Gang member held on $225k bond after repeated arrests for violence

Backlog in courts, prisons making locking-up violent offenders more difficult

Photo courtesy of the Stanly County Sheriff's Office

ALBEMARLE — Harry Michael Fahy, 25, of Albemarle, is being held on $225,000 bond after his latest string of charges — four counts of assault by pointing a gun on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4, as well as a simple assault days earlier. The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office lists him as being in custody on charges including possession of a firearm by a felon, assault by pointing a gun, assault on a female, violation of probation and injury to property.  

In 2014, Fahy was convicted of two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and sentenced to five years and five months. After being released early, in 2018, he shortly returned to jail after an assault on a female charge. He was held until Aug. 12, 2019. Since his release in 2019, he has been repeatedly arrested for alleged acts of violence but has not seen another long stint behind bars. 

Around this time last year, Oct. 21, 2020, Fahy was arrested for assault by pointing a gun and simple assault, the same charges he was arrested for this October. A month later, on Nov. 29, 2020, he was arrested for assault on a female. Two weeks later, on Dec. 12, 2020, he was arrested again for assault on a female. Six days later, on Dec. 20, he was arrested for assault and battery. A month later, on Jan. 20, 2021, he was arrested for injury to personal property. Two weeks later, on Feb. 3, he was arrested for communicating threats. Less than a month later, on March 1, he was again arrested for assault on a female.  

An article on WHKY in July, said Fahy was arrested in Iredell County for trying to defraud people using Facebook Marketplace. The article also said that, “According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Fahy is a verified member of the Aryan Brotherhood Gang by the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.” 

The Aryan Brotherhood, sometimes known as “The Brand,” is a nationwide white supremacist gang with up to 20,000 members. It is among the most powerful gangs within the federal prison system.  

When he was charged in July, he was already being held in Moore County Detention Center on earlier charges.  

Since 2019, Fahy has also had numerous non-violent offenses associated with driving on a suspended license, marijuana possession and trespassing.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to major issues within court systems across the state and the country regarding keeping criminal offenders in jail.  

On March 17, 2020, an administrative order was signed by Judicial District 20a senior resident Superior Court judge, Kevin Bridges, and its chief District Court judge, John Nance, that eliminated most business at the Stanly County Courthouse. District 20a serves Stanly and Montgomery counties and has an overlapping District Court and Superior Court which deal with both civil and criminal laws in the area.  

This administrative order was then repeatedly extended until June 7, 2021, when Bridges and Nance eliminated social distancing and the mask-wearing requirement for vaccinated individuals. They were responding to an order given three days earlier by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Newby that called for reducing the precautions that hampered court activity. Despite this reopening, the backlog of cases from the previous 15 months has caused difficulty. 

Overcrowding in the state’s prisons, due to staffing shortages and COVID-19 social-distancing regulations, is often cited as another reason for many people being freed who would otherwise be locked up.  

Stanly County clerk of court Michael Huneycutt told SCJ on Sept. 18 that a large part of the problem is that the county’s jail is already overcrowded by 40 or 50, so the county is having to pay to have them held elsewhere at significant expense.  

Fahy is due in court on Nov. 11.