Update Oct. 22: Both WCQS and the Asheville Citizen-Times today followed with their own stories on this topic. In both stories, Brian Haynes reiterated what he told me about the charges his son faces, then goes a step further by saying that he supports the legalization of marijuana. From the Citizen-Times:
Brian Haynes said there’s “hardly” a citizen in the city who hasn’t smoked marijuana or who doesn’t know someone who has.
“This has been going on way too long, this war on drugs, especially this war on marijuana,” he said.
Here’s the WCQS story on Haynes.
Original post Oct. 19: The son and campaign manager of a top contender for Asheville City Council in this year’s election is facing felony drug charges stemming from an arrest earlier this year.
Austin Buchanan Haynes, 31, the son of candidate Brian Haynes, was arrested March 20 by members of the Buncombe County Anti-Crime Taskforce. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported on March 22 that Austin Haynes, of Robindale Avenue, was charged with possessing 6.36 pounds of marijuana and that he ran from officers.
Court papers show that a Buncombe County grand jury handed down a felony indictment of conspiracy to possess, with intent to sell/deliver, in excess of one and one-half ounces of marijuana on Sept. 14 after the case was moved from District Court to Superior Court. The indictment was served on Oct. 5, according to the court papers.
Sean Devereux, Austin Haynes’ defense attorney, in a telephone interview Monday afternoon said that the case is working its way through the system and noted that the situation was one in which Austin Haynes was living with a couple of other roommates who received a package from California. Austin Haynes’ name “was not on that package,” Devereux said.
Brian Haynes on Monday declined to comment on the specific charges against his son. Brian Haynes said he was fully aware of his son’s situation before he launched his political campaign, his first run for public office.
“He asked me if he should be my campaign manager, and I said, unequivocally, yes. I couldn’t be any more proud of my son. He’s the most socially conscious person I know,” Brian Haynes said.
“We knew this might come up, but just the same chose him to be our campaign manager. That’s what we’ve been calling him, even though this is a grassroots campaign that’s a committee of me, my wife and a few advisors,” he said.
Brian Haynes has worked as an assistant manager at Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity for almost a decade. (He volunteered for the nonprofit prior to working for it.) In the late 1990s through 2004, Haynes owned and operated a popular downtown Asheville music shop called Almost Blue at the corner of Patton and Coxe avenues.
Brian Haynes has run an energetic City Council campaign, finishing second in a field of 15 in the October primary. His brother, famous rock guitarist Warren Haynes, held a successful campaign fund-raising concert in September. Austin Haynes has been at his father’s side throughout the campaign. His hip-hop band Free Radio performed at the concert, and this past weekend, Brian and Austin Haynes and volunteers knocked on doors in the Haw Creek community.
Brian Haynes and five other candidates are vying for three open seats on Asheville City Council. The election is Nov. 3, with early voting starting Thursday.
I have left messages with Austin Haynes seeking comment.