News (803)

53-year-old Tammy Laray Saine was arrested today (Friday, September 18) by authorities in Burke County. She’s charged with felony trafficking heroin. Following the arrest, Saine was placed in jail in Morganton under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.

22-year-old Thomas Tyler Matthews of 3rd Avenue Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6 p.m. yesterday (September 17) on two felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He also faces misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, second-degree trespass and no operator’s license. Matthews’ girlfriend, 31-year-old Catherine Huffman Brown of 14th Street N.E. in Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police the previous day on related charges for breaking & entering a motor vehicle and larceny of a motor vehicle. She was also charged with a felony probation violation.

Police say the two are connected to multiple recent vehicle break-ins and vehicle larcenies in Hickory and in surrounding jurisdictions. H.P.D. investigators believe Matthews is connected to at least five incidents in Hickory. Their investigation and investigations conducted by neighboring agencies are continuing.

Matthews was taken into custody without incident at a residence on 31st Avenue N.E. in Hickory. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $212,000 secured bond. Brown remains in jail with bond set at $30,000, secured. Both were scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.

Friday, 18 September 2015 10:36

Maiden Man Charged With Weapon And Fraud Offenses

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38-year-old Jonathan Pinkney Munday of South Olivers Cross Roads in Maiden was arrested today (Friday, September 18) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with larceny of a firearm, financial card theft, and financial card fraud by the Sheriff’s Office. Munday is also charged with felony probation violation by probation and parole. Following the arrest, Munday was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $30,000 bond. Superior and District Court appearances are scheduled for Monday (September 21).

A convicted felon from Hudson remains in prison, but his sentence was reduced by two years. In Caldwell County Superior Court on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, 51-year-old James Dean Eaker pleaded guilty to the same charges he was convicted of in 2002, though without habitual felon status. The Honorable Jesse Caldwell III, Superior Court Judge from Gaston County, gave him a corresponding sentence that reduced his prison term by two years.

According to a news release, Eaker’s 2002 convictions were vacated because of a procedural defect found in a 1991 Bill of Information. The defective 1991 conviction meant that Eaker did not actually have habitual felon status when sentenced in 2002. As a result, his original sentence of 20-25 years was reduced to 18-23 years.

Because the habitual felon status affected the plea negotiations in 2002, Judge Caldwell set aside the previous verdicts and judgments, giving Eaker a chance to be retried or enter a new plea. The State was not willing to consolidate the defendant’s judgments. Therefore, rather than risk more time in prison, Eaker accepted an offer that maintained his previous sentence on the conviction for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury but reduced the robbery with a dangerous weapon sentence by two years. He is serving those sentences consecutively.

Eaker was convicted in 2002 for robbing Story’s One Stop in Sawmills and beating the store clerk severely. Eaker never denied beating the clerk. At the time of his arrest, he didn't apologize for the assault that left the clerk with bruises on his arms and staples in his head. The case would have been extremely difficult to retry because the victim has since passed away from unrelated causes.

Eaker has served more than 14 years of his sentence and has about four more remaining following the resentencing by Caldwell. He has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1981.

Andrew Jennings prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

Friday, 18 September 2015 06:18

Two Killed In Morning Accident On I-40 In Hickory

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Two have been killed in an accident on Interstate 40 in Hickory. the wreck occurred sometime before 8:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes near Exit 123. No other details are available. Hickory Police and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol are among the agencies responding to the scene. We will update this story with more details as they are provided.

18-year-old Robert Calvin Coffey of Highway 18/U.S. 64 East in Morganton was arrested Thursday (September 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle. Following the arrest, Coffey was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (September 21).

Friday, 18 September 2015 05:44

Multiple Felony Charges Filed Against Conover Man

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21-year-old Justin Dennis Lynch of North NC Highway 16 in Conover was arrested Thursday (September 17) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged by the Sheriff’s Office with felony larceny and felony possession of stolen goods. Lynch was charged by probation and parole officers with felony probation violation out of county and two counts of misdemeanor probation violation out of county. Lynch was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $230,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, September 18).

Friday, 18 September 2015 05:38

Catawba County Commissioners To Meet Monday

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The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meets Monday evening (September 21). The board will hold two public hearings, one for the purpose of discussing a proposed application for a Federal 5310 Urban Grant to provide enhanced mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities; and another to discuss a request by The Village at Sherrills Ford, LLC, to rezone two parcels totaling approximately 63 acres, at 4251 Slanting Bridge Road in the Sherrills Ford Small Area Planning District, from R-30 Residential to Planned Development-Conditional District.

The Board will also consider approving a Letter Agreement and Lease Agreement with Cellco Partnership (doing business as Verizon Wireless) for the purpose of approving structural upgrades to a communications tower located behind the Justice Center in Newton and leasing antenna space on the tower, property for an equipment building and an easement for utilities. The Board will consider granting the County Tax Administrator the authority to allow extensions for listing personal property on an individual basis, upon written request and for good cause shown. The Board will consider adopting a four-year reappraisal of real property in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 105-286 (a)(2). If approved, the County’s next revaluation would become effective on January 1, 2019.

The Board will present a Distinguished Public Service Award to Mr. Phil Walker in recognition of his service on the University Of North Carolina Board Of Governors and issue proclamations noting National Manufacturing Day and Fire Prevention Week.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

27-year-old Zachary Tyler Welch of Thuringer Court in Charlotte was arrested Thursday (September 17) by Conover Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of heroin and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Welch was confined in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, September 18).

Investigators with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office are asking for assistance in a Breaking and Entering to a Residence case. A white, stocky male with short hair, approximately 5’ 10", was seen breaking into a residence on Clark’s Chapel Road earlier this week. The male was seen leaving the residence in a white four door passenger car. The vehicle is pictured with this story. If anyone has any information about the individual or the vehicle, please contact the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 758-2324 or Crime Stoppers at 758-8300.