VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. -- The son of Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott is charged with being an accessory in a homicide by providing the gun used. Sheriff Abbott tells FOX 17 he is not getting involved in his son's case.
Nikolas Abbott, 23, is charged with being an accessory after the fact, felony firearm and falsely reporting a felony. Sheriff Abbott says he's in a difficult position but is avoiding any involvement as the Michigan Attorney General's office prosecutes the case against his son and the murder suspect, 19-year-old Thurman Fletcher.
“I don’t get involved with it, I don’t talk with the state police about it, I haven’t contacted the Attorney General's about it," said Sheriff Abbott. "It’s just one of those things, I’m keeping my hands washed and like a father I’ll pray for my son.”
State police say Feb. 3 Fletcher allegedly shot and killed 29-year-old Eddie Holland, Jr. during a drug deal in Lions Park in Bangor.
Sheriff Abbott tells FOX 17 his son and Fletcher are friends and have "known each other for a quite a while," adding that "Thurman would stay over at his house on occasions." The morning after the homicide Abbott says his son came to him panicked.
“[My son] showed up at my house that morning in a panic and said that his friend had been involved in a shooting and when he looked his handgun was gone, and wanted to know what to do," said Abbott.
"I told my son immediately that you know we can’t get involved, I can’t get involved, there’s a conflict there, state police is handling the complaint, you need to get with the state trooper immediately and let him know what took place.”
Now the MSP and AG's office continue to investigate whether Nikolas Abbott gave his gun to his friend Fletcher, despite reporting it stolen, and then got rid of it shortly after the crime.
The Sheriff reiterated he and his office are staying out of it "100 percent."
“Time after time, you see law enforcement in the news media in a negative fashion because they meddle where they shouldn’t have, overstepped their bounds and the last thing I want to do is be a sheriff for Van Buren and be one of those people, and I won’t do that," said Abbott.
"My son respects that, the staff around here respects that and I’ve got a great working relationship with the state police and they totally understand.”
Nikolas Abbott is due back in court July 19 for his probable cause conference. Fletcher's murder trial is postponed until October.