21-year-old Austin Michael Neece of Mount Gilead Church Road in Connelly Springs, 20-year-old Brandy Leigh McDaniel of Catawba Street in Morganton, and 23-year-old James Kody Peters, who is listed as a homeless person, were all arrested Monday (November 27) by authorities in Burke County. Neece is charged with felony counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. He's also charged with hit and run, leave the scene with property damage, reckless driving to endanger, and driving while license revoked. McDaniel and Peters are each charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
According to a news release issued by the Burke County Sheriff's Office, on Monday at approximately 9:30 a.m. deputies were dispatched to 2192 Shady Grove Road, Connelly Springs in reference to a suspicious vehicle leaving a vacant house. When deputies arrived, they attempted to stop the vehicle by activating their blue lights and siren but the vehicle fled turning west on Hwy 70 traveling toward Valdese. The vehicle changed directions and traveled east on Hwy 70 at speeds that exceeded 100 mph.
The vehicle turned into a driveway and crashed into the corner of a house on Hwy 70 near Berry Road. James Peters and Brandy McDaniel were passengers in the vehicle, which authorities learned was stolen from McDowell County. The driver jumped from the vehicle and ran. Deputies gave chase on foot but were unable to apprehend him. NC Dept. of Public Safety K9s were called and found the suspect’s shirt, which had been removed. A “reverse 911” call was made to the residents and businesses in the area and at approximately 1 p.m. 911 received a call of a man fitting the description of the suspect in the area.
Officers spotted the suspect in a wooded area and he ran. He was pursued on foot to a mobile home park on Teague Avenue off of Berry Road, where he slid into a crawlspace under a mobile home before being apprehended. Bond for Neece was set at $13,500 secured, McDaniel was given a $2,000 secured bond, and Peters' bond was set at $6,000 secured. They are all scheduled to appear in court Wednesday (November 29). Neece has an additional court date January 3.
50-year-old Ronnie Lynn Benfield of South Cedar Avenue in Newton was arrested Monday (November 27) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II and VI controlled substances, and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Benfield was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (November 28).
28-year-old Charles David Gilmore of Sonja Drive in Statesville was arrested Monday (November 27) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver meth and heroin, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintain a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, and resisting a public officer. Gilmore was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $51,000 bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for today (November 28) and January 26.
41-year-old Tony Wayne Bolick, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (November 27) on one felony count of possession of a schedule I controlled substance, assault on a government official or employee, communicating threats, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting a public officer. He also had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a second-degree trespassing charge.
He was arrested when Officers saw Bolick outside the Sheetz store on Springs Road N.E. Officers knew there were outstanding warrants for Bolick’s arrest. When confronted, the suspect fled on foot, but he was taken into custody in a field near Springs Road. During the arrest, Police found 22.2 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and drug paraphernalia.
Bolick reportedly resisted and was not photographed or fingerprinted at H.P.D. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $19,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
Catawba County Register of Deeds Donna Hicks Spencer advises business owners that new requirements are in place for entities doing business under an assumed name. North Carolina law requires individuals, limited and general partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, and other persons that engage in business in this state under an assumed name to file a certificate with a register of deeds in a county in which the person or entity will be engaging in business.
Effective December 1, 2017, all entities doing business under an assumed name are required to reapply for a certificate in order to meet new requirements under the law. New applicants, amendments to existing certificates, and withdrawals of certificates of assumed business names must also comply with the new requirements. Certificates of assumed names filed under the prior law will expire December 1, 2022. Forms are available at Catawba Valley Community College’s Small Business Center, which can be reached at (828) 327-7000, extension 4117. Completed forms must be filed with the Register of Deeds.
For more information, contact the Catawba County Register of Deeds at (828) 465-1573 or visit in person at the Catawba County Justice Center, 100 Government Drive, Newton, NC 28658.
55-year-old Jeffrey Eugene Steele of Mt. Olive Road in Statesville was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with filing a false police report to a law enforcement agency.
On Thursday November 16, deputies with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1327 Mt. Olive Road after a caller said that her husband had been shot in the lower leg. Deputies responded and found Jeffrey Steele lying on the front porch. After the Sheriff’s Office secured the scene, EMS arrived and began treatment on Steele. Steele told officers that a black male came up on his porch, pulled out a gun, and shot him when he told the male that he couldn’t go inside the house. Deputies began searching the area for the suspect.
Steele sustained wounds to his lower right leg. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. A detective with the Sheriff’s Office responded to Baptist Hospital as well, to speak with Steele more about the incident. Crime Scene Deputies and investigators continued their investigation as well. Detectives were given conflicting stories from the victim and the two people also known to be in the home at the time of the shooting. The investigation revealed an indentation in the floor that indicated that the bullet from the gun was traveling in a downward direction when it hit the floor of the porch. This evidence also conflicted with the story the victim had given.
