By Clint Parker
Editor’s note: This report was updated with Buncombe County Sheriff Miller’s statement on Eberhardt’s arrest at 12:26 pm on July 8, 2020.
Buncombe County – Don Eberhardt, former Chief Deputy of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested after an investigation by special agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s (SBI) Special Investigations Unit. The arrest came today (Wednesday, July 8, 2020) according to a press release from the SBI.
On April 21, 2020, the SBI was requested by the Buncombe County District Attorney to conduct an investigation into the alleged theft of a firearm from Carolina Guns and Gear that happened on April 9, 2020.
On Monday, July 6, 2020, a Buncombe County grand jury returned a true bill of indictment on one count of felonious larceny and one count of felonious possession of stolen goods
On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Don Eberhardt, 50, turned himself in this morning at the Buncombe County Detention Center just before 8 am. After going before a magistrate, he was issued a written promise to appear.
The Buncombe County District Attorney has referred the prosecution of this case to the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. No additional information is available at this time.
Buncombe County Sheriff Quinton Miller made the following statement regarding Ederhardt’s arrest:
On April 24th, I placed Chief Deputy Don Eberhardt on paid administrative leave while the North Carolina SBI conducted an investigation involving him. Chief Deputy Eberhardt and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office fully cooperated with the SBI’s investigation, which has now concluded with a charge being filed by the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. I have accepted the resignation of Chief Deputy Eberhardt from the Sheriff’s Office effective today.
I am very limited in what I can say before this case is adjudicated in the courts, and will have no additional comments on the charge until this process is concluded.
However, I am clear on what I know about Don Eberhardt in more than 21 years of our friendship. Don Eberhardt is a good man and a good law enforcement officer. While I may be expected to distance myself from him right now, I will tell you that I will not walk away from him as a person and as a friend. I am thankful for his service to our community and his service in his role as Chief. I ask that you keep Don and his family in your prayers.