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Wilmington Councilman Kevin Spears held in contempt, detained overnight at Columbus County jail

A shot of the Columbus County Courthouse, a brick building with white pillars, from the west side.
Nikolai Mather
The Columbus County courthouse.

According to court officials, Councilman Kevin Spears was in court on Monday for a civil matter when he was held in contempt during the hearing. Spears was released Tuesday afternoon.

According to Columbus County court officials, Wilmington City Council member Kevin Spears appeared in Columbus County for a child support hearing.

During the hearing, Spears was allegedly disruptive and uncooperative, as first reported this morning by WECT.

According to court officials, Spears refused to answer questions and engaged in unproductive crosstalk with the opposing counsel, despite a being told to stop by Judge Heath Nance, who eventually held Spears in contempt and ordered him to serve 24 hours in the county detention center.

Nance is a former assistant district attorney who was appointed to the district court bench in 2023 by Governor Roy Cooper.

Spears, who has since been released, declined to comment.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.