The investigation determined that the gun was fired from the right front upper thigh area of the victim Jeffrey Steele indicating that Steele shot himself. Steele reportedly admitted to officers that he had accidently shot himself with a revolver. He was trying to get the handgun from the right front pocket of his pants when the gun went off. Steele said that the reason that he made up the story, that someone had shot him, was because he panicked and did not know what to tell law enforcement. Steele stated that on the night of the accident that he asked his wife and friend to get rid of the gun before law enforcement arrived on scene.
No bond information was provided for the suspect. Steele is scheduled to appear in court in Iredell County on January 22.
54-year-old Randy Michael Rooney, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, has been arrested by Hickory Police for a felony probation violation and misdemeanor driving while license revoked.
Rooney is on probation as he serves a 30-month suspended sentence following a July 2016 conviction in Catawba County for felony possession of a firearm by a felon. The warrant for driving while license revoked was issued earlier this month. The complainant was listed as the Burke County Clerk of Court.
Following his arrest Friday (November 24), Rooney was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $21,000 secured bond. Superior and District Court appearances were set for December 11 in Morganton.
The Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office has identified 21-year-old Austin Michael Neece of Cobbs Place in Connelly Springs as a person of interest in connection to a crash involving a stolen vehicle.
Neece is wanted for questioning for failure to stop for a blue light & siren in a stolen car. The vehicle wrecked when it ran into a house on Highway 70 in Connelly Springs.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Austin Michael Neece should call the Sheriff’s Office at 828-433-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 828-437-3333.
63-year-old Lowry Eric Whetstone of Welton Way in Mooresville was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before noon yesterday (November 26) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. He was also charged with misdemeanor concealment of merchandise.
Whetstone was arrested after Hickory Police responded to a larceny call at the Target store on Catawba Valley Boulevard. Whetstone was taken into custody without incident and served with the outstanding warrant.
He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $26,500, secured. A first appearance in District Court on the fugitive warrant was scheduled today in Newton. He’ll appear on the shoplifting charge on January 2.
38-year-old Erin Olivia Shell of Skyline Road in Hickory was arrested Sunday (November 26) by Hickory Police Officers. She's charged with felony counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to manufacture, sell & deliver heroin, along with misdemeanor counts of simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana.
On Saturday (November 25), Police responded to a suspicious vehicle call at an apartment complex on 21st Avenue N.W. in Hickory. During the incident, Officers found 1.9 grams of heroin, 0.3 grams of methamphetamine, 3.8 grams of marijuana, one dosage unit of Xanax and drug paraphernalia. Shell was arrested on the drug charges. 40-year-old Jason Wayne Tomlinson of Shady Grove Lane in Connelly Springs was also arrested on outstanding failure to appear warrants for a sewage disposal violation and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both subjects were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. Shell was held under a $40,000 secured bond, while Tomlinson’s bond was set at $7,500. Shell was scheduled to make an appearance in District Court today (November 27). Tomlinson is due in court on December 13 and January 10.
Two suspects are still being sought in connection to the theft of an ATM from Burke County. The machine was stolen from the Shell station at 8807 Old NC 10. A heavy duty logging chain was located at the scene and it was collected for evidence. The owner of the store was contacted and he provided deputies with video surveillance. The surveillance footage shows two individuals in a white four-door work truck using the logging chain to remove the ATM.
At 2:04 p.m. last Tuesday (November 21) detectives with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office were notified that McDowell County Sheriff’s Office had located an ATM near the Allied Industrial Company off exit 83 on I-40 in Marion. The video surveillance provided by Allied Industrial Company shows the suspects driving the vehicle behind the business and then leaving a few minutes later. The suspects were still driving the same truck.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. last Tuesday, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding a bulletin released by the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. The bulletin listed 44-year-old Joel Teraill Cooper and 44-year-old Donald James Cotterman as the suspects. They are considered to be armed and dangerous. A news release from the Burke County Sheriff's Office says they are in possession of AR-15 and AR-22 style rifles.
If you have any information on their whereabouts, contact the Burke County Sheriff's Office at 828-438-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 828-437-3333.
There will be a road closure in Morganton Tuesday (November 28) starting at 8:00 a.m. Weather permitting, contractors working on the Mountain View Elementary School will be closing Bouchelle Street from First Street to Morehead Street to all traffic except residents who live in the designated area. If you live in the designated area you will be allowed access to and from your home. The closure will be in effect from 8 a.m. until work is completed. At the same time, a water shut-off connected to the construction will affect approximately 12 customers along Bouchelle Street from First Street to the Sanford Drive Bypass.
38-year-old Melissa Dawn Weaver of Hardin Road in Connelly Springs was arrested Saturday (November 25) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Following the arrest, Weaver was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $3,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (November 28).
25-year-old Larry Conley Fenner of Melody Lane in Lenoir was arrested Friday (November 24) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. Fenner was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $3,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (November 27).