TUPELO • A former deputy, set to face felony charges next month, has now been accused of threatening the Lee County Sheriff.
Mike Mayhew, 45, of Plantersville, was booked into the Lee County Jail July 10 at 4:02 p.m., charged with retaliation against a public servant. He was released on a $5,000 bond 30 minutes later.
According to the indictment filed June 28 in Lee County Circuit Court, around March 31, Mayhew told another former deputy to tell Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson that “he has an a-- whipping coming.” According to the state, the threat was in retaliation for Mayhew being arrested for submitting false time sheets and losing his job in 2017.
The new charge is considered a Class 2 felony and carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or up to a $3,000 fine.
Mayhew, who worked for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for about a decade, is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 7 before senior Circuit Court Judge Paul Funderburk on three counts of submitting false documents. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
Court documents reviewed by the Daily Journal show Mayhew is accused of submitting false time sheets in February, March and April of 2017. The exact amount of the fraud is not listed, but Johnson has said the total was several thousand dollars.
“We were alerted to a potential problem, we started monitoring the situation and noticed some irregular activities,” Johnson said in a previous interview. “We investigated him for about a year.
“Once we realized that a crime had occurred, we turned over all the documentation we had compiled to the state Attorney General’s Office.”
Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander presented the case to the grand jury and secured an indictment in March 2018. Mayhew surrendered himself on those charges on April 4, 2018. He spent about 15 minutes at the jail before being released on bond.
Mayhew, who rose to the position of patrol supervisor, has not been employed by the sheriff’s office since early 2017. A native of Canada, Mayhew came to Lee County in 1998 to play professional hockey with the Tupelo T-Rex. He is fourth on the team’s all-time leading scorers with 47 goals. But the forward was also known for mixing it up with opposing players. In his 97 games played from 1998-2000, he racked up 197 minutes in the penalty box.
He became a U.S. citizen in 2006 and joined Lee SO in 2007 after finishing at the top of his class at the police academy. Two years later, he was named Citizen of the Year by the Tupelo Exchange Club.