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North Carolina

Attorney for 'Fats' worried about fair deal in drug case

Posted July 16, 2013

— Haydn “Fats” Thomas, the man connected to multiple rental cars driven by North Carolina basketball player PJ Hairston, had a court day Tuesday on drug charges stemming from an arrest in December.

Thomas, who has a criminal record dating to 2006, was arrested in Durham on Dec. 16 on charges of maintaining a dwelling for selling a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a firearm by a convicted felon. Thomas, who was released on the day of his arrest on a $35,000 bond, was not in court Tuesday. He was represented by his attorney, Randy Griffin.

Thomas has been convicted of at least nine offenses – four of them felonies – in Durham and Wake counties over the past seven years. His offenses include drug paraphernalia possession, obtaining property by false pretense, carrying of a concealed weapon, possession of stolen goods and printing and spending false money.

His current case was continued to Aug. 19

In court Tuesday, the office of U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand expressed interest in the case. Griffin said he is worried Thomas won’t get a fair deal in his drug case because media coverage of his connection to Hairston has raised his profile.

Rand, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, including Durham and Orange counties, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina as well as the University of North Carolina School of Law and co-wrote a children’s book titled I Want to Go to UNC.

Prosecutors in the case have already offered Thomas a plea deal, although the details of the deal were not released.

Hairston, Miykael Faulcon, a basketball player at Elizabeth City State, and 23-year-old Carlos Sanford were pulled over at a license check point in Durham on June 5 in a rented silver GMC Yukon. Hairston, who was driving the rented silver Yukon, was cited with driving without a license and possession of marijuana. A 9-mm handgun and ammunition were also found at the scene but police said they do not expect to file any charges related to the firearm.

Hairston told police a man he referred to as "Fats" gave him the car to visit friends in Atlanta. Thomas has said that he lent the car to Faulcon and only considers Hairston a passing acquaintance.

On May 13, Hairston was stopped for speeding while driving a Hertz rental car that was paid for by a woman who shares the same address as Thomas.

Thomas has also been linked to UNC basketball guard Leslie McDonald who tweeted in November that “Fats” gave him a cell phone that he activated and used.

All three incidents bring up questions of improper benefits, an NCAA violation.

UNC head coach Roy Williams said in a statement Monday, “Other issues have been written about recently that are disturbing and bother me deeply. Our basketball program is based on great ideals, and these issues are embarrassing.”

“We will care about each individual but there will be serious actions taken that will fix these issues,” Williams added.

45 Comments

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  • homefree Jul 18, 2013

    Didn't think it was possible for ACC teams to be as dirty as some in the SEC...but it looks like UNC is one of the best a covering up cheating. No telling how long they cheat and slime the system. Shame they continue to get away with it.

  • packfan07 Jul 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Justice was served a jury found Zimmerman, who protected himself, not guilty. I rather be judged by twelve than caried by six.

  • willis2 Jul 17, 2013

    Felon with a gun is a Federal rap. The attorney for Fats should be very concerned about that.

  • tBeast Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread

    FACTS?

    George only claims the little boy attacked him. We didn't get to hear from Travon. This kid was forced by the ONLY ADULT there to turn around and ask "why you following me man?" this entire incident was started by George Zimmerman and a little 17 year old child is dead. and some people think that George should just walk away.

    pitiful

    BS is my point of view.

  • tBeast Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I live in Florida and saw every drop of the evidence. That is not my point and I don't claim to be a lawyer by any means.
    However, Common sense tells us that what Zimmerman did was WRONG. If he stays in his car and waits for the police, that HE himself call and talked to, Travon would be alive today.

    George Zimmerman was WRONG to do what he did. He had no right to bother that kid that night. As community watch CAPTAIN, he has been taught to observe and not confront. He was told that by 911 the dispatcher.

    P.s. if you want to kill someone, come to Florida, make sure you are alone with them and shot them dead. claim self defense and make sure you have the "story" memorized and you are off with just a silly trial to be paid for by donations. Then you can write a book and pick out your yacht.

    Life is good in the sunshine state!

  • mike honcho Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread



    The liberal UNC mindset on display, forget facts and eye witnesses.
    Lets go on personal feelings due to the age and gender of our own
    children.

  • duane11 Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread

    its not against the law to follow somebody, as community watch people, site security officers and private investigators do it all the time...however, it is against the law to assault someone, so if zimmerman was assaulted by this "kid" who could have kept right on walking home and not got involved with zimmerman, then he had a right to defend himself....the "kid' got what he got as a result of attacking the other person....why you choose to throw all responsibility on zimmerman, as if being followed gives you the right to attack the person following you, just doesnt make sense

  • MoDuke v2 is gone Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Who needs evidence when you already know what the verdict should be.

  • vampireswaiting Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Huh? Fats knew Travon? Where did you get that information? Packpride??

  • nufsaid Jul 17, 2013

    View quoted thread



    My guess is that you also did not take a look at the actual evidence produced during the trial.

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