Agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.) are continuing to investigate the deputy-involved shooting that occurred in Hickory on Monday (November 28). 41-year-old Irecas Raysion Valentine was killed during the incident.
Agents from the S.B.I. were not in the area prior to or during the shooting, but responded to the scene because a request for an external and independent investigation was made by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival, Agents immediately began the independent criminal investigation.
The S.B.I. hopes to interview everyone who may have witnessed the incident and anyone who is in possession of video footage. When the investigation is complete, the S.B.I. will provide the case file to the Catawba County District Attorney.
Anyone with information should call the S.B.I.’s Hickory office at 828-294-2226. After hours, call 800-334-3000.
28-year-old Tiffany Ann Stamey was arrested Thursday (December 2) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon. Stamey was placed in jail in Morganton under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, December 2).
26-year-old Justin Ray Coleman and 32-year-old Justin Lee Allen, both of Bessemer City, along with 38-year-old Dana Michelle Matheson of York, South Carolina, have all been arrested by Lincoln Co. Narcotics Officers. All three were charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Coleman was also charged with conspiracy to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance. Matheson faces additional charges for maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance, speeding to elude arrest and no operator’s license. Coleman and Allen were both charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. They were arrested yesterday (December 1) after a brief vehicle pursuit south of Lincolnton.
According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, the suspects made an arrangement to meet with an undercover Detective and sell a large quantity of meth. The suspects reportedly conducted counter-surveillance in an attempt to avoid detection and confuse the undercover Detective. Narcotics Detectives conducting surveillance recognized the activity and saw one of the suspect vehicles in the parking lot at a church near the 3000 block of the Gastonia Highway.
Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop and approach the subjects, but the vehicle left the parking lot, spinning its tires and narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic. With emergency lights and sirens activated, Detectives pursued the vehicle south on the Gastonia Highway and onto Highway 321 northbound until they reached mile marker 21, where the vehicle stopped. Detectives quickly took all three subjects into custody. During a search of the vehicle, Detectives seized meth, drug paraphernalia and more than $1,000 in cash. The vehicle was impounded.
Following their arrests, Coleman, and Allen were each given a $15,000 secured bond, while Matheson’s bond was set at $27,000, secured. No court dates are currently listed for Coleman and Allen. Matheson was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.
Detectives believe the suspects have been coming through Lincoln County recently to participate in drug activity. Coleman has previously worked and lived in Lincoln County. The investigation is ongoing as Detectives work to identify others who may have been involved in Thursday’s incident.
As the result of the burn ban currently in effect throughout much of western North Carolina, Catawba Memorial Park has canceled its luminary service, which had been planned for tomorrow (December 3). A memorial service will still be in the funeral home chapel at the park. That service will begin at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
The service is intended to honor those who have passed away in 2016. The families and loved ones of anyone interred at the park are welcome to attend.
Catawba Memorial Park is located at 3010 Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory, near the Hickory Motor Speedway. For more information, call 828-322-8646.
28-year-old Christopher Brice Biggerstaff was arrested Thursday (December 1) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony counts of larceny of a firearm and forced breaking and entering. Biggerstaff was placed in jail in Morganton under $35,000 bond. A court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, December 2).
Commissioners will be sworn in and the organizational meeting will be held when the Catawba County Board of Commissioners meets in regular session Monday morning (December 5). Barbara Beatty and Dan Hunsucker will be sworn in after regaining their seats in the November election. In addition, Donna Hicks Spencer will be sworn in as Register of Deeds. Commissioners will hold their organizational meeting and elect a Chair and Vice-Chair. They'll also make several organizational appointments.
In addition Monday morning, Catawba County Commissioners will hear a presentation related to the Library Director of the Year Award which will be prestented to Library Director Suzanne White. The Catawba County Library System's Advanced Gardener Series is also the winner of the award for Best Program For Adults from the North Carolina Library Director's Association.
The 2015/2016 Audit/Financial Report will be presented during departmental reports. And there will be a Strategic Planning Broadband Discussion.
