News (578)

The State and defense counsel agreed to a January 18, 2016, trial date for 35-year-old Jermaine Wilkes of Catawba during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday (October 6).

Wilkes is charged with the June 7, 2012, murder of 22-year-old Brianne Mary Ginty, as well as burning personal property to conceal her death.

Firefighters from Sherrills Ford Fire and Rescue responded to a vehicle fire on Hopewell Church Road in Catawba and found a vehicle registered to Ginty severely burned and still smoldering. They also discovered skeletal remains inside the vehicle. The body was burned beyond recognition.

When they responded to Ginty’s residence, investigators found a butcher knife outside a window and discovered forced entry had been made into the home. A red substance also was found on the floor of the living room.

After developing Wilkes as a possible suspect, officers with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office located him walking along a road and took him into custody.

He remains in the Catawba County Detention Center without bond for the murder charge.

The capital case of a Catawba County man charged with a triple homicide is scheduled for trial in March.

During a hearing in Catawba County Superior Court in front of the Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, on Tuesday (October 6) prosecutors for the State and defense attorneys agreed to a March 7, 2016, trial date for 37-year-old Everette Porshau Hewitt of Claremont.

The case has been set for trial on at least three other occasions but was continued each time to accommodate defense issues, including the withdrawal of Kim Stevens and appointment of Keith Hansen as co-counsel along with Robert Campbell, who just spent six months on a murder case in Davidson County.

Hewitt is charged with three counts of murder in connection with the March 15, 2011, shooting deaths of Wade Sigmon, Susan Blevins and Connie Miller at Oak Knoll Mobile Home Park on Emmanuel Church Road in Conover. He also is accused of shooting a fourth victