Senate 47