Medford goes to jail

About 11 months after he was first arrested, former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford reported to the federal courthouse in downtown Asheville on the morning of Oct. 26 to begin his 15-year prison sentence on federal corruption charges.

Medford was convicted in May and sentenced last month, but Judge Thomas Ellis had granted him a delay to undergo and recover from an already scheduled back surgery. Medford, 63, has continuing back problems.

Currently, Medford is in the Caldwell County jail, awaiting his federal prison assignment. During his sentencing, Ellis mentioned that it was likely Medford would go to Butner Corrections Complex, a low- to medium-security prison located near Durham. There is no parole in the federal system, but Medford could be released in 12-and-a-half years for good behavior.

Meanwhile, former reserve Capt. Guy Penland is in the Madison County jail, also awaiting his assignment, as is former Lt. Ronnie “Butch” Davis. Penland was tried alongside Medford and sentenced to five years, while Davis pleaded guilty and got three years.

Former Lt. Johnny Harrison, who accepted a plea deal and offered important testimony against Medford, has been allowed to wait until January to begin his 30-month sentence.

Through his attorney, Stephen Lindsay, Medford has announced that he will appeal the case, though details on the appeal are still pending.
For documents related to the Medford case, go to


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