WHKY has obtained copies of search warrants in the Maggie Daniels murder case. The warrants were unsealed this morning (August 28). Ms. Daniels, a 31-year-old counselor at Discovery High School, was killed on June 27. Her body was found in her apartment bedroom the following morning. The nature of the death investigation was changed to a homicide on June 30.
34-year-old Sharman Howard Odom has been charged with the murder. Ms. Daniels lived in the Windsor Apartment complex on West 17th Street in Newton where Odom was her neighbor.
The warrants state that there were ligature marks around Ms. Daniels' neck, suggesting that she was strangled. Several items of furniture were damaged or askew, suggesting a struggle took place in her bedroom. There were no signs of forced entry, but the front door was unlocked. Evidence found at the crime scene and in the autopsy suggests that Ms. Daniels was sexually assaulted.
Dark-colored, curly hairs were found between Ms. Daniels' fingers and did not appear to be consistent with any of the hair from her head or body. Samples sent to the State Crime Laboratory show the presence of unknown male DNA.
According to search warrants, a neighbor said Odom often mentioned the victim and seemed familiar with her habits, noting that she lived by herself. Another neighbor said Odom wanted to know if Ms. Daniels dated black men. One neighbor said Odom stated that Ms. Daniels was attractive and made a statement about wanting to “get with” her. The mother of Ms. Daniels’ boyfriend said she saw Odom staring at the victim while she sunbathed and “called him down on frequent occasions” for doing so.
The warrants also detail rape, strangulation and robbery charges filed against Odom in 2010 and 2012 in Mecklenburg County. Those cases were dismissed, largely because of uncooperative victims. He is also a person of interest in another 2012 rape case.
The warrants detail the collection and testing of DNA from several subjects. Odom refused to provide a sample, saying he "did not trust law enforcement." A search warrant for various tissue, fluid and hair samples from Odom’s person was issued on July 25.
A bottle of cleaning fluid containing bleach was found at the crime scene. The warrants state that the fluid may have been used to clean Ms. Daniels’ body. An unknown stain was found on her back. Odom worked for an auto detailer and admitted keeping cleaning chemicals in his vehicle.
Odom remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond. He will next appear in court on October 6.
31-year-old Thomas Wilson Burkett of Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:40 last night (August 28) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arrested after Officers on foot patrol at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory noticed a U-Haul truck and ran the vehicle registration, which came back as a stolen vehicle from Florida.
Officers checked with the front desk to verify the room the U-Haul was paired up with. Police then spoke with the occupants and found that Thomas Burkett had rented the vehicle, but had not paid for the rental. While conducting an inventory of the U-Haul, Officers found and seized two pipes and a set of digital scales.
Two other persons were present in the room, but were not charged.
Burkett was taken into custody without incident and taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.
The public schools budget formally adopted by the North Carolina legislature has left Catawba County Schools with an unexpected $1,071,923 shortfall in funding for teacher assistants.
According to Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman, the school system had tried to develop a bare-bones budget, but the late passage of the state budget and the reduction in funds means that Catawba County Schools has had to scramble to revise its budget before the beginning of the school year.
The board modified and approved a plan that does not fill vacated positions, reduces the number of days assistants will work by ten workdays and will reduce instructional supply allocations by 75 percent.
Teacher assistants were called to a meeting to learn how they will be affected this school year.
Dr. Brigman went on to say that he regrets the reduction in teacher assistant workdays, but is relieved that no layoffs were required and essential services for children can be protected.
39-year-old Brian Keith Guzman of Alabama Avenue in Marion is wanted by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office. He is wanted on charges of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Guzman allegedly assaulted and tried to rob a Marion man at the victim’s residence on Jenny Lind Drive late Monday afternoon (August 25).
Guzman is described as a white male, 6’4” tall, weighing 215 pounds. He has short brown hair, green eyes and a tattoo on his right arm.
Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Brian Keith Guzman should call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2235 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 828-65-CRIME (828-652-7463). Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward.
42-year-old Erik Paul Collins of Bancroft Lane in Statesville was arrested yesterday (August 27) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detectives on one felony count each of indecent liberties with a child and disseminating obscenity to a minor less than 13 years of age. Collins was taken into custody at his residence without incident.
Collins, who is a heavy equipment operator for the North Carolina Department of Transportation in Salisbury, is accused of sending inappropriate messages and photos to an 11-year-old female. The suspect is an acquaintance of the victim’s family. The incidents occurred during the month of August.
Collins was jailed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $125,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom today.
The 101st Hickory American Legion Fair is open. The fair will run through September 1. The fairgrounds are located on American Legion Avenue in Newton, just off of Highway 70 S.E.
For more information, visit the fair’s website at www.hickoryfair.com.
24-year-old Shane Edward Webb of Forsythe Street in Marion, has been charged with murder. He is charged in connection to the shooting death of 39-year-old James Lionel Ferguson of Old Highway 10 East in Marion on Saturday, August 16.
24-year-old Andrew Clifton Johnson of Maces Park Drive in Marion was previously charged with murder in connection to the same crime, as reported August 18 on WHKY.
According to McDowell County Sheriff’s Capt. Shanon Smith, Detectives developed information that led them to believe Johnson and Webb conspired to rob Ferguson. In the course of the robbery, Ferguson was shot and subsequently died. The shooting occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on the 16th at a residence on Blunt Way in Nebo.
Webb will appear in a McDowell County courtroom on September 15. Johnson’s next court date is set for September 3.
The Family Care Center of Catawba Valley, Inc. has a new Thrift Store Manager. She is Michelle Barnes, who joined the agency on August 26.
Ms. Barnes replaces Ellen Ball, who was the store’s manager for the last two years. Ms. Barnes is a graduate of CVCC and the mother of two daughters, with several years’ previous experience in retail management.
The Family Care Center’s Thrift Store is located at 860 16th Street N.E., near the intersection of Highland Avenue and Springs Road, across from Shurtape. For more information, call 828-327-4796 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Family Care Center has served the Catawba Valley area for 26 years. In 2013, it provided services to 62 families, including 85 adults and 128 children.
The Family Care Center is located at 2875 Highland Avenue in Hickory. They can be reached at 828-324-9917, email@example.com or www.familycare-center.com.
The ninth “Caldwell is Hiring” job fair is set for Thursday, October 2 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.
The semi-annual job fair is sponsored by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, in cooperation with Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and the NCWorks Career Planning & Placement Center.
For up-to-date information regarding “Caldwell is Hiring,” visit the Caldwell EDC website at www.caldwelledc.org. Information also is available on the “Caldwell is Hiring” and the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission pages on Facebook. Call Deborah Murray with the Caldwell County EDC at 828-728-0768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Broyhill Center is located at 1913 Hickory Boulevard S.E.
31-year-old Gary Lee Alverson and 42-year-old Lanesha Annette Johnson, both of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (August 26) in connection to a robbery in June of this year. Johnson was taken into custody first, just after 8 p.m., at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal building. She was charged on a warrant issued in July for felony robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons. Whitener was arrested about two hours later at H.P.D. headquarters on a warrant issued yesterday for misdemeanor communicating threats. A few minutes later, he was also arrested for felony robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons.
The robbery occurred on June 20 at the Dollar General Store on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Alverson asked a clerk to speak to a manager. The clerk pointed to the manager. Alverson allegedly displayed a gun and demanded to know where the money was. The clerk was able to get a tag number from the vehicle Alverson left in, but the tag number didn’t match the vehicle. Johnson was the driver.
Both subjects were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Alverson set at $76,000, secured, while Johnson was given a $15,000 secured bond. They were scheduled to make first appearances in District Court today in Newton.