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News (938)

We have more information on an arrest we first reported on earlier this month. On March 19, WHKY reported on the arrest of 25-year-old Jesse Joe Potter of Bryant Road in Drexel. He’s charged with two felony counts apiece of break or enter a motor vehicle, larceny of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.

According to a news release issued by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Monday (March 30), on October 21 and October 23 2014 the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Ramblewoods Community reference to numerous vehicle breaking or enterings. Detectives received the cases for investigation. Detectives obtained video of a white male breaking into a vehicle in a victim’s driveway. Jesse Joe Potter was identified as a suspect in this case.

Detectives were able to find a person who had witnessed Mr. Potter with stolen property from the Ramblewoods Community on the night of the reported crimes. Additional charges for vehicle breaking and entering charges are pending.

Potter remains at the Burke-Catawba Detention Facility under a $26,000 Secured Bond. His next appearance in District Court is scheduled for next Wednesday (April 8).

We have more information on an arrest we first reported on last week. 25-year-old Ashley Nichole Whitener was arrested last Wednesday (March 25) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. She was charged with Felonious Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle and Felonious Larceny and Felonious Possession of Stolen Goods.

The defendant was caught on video surveillance breaking into several vehicles at a local convenience store in the Hildebran area on March 11. An alert was sent out asking the public for their help in identifying the female. Ashley Nichole Whitener was positively identified by the public as well as by several individuals close to her as the person seen on video committing the crime.

Whitener was located at Lowman’s Motor Court in Hildebran and taken into custody. She was confined to the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $10,000 bond, she made a first court appearance last Friday (March 27). She remains in jail and is scheduled to make her next appearance in District Court April 15.

The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a dog that stolen during a home break-in yesterday (March 30).  Sheriff’s Officers responded to a reported breaking & entering on Tiffany’s Lane in Taylorsville.  Upon arrival, Officers found that an unknown suspect or suspects pried open a door to the residence and made entry.  Numerous items were stolen, including cash, jewelry and a toy poodle dog.  The incident occurred between the hours of 6:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.   

The dog is a black and brown Toy Poodle with green painted toenails and one purple toenail on each front paw.  It was last seen wearing an Easter-themed bandana around its neck.

Anyone with information concerning the dog’s whereabouts or with information about the break-in should call Alexander County Crime Stoppers at 828-632-8555.  A reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crime.

36-year-old Daniel Layne Stewart of Peterborough Drive in Mooresville was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers and charged with failure to secure a firearm to protect a minor. The charge is in connection with an incident over the weekend in which an eight-year-old boy shot an eleven-year-old boy.

Sheriff Darren Campbell stated that on Sunday (March 29) at 2:20pm, Deputy Dave Harding and Sgt. Chris Smith received a call from Lake Norman Regional Medical Center Emergency Department reporting that an 11 year old male had suffered an accidental gunshot wound to the face by his 8 year old friend.

Upon arrival, deputies observed that the injury was minor to the right cheek where it went in and out with no apparent major injuries. Lake Norman Regional Medical Center transferred the child to Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolina’s Medical Center by Iredell County EMS to remove fragments in the wound.

Both juveniles parents were interviewed by deputies and found that the boys were playing cops and robbers in the back yard, where the 8 year old boy had hid in an outbuilding and had found the rifle located in the outbuilding. When the 11 year old opened the door the 8 year old fired the rifle striking the older boy in the cheek.

Iredell Co. Detective’s Division was contacted and Sgt. Mike Benfield arrived and conducted interviews. It was found that the gun was found stored in the storage area in a negligent manner. Following the arrest, Stewart was released on an unsecured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for May 15.

A Lincolnton man will spend 70-96 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of child abuse (inflicting serious bodily and physical injury) and larceny of a firearm. The guilty plea was entered Monday (March 30) during Catawba County Superior Court. The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, handed down the sentence for 23-year-old Michael David Williams following his plea. The defendant was placed in custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

Williams stole an SKS rifle valued at $450 from his girlfriend’s mother while family members were sleeping in February 2013 and then sold it. He also admitted to shaking his then 3-month-old son on two separate occasions following larceny of the firearm, acts that left the small child with subdural hematomas on the brain, both shown on CT scans.

Williams was watching the child on March 10, 2013, and admitted to shaking the baby when it would not stop crying, leading to profuse vomiting and fever for the infant. Less than a month later, on April 7, 2013, Williams again shook the baby when it would not stop crying. That action left the child limp and led to its admittance to the intensive care unit at Levine Children’s Hospital. Doctors determined that the shaking episodes led to the hematomas on the baby’s brain after seeing results of the scans.

