Ronald T. Guerette Memorial Scholarship

Ronald T. Guerette Memorial Fund Scholarship


Ronald T. Guerette was a highly respected and nationally recognized private investigator based in Charlotte, NC. He passed away at the age of 74 and will forever be remembered for his instrumental role in some of the highest profile criminal defense cases in the nation. Recognized as the success behind some of the most respected defense attorneys in the country, he was known not only for his investigative professionalism and ingenuity, but also for his expertise in jury selection, client relation support and expert witnesses.

Prior to working in private practice, he was a detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department where he served in every investigative division, including vice, homicide and working undercover while riding with notorious biker gangs. His directness and "no bullshit" demeanor meant that he was never good at playing the political game within the police department. When faced with being transferred out of the detective divisions, he left the force to continue what he loved doing the most and started his own private investigations agency in 1982.

"Guerette" as he was widely referred, built his reputation from the ground up. His professionalism, intense focus, and strong work ethic quickly made him widley recognized within the Carolinas and beyond as the detective to hire. He brought professional and skilled investigations to the broader community, something which had previously been lacking in the private domain. He provided a full repertoire of investigative services, both criminal and civil. Ron is perhaps best known for his work on several high-profile criminal defense cases and he was highlighted several times in local and national media stories. A few of his notable cases included the defense of Michael Peterson showcased in the Netflix series The Staircase, the PTL Jim Baker scandal, the former NFL player Rae Carruth murder, the $17 million Loomis-Fargo heist and the former Charlotte Hornets owner George Shinn assault case, among others. Whenever challenged by someone asking how he could work for the 'other side' after being a police officer, he would quickly proclaim, "there's only one side to the truth!"

Over the years he became recognized as the "alpha shamus" of private investigators in the Carolinas. Through apprenticeships of several investigators learning the craft under his tutelage, he single-handedly spawned multiple generations of private investigators who went on to start their own agencies or to work in government. He undoubtedly and forever raised the bar in the level of private investigative practice. Guerette diligently served all his clients, taking them personally under his care, listening, understanding their situations, and most importantly, never passing judgment, only respecting their humanity and right to a competent and fair legal process.

Guerette lived a full life. He was a hard charger, a 'hip shooter', a door kicker and a gun slinger. He worked hard, played hard, and loved much. He always had a special heart for his grandchildren and although he achieved much success, it was his children and grandchildren that brought him the greatest joy. Having been married and divorced five times, it is probably most accurate to say that he was a much better detective, father and grandfather, than he was a husband. Something even he would concede.

To honor the magnificent life of Ron Guerette, a Memorial Fund has been created to further improve the practice of defense investigations. The goal of the fund is to provide resources to those working in the field to build and advance the knowledge and skills used in carrying out defense investigations. Two types of funding are available: one for public defender organizations and one for individual investigators. The individual scholarship covers the Conference Registration, Travel, and Hotel Accommodations.

For Public Defender organizations seeking scholarship opportunities, please continue to check the NDIA website for updates on how to apply.

Selection Criteria and Guidelines

  • The scholarship recipient must be a member of NDIA for a minimum of 18 months.
  • Recipient should be employed in a full or part time position with a Public Defender office; however, consideration for those applying as an independent contractor in criminal defense will be given on a case-by-case basis.
  • The scholarship recipient must demonstrate both a commitment to criminal defense and how the funds requested will specifically improve the practice of defense investigations.
  • The Ronald T. Guerette Scholarship CANNOT be awarded to the same individual for two consecutive years.

To apply for this scholarship for an upcoming NDIA Conference, please thoroughly read the APPLICATION FORM. Send the completed application and any required supporting materials via email or fax.

DEADLINE: The application deadline for the 2024 National Conference in New Orleans, LA is March 1, 2024 and the application deadline for the 2024 Regional Conference in Scottsdale, AZ is July 19, 2024.