Haywood County Courthouse Brad H Ferguson-Sabrina L Greene-3
Picture of Brad H. Ferguson

Brad H. Ferguson

Attorney at Law
Criminal Defense | Family Law | Personal Injury Lawyer

Haywood County | The Case of a Stolen Car and a Ghost Lover

Working with the judicial system as an attorney, you get to see human nature on trial daily. Sometimes what happens in the courtroom is hilarious because you never know what someone will say or do. Recently I came upon a couple of tales from my native Haywood County that were from many years ago I think you will enjoy.

The Solicitor’s Missing Car

District Attorney’s used to go by a different title in North Carolina a long time ago. They used to be known as a Solicitor.

Years ago, when trials were held in the now Historic Courthouse in Haywood County, there was parking for the judge and the district attorney (DA) directly behind the building. As recounted in the book Disorder in the Court by Bob Terrell and “Buck” Buchanan, this particular district attorney had a bad habit of leaving his keys in the ignition switch. He was in Waynesville to help hold a two-week session of criminal cases.

On Wednesday of his first week here, he left the courthouse in the afternoon only to find that his car had been stolen. It takes a reasonably brazen person to steal a vehicle directly behind the courthouse midday but perhaps seeing that the keys were in the ignition made the idea of theft irresistible.

The DA immediately reported his stolen car to the sheriff, and the next day they found his car abandoned in the next town over in Clyde. The vehicle was undamaged, thankfully, and apparently, some joy-riders had driven it until it ran out of gas. Since nothing had happened to his car except for disappearing for 24 hours, he never thought another thing about it and went back to work.

Coincidently, on the same day that the DA’s car was stolen, a young man had also entered a plea of guilty in a different car theft case in the same court as the DA. The judge sent the young man back to jail to await his sentence the next day.

When the DA arrived the following day to begin a new day in court, the jailer brought him a handwritten note from the young man awaiting his sentence.

The note read: “Dear Mr. Solicitor: I heard about your car getting stolen yesterday. Please wait a few more days to sentence me because I would rather walk through hell doused in lighter fluid than to come up before you today.”

Instead of bringing his sentencing up before the judge that day, he did as had been requested. When he did bring it back up before the judge, he handed him the note that the young man had written, and the judge busted out into a belly laugh. In the end, he decided that the young man had learned his lesson, and he gave him probation.

The Case of a Ghost Lover

Also, in Haywood County, not long after the close of the Korean War, there was a divorce case between a soldier who had returned home and his wife who had given birth to a baby girl 18 months after he been deployed.

When she took the stand and was being cross-examined by the plaintiff’s lawyer, she told them that her husband fathered the child nine months after he left and that the baby was his.

The lawyer asked her, “How can that be if he was halfway across the world?”

Stammering, she replied, “Sir, he came to me in a dream one night.”

“In a dream!” the attorney shouted. “Are you saying you had sexual relations with a ghost?”

“Yes, sir,” she replied.

At that point, the judge stopped the proceedings and exclaimed to the entire courtroom, “I don’t believe I have ever heard anything like this before. Is there anyone in this courtroom that has ever had sexual relations with a ghost?”

You can guess the answer to that question and who won that case.

As I said before, you never know what people will say when you are in the midst of a trial. However, there are days when you leave the courthouse wondering if people honestly take the time to consider what they are saying before they get on the stand.


Research Provided by Sabrina L. Greene

Share this post

Legal Disclaimer: The information provided on this site does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship and is for general informational purposes only. Attorney Brad H. Ferguson has not been involved in any cases mentioned on this blog. Content provided does not constitute legal advice and may not represent the most up-to-date information. No reader of this site should act or refrain according to the information given without first seeking legal counsel in their jurisdiction. If you have a pressing legal matter that needs attention, please contact our office via phone to schedule a consultation at 828-452-1655.