Kristy Towery investigated the case for the Conover Police Department, and Michelle Lippert handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office, following pre-trial preparation by Michael Van Buren and Lance Sigmon.

25-year-old Aaron Christopher Lackey of Newton, will spend 18-22 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple sexual offenses with a minor child during Catawba County Superior Court Monday (March 30). Lackey was sentenced by the Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, after pleading guilty to statutory rape, statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a child.

He was placed in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. The defendant will have to register as a sex offender and will be required to enroll in satellite-based monitoring for the remainder of his life upon release from DAC custody. The offenses took place in December 2010 when Lackey was 21 years old and the female victim was 13. They knew each other.

According to the investigation by the Newton Police Department, the victim, who suffered from a mental illness, approached Lackey seeking money. He coerced her into engaging in sexual activity for money, taking advantage of her diminished mental capacity and age. Lackey denied the sexual acts took place, but an analysis of DNA taken from the defendant proved to be a match with DNA swabs taken from the victim.

Michael Van Buren prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office. Brian Cloninger led the investigation for Newton Police Department. The Catawba County Child Advocacy and Protection Center partnered with the DA’s Office and Newton Police Department during the investigation.

Emotions ran high inside the Caldwell County Courthouse this morning.  A young couple accused of murdering a man in Hudson made their first appearances. 

Both families were inside the courtroom this morning for this case. Shea Fullard and Nathan Vasquez were arrested last night for the murder of Marcus Devlin.

We were inside this morning, you can see from the video, Vasquez mouthing the words to his family members "I didn't do it".

On Saturday night around 8:30 police responded to a call on Freemason Rd in Hudson, they found 34 yr old Marcus Devlin dead. Now police have still not released the cause of death, or a motive for the murder, but the release from the sheriff's office reads that Devlin died as a result of an "apparent assault".

He was found inside of his apartment; it looks as if the door had been kicked in. When Vazquez and Fullard were brought into the magistrate’s office last night, Fullard had her face covered and said she would not comment, Vasquez said that he did not kill anyone.

This morning family members of the victim and the suspects spoke with us. The victim’s wife told me she didn't understand why her husband was killed.

 “Over what, I do not know, it’s not fair!”  “I’m hurting, and that’s all I have to say” 

Vasquez mother was outside as well she says that she believes her son's statement.

“He said he didn’t do it, and I want to believe him.  He’s my son, and I’m going to stick by him and support him”.

I spoke with a friend of the family and she told me that the suspects and the victims’ families all knew each other. There was also speculation as to how Devlin was killed.

This may be a domestic related case, but as I said before police are being very cautious in not releasing the cause of death.

Tomorrow I'll be looking into the case to see if police have gone through any warrants and hopefully have more information for you. Shea Fullard and Nathan Vasquez both have probable cause hearings on Apr 20.

For updates on this case follow Fentress on Twitter @fentresswhky14

Long View Police say a shooting that occurred Monday at the Hilltop Apartments on 18th Street Place N.W. in Hickory was self-inflicted and accidental.

The victim is a 24-year-old male from Newton who was visiting the apartments at the time of the incident. He was wounded in the leg and knee area. Police say his injuries are not life threatening.

At last report, the victim was at Frye Regional Medical Center in stable condition.

38-year-old Vanessa Lee Tudor of 19th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before 11 o’clock last night (March 29) on one felony count each of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and possession of heroin, as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked.

She was arrested when Officers on patrol on the 1300 block of 19th Avenue N.E. stopped a suspicious 2014 Volkswagen Jetta in an area known for high drug activity. The Officers ran the tag number and found that the vehicle had been reported stolen.

The vehicle stopped in the parking lot at the Lowe’s Foods gas station on 14th Avenue N.E. Tudor was the driver and the vehicle’s only occupant. A search was conducted, leading to the discovery of two syringes of heroin in Tudor’s purse. Also found were $1,931 in cash, a pipe, a used syringe, 0.2 grams of amphetamine and 0.2 grams of heroin.

Tudor was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $6,650, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.

28-year-old Melissa Yvonne Wilkinson of Spann Street in Connelly Springs was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday (March 28) on one felony count of larceny.

She is accused of stealing jewelry from a residence. Wilkinson was the girlfriend of the homeowner’s son and had access to the residence. The warrant for her arrest was issued on March 19.

She was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for April 10 in Newton.