Monday's Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting gets underway at 9:30 a.m. at the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
20-year-old Rodney Tyler York of Main Avenue SW in Hickory was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Following the arrest, York was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Friday, December 2) under $3,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for February 6.
38-year-old Shawn Henry Mclean of SW Delwood Drive in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (December 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with three counts of violating a house arrest order. Mclean was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $140,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for January 3.
44-year-old Jerry Edward Killian of Gunpowder Road in Granite Falls was arrested Thursday (December 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine, and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substances. Killian was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for next Monday (December 5).
44-year-old James Robert Tewell of Starwood Drive in Mooresville was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with 34 counts of statutory rape, 35 counts of statutory sex offense, one count of rape of a child; adult offender, one count of sexual offense with a child; adult offender, five counts of second degree rape and five counts of second degree sexual offense. Tewell had previously been charged with one count of statutory rape.
On November 25 a report was filed with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office regarding a victim who reported that they'd been sexually assaulted between 2013-2016 by a family member. During the initial investigation, James Robert Tewell was charged with one count of statutory rape. The case was assigned to Detective Sergeant Amy Dyson of the Special Victims Unit. The child was taken to the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center where an interview was conducted. Several additional witnesses were identified and interviewed.
Tewell, who was being held in the Iredell County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,0000 secured bond, was served with the new charges and given an additional $500,000 secured bond. He has District Court dates scheduled for next Monday (December 5) and December 21).
29-year-old Steve Allen Woody of Park Lane Drive in Morganton was arrested Thursday (December 1) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree burglary.
On Thursday, November 25, at approximately 12:50 a.m., deputies with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Zion Baptist Church Parsonage in reference to a burglary. When the deputies arrived, they spoke with the homeowners who told them an unknown white male had entered their residence through the basement. Once inside the residence, the male entered their bedroom while they were sleeping and they were awakened.
A brief encounter occurred in the bedroom and the male ran out of the residence and sped away in a passenger vehicle. Deputies cleared the interior of the residence and completed a report. The Criminal Investigations Division was assigned the case. After a short time, investigators developed a suspect in the case.
Yesterday (Thursday, December 1), at approximately 8:15 a.m., the Burke County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search at 1066 Park Lane Drive off Piedmont Road. The suspect, Steve Allen Woody, was arrested at the residence. He was placed in jail under $250,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (Friday, December 2).
Unemployment rates did not change much in the Greater Hickory Metro area according to the latest report. All but one area county's jobless rates remained the same as in the previous month.
The latest report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division, which was released this week, details the unemployment numbers from the month of October.
Catawba County's unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent, the same as in September. Alexander County saw it's jobless rate drop to 4 percent even, down from 4.1 percent in the last report. Burke County's unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, same as in September, and Caldwell County's jobless rate remained steady at 5 percent even.
The unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is 4.7 percent, the same as in the last report. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton has the 8th lowest unemployment rate among 15 MSAs.
The statewide unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, up from 4.8 percent in the September report. Unemployment rates increased in 44 of North Carolina's counties, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34. Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent.
28-year-old Brandon Adolphus-Edward Bates of Woodland Lane in Charlotte was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (December 1) on one felony count of possession of cocaine. According to H.P.D.’s arrest report, Bates was arrested for possessing one gram of crack cocaine.
He was taken into custody without incident at about 2:15 a.m. today on the 500 block of Highway 70 S.W. Bates was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,500 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Vale woman. Deputies were dispatched to 6460 Sandburg Trail in Vale around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday (November 30), after the woman’s husband called to report her missing. 34-year-old Shelia Carver was reportedly at the residence around 7:00 p.m. when her husband and his two children went to Walmart in Cherryville and was gone when they returned.
Detective Dan Snellings said Ms. Carver, who was born in the Philippines and speaks limited English, is described as five feet tall and weighing 90 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black and white jacket and carrying a large gray pocketbook.
Carver may have friends in Statesville, Lincolnton and the Charlotte area.
Anyone with information about Ms. Carver’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.