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Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:24

Mooresville Man Arrested on Felony Sex Offense

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49-year-old John Wayne Nichols of Crossrail Road in Mooresville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on six felony counts of indecent liberties with a child.

On July 17, Detective Sgt. Jason Lowrance with the Sheriff’s Special Victim’s Unit received a report from the parents of two young girls stating that they had been sexually assaulted by a family member. The abuse allegedly occurred on at least six different occasions between April and July of this year.

The children were interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. After Officers interviewed additional witnesses and conducted further investigation, Nichols was arrested on July 24. He was placed under a $200,000 secured bond. He will next appear in District Court on August 17.

32-year-old Ray Ellis Herron Jr. of Dallas was arrested today (Thursday, July 30) by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers and charged with one felony count of Desecrating a Grave and one misdemeanor count each of Larceny and Possession of Stolen Goods.

The arrest is in connection with the theft of a cemetery plaque and granite slab containing human ashes from Forest Lawn Cemetery on East Highway 150 in Lincolnton on July 24. Herron was picked up at a location on Constance Court in Dallas this morning and transported to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for an interview.

Herron, a former employee of Forest Lawn Cemetery, is accused of digging up the plaque and granite slab containing the cremated remains of Trudy A. Bumgarner and removing the items from the cemetery. Cemetery officials say human ashes and a gold wedding band were placed inside the urn that was part of the plaque. Herron and cemetery management assisted the family in placing the ring inside the plaque. Around 5:45 p.m. on July 24, 2015 an individual who travels Magnolia Grove Road daily discovered the missing items near a bridge. All items were recovered except the gold wedding band.

During the investigation Detective Paris received helpful information from citizens and a check of area pawn shops discovered Herron had pawned the ring at a pawn shop in Gaston County. Herron was taken into custody with the assistance of the Gaston County Police Department.

Herron was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate then placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $5,000 secured bond. He will have a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court Friday (July 31).

21-year-old Stephen James Harris, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 last night (July 29) on one felony count of failure to register as a sex offender and misdemeanor counts of consumption of alcohol on public streets and on municipal property, second-degree trespass, common law obstructing justice and pedestrian soliciting from the highway. He was also charged with two counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

One of the resisting charges and the soliciting charge originated from his arrest yesterday. The other charges were the result of warrants from Buncombe County. In addition, Harris was wanted on another warrant from Johnson City, Tennessee, for felony failure to register as a sex offender.

He was arrested when Officers approached a subject who was soliciting on the exit ramp for westbound I-40 at 8th Street Drive S.E. After he provided Officers with several false names, the man was correctly identified as Stephen James Harris and the warrants for his arrest were located.

Harris is on the sex offender registry in New York as the result of June 2012 felony convictions on three counts of sexual contact with an individual less than 11years old. His crimes occurred in February of 2012. His victims were a nine-year-old female, a six-year-old female and an eight-year-old male.

Following his arrest yesterday, Harris was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $65,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

42-year-old Trevor Shane Carson has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of tattooing without a license and tattooing a person under the age of 18.

At about 8:30 p.m. on July 26, Deputy Brad Stroud took a call regarding minors under the age of 18 receiving tattoos at a location on Trivette Road in Harmony. Between July 1 and July 14, Trevor Shane Carson allegedly tattooed two 12-year-old females. Authorities say Carson is not licensed by the Iredell County Health Department.

Following an investigation, warrants were issued and Carson was arrested yesterday (July 29) without incident. Bond was set at $2,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for August 31.

28-year-old Ulysses Evans was arrested Wednesday (July 29) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with one felony count of possession of burglary tools. Evans was placed in jail under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date in Morganton is scheduled for August 19.

Thursday, 30 July 2015 05:06

Weapon Theft Charge Filed In Burke County

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20-year-old Joshua Caleb Lester was arrested Wednesday (July 29) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony larceny of a firearm. Following the arrest, Lester was placed in jail in Morganton under $20,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Friday (July 31).

39-year-old Christopher Larry Anderson and 32-year-old Brandy Nicole Crawford, both of the same August Street, Conover Address, were both arrested Wednesday (July 29) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with possession of methamphetamine, maintain a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both suspects were incarcerated at the Catawba County Detention Facility, Anderson under $30,000 bond, Crawford under $5,000 bond. They both have District Court appearances scheduled for Friday (July 31). 

Unemployment rates increased in all of the Greater Hickory Metro counties and across much of the state. According to the latest report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division, the unemployment rate in Catawba County increased from 5.8 percent in May to 6.1 percent in June. Alexander County’s unemployment rate jumped from 5.3 to 5.6 percent. In Burke County the jobless rate increased from 6 percent even to 6.3 percent. And in Caldwell County unemployment rose from 6.5 percent in May to 6.9 percent in June.

The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area’s unemployment rate increased to 6.2 percent, that’s up from 6 percent even in May. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton is tied for the 7th highest unemployment rate among 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the state. The Asheville MSA has the lowest unemployment rate at 5 percent even, the Rocky Mount MSA is highest at 8.9 percent.

Statewide, unemployment increased in 95 out of 100 counties, decreased in four counties, and remained unchanged in one county. Graham County has the state’s highest unemployment rate at 12.3 percent, while Buncombe County has the lowest jobless percentage at 4.7. The state’s overall unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, up from 5.9 percent in May. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015 04:11

Suspect In Scam Sought

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Investigators from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office are seeking a suspect in a scam reported to them last week. Last Tuesday (July 21) the Sheriff's Office learned of a scam on Friendship Church Road in Taylorsville. A black male who identified himself as Roger Lemons, made an agreement with a home owner to pave his driveway with asphalt for $3,500. Lemons received a check in the amount of $3,500 from the homeowner for the work that was to be completed.

Lemons spread approximately $300 of crush and run gravel on the drive but no asphalt was ever put down. Photos of Lemons were obtained from a local bank in Taylorsville where he and an unidentified white male cashed the check. It was later learned through bank information that Lemons full name is Roger Lee Lemons Jr., 42-years-old. Lemons has a Tennessee driver’s license and an ID card with an address in Charlotte.

Lemons is facing charges of Exploitation of the Elderly and Obtaining Property by False Pretenses. Lemons is entered in the system nationwide as a Wanted man and this case is being investigated.

A teenager was killed in a single-vehicle accident Wednesday morning in Catawba County. According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, at approximately 10:30 a.m. 19-year-old Rachel Ann Reese of Sherrills Ford, was traveling northbound on NC Highway 16 in her 1999 Volkswagen. She was driving approximately eight miles south of Newton when she overcorrected, ran off the roadway and collided with a tree.

Highway Patrol reports say Reese was wearing a seat belt. Highway Patrol does not believe alcohol or speed were factors in the crash. NC 16 was shut down for several hours following the accident for clean-up. Reese was the only person in her vehicle and there were no other vehicles involved. Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.