Detention Center officer charged with DWI

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A Cleveland County detention officer was charged with driving while impaired earlier this month.

Samantha Autumn Earley, 27, who lives in Forest City, was arrested shortly after midnight on Nov. 2, according to a Shelby Police report.

She was charged with impaired driving, expired registration/tag and speeding.

Sheriff Alan Norman said Earley was hired to work at the Cleveland County Detention Center on Jan. 1. Following her arrest, she has been suspended without pay while an internal investigation is conducted.

According to a Shelby Police report, an officer was running radar near Lidl on East Dixon Boulevard early in the morning and clocked a car going 68 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone. The officer wrote that he activated his lights and sirens and started to follow the car but it “was slow to react,” and the car passed two entrances before yielding to the right on Earl Road.

Once the car stopped, the officer spoke to Earley and asked her why she was speeding, and she said she was “trying to slow down” and was heading home, according to the police report.

The officer reported that Earley had red eyes and her breath smelled of alcohol. The officer said she told him she had one beer and drank it just before she left for home.

When the officer ran her tag, it allegedly came back to a different vehicle, and Earley told him she was waiting for her tag to come in the mail.

The officer wrote that he gave Earley a breathalyzer test, and she blew a 0.1. It is illegal to drive with a 0.08 or higher.

“I asked Ms. Earley how big the beer was, and she advised me it was a big beer,” the report reads.

He said he also put her through several sobriety tests before placing her under arrest and bringing her to the Cleveland County Detention Center to be fingerprinted and brought before a magistrate, the police report says.

She was released on an unsecured bond. Earley could not be reached by phone for comment, and her mugshot was not available on the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office website.

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