LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- A former Davidson County sheriff's deputy has
pleaded guilty to blackmailing a high school teacher who was having
an affair with the deputy's wife.
The plea means that John Timothy Fender, 29, of Lexington can no
longer serve as a law enforcement officer in North Carolina.
Prosecutors said Fender received thousands of dollars from the
teacher at South Davidson High School.
In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Fender pleaded guilty in District
Court to one count of common law blackmail, a misdemeanor, and
permanently surrendered his state law enforcement certification.
Judge April Wood, noting that Fender had already repaid the $3,250 he
took from the teacher and lost his certification, issued a prayer for
judgment in lieu of sentencing Fender to probation, the maximum
sentence he could have received in light of no prior convictions.
"I think that, given the totality of the circumstances, to punish Mr.
Fender would actually be unfair," she said.
Fender was hired in March 1997 and worked as a school resource
officer for Brown Middle School in Thomasville for the last two
years. He also filled in as a substitute resource officers at other
county schools, including South Davidson High School. He was fired
Fender's lawyer, Darrell Whitley of Denton, noted that Fender
returned the money and simply wanted the teacher to stay away from
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
"He didn't want money," he said. "He just wanted everyone to leave him alone."