“Possible... Wyckoff will not see a day in prison
Weaverville – A recent meeting between members of the Rabbit Ridge community and Weaverville Police Chief Alan Wyatt ended with Wyatt predicting a light sentence for Donald Wyckoff. Wyckoff is accused of more than 40 crimes, including being a drug dealer, in what some have called the town’s largest drug case ever. Read more...
“It’s possible that Donald Wyckoff will not see a day in prison,” said Chief Wyatt in the meeting. Wyatt went farther by saying, “There is a strong possibility that Donald Wyckoff will not go to prison.”
Wyckoff, 62, currently on probation for simple assault, faces more than forty charges in the coming months for crimes ranging from public intoxication and indecent exposure to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.
Since the idea of Wyckoff receiving an active sentence for his many drug charges is faint, a civil course of action seems most likely to bring about Wyckoff’s accountability for his crimes, according to Wyatt.
Two residents of the Rabbit Ridge neighborhood in Weaverville, met with Chief Wyatt and Weaverville Detective Somer Oberlin, who is the main contact for the Rabbit Ridge residents, recently to discuss strategies for dealing with Wyckoff.
Comments by residents who wish to remain anonymous during the meeting expressed a frustration at the lack of progress made in the Wyckoff case. One resident said the District Attorney’s office “seems to not be consistent with its communication or its story.” Inefficiencies by representatives from the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office further complicate Wyckoff’s potential prosecution.
Not a single member of the Rabbit Ridge Community had been contacted by a victim’s witness coordinator, according to comments from neighbors. According to Chief Wyatt, this should have already happened. A member of the community finally reached out to the DA’s office about the matter.
One resident went on to describe the process of starting an SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) case into what’s called nuisance behaviors, many of which are displayed in evidence obtained by the [ITALIC] Tribune [ITALIC END].
“What we have is, this ALE (Alcohol Law Enforcement) guy, whose name is Brian Ogle, mentioned that it [the investigation] had been either closed from this [Weaverville] side or at least postponed from this side due to a mental health evaluation,” said the resident.
“We [the neighbors of Rabbit Ridge] are not only willing to but we are wanting to sign affidavits that give information about exactly how this is a nuisance. We don’t know who made the decision [not to pursue nuisance charges] without us involved.”
According to Chief Wyatt, the person who made that decision is Weaverville Town Attorney Jennifer Jackson. Wyatt said that any further action on the part of the SBI or ALE would take place only if the town agrees to do so.
“At this time, the decision to proceed with it [civil injunction] is to put it on hold until we have everything that we can have in order to ensure … the town doesn’t get sued and cost the taxpayers money,” Wyatt said. The chief said he believes the decision not to pursue a civil injunction against Wyckoff is “appropriate” at this point.
The [ITALIC] Tribune [ITALIC END] contact Jackson about why she made that decision, but she said, “I can’t comment on an ongoing criminal investigation, nor can I comment on any confidential legal advice that I’ve given to a client.”
Another meeting between town officials and the Rabbit Ridge community was held in the days following the first. According to reports from those who attended the meeting, Wyatt encouraged residents to sign cease and desist letter addressed to Wyckoff.
Portions of the letter read: “Dear Mr. Wyckoff … your persistent actions including but not limited to unlawful drug possession and use, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, and lewd and assaultive behavior has become unbearable.”
The letter insisted Wyckoff stop the behavior “immediately, as they are being done in violation of the law.” The letter threatens “some very severe legal consequences” if not obeyed. Hopes aren’t high that the letter will be met with compliance.
According to neighbors, Wyckoff is likely to continue his behaviors. The letter will be used to lay groundwork to establish future civil damages.
But by the Rabbit Ridge Community’s estimation, Weaverville has everything it needs to proceed with civil charges against Wyckoff.
According to the resident, “The ALE guy said he would need affidavits from four or five different people before they could move ahead.” At least that many neighbors agree that Wyckoff’s behavior has gone far enough, representatives from the neighborhood said.
“We are victims of Wyckoff’s crimes,” the resident said. “… we should have better information than [what is] being provided.”
Wyckoff has several court appearances in the coming months, with most of his charges being addressed on September 19 at Buncombe County Superior Court.
The Tribune tried to contact the Buncombe County District Attorney’s office about the case but did not receive a return the call as of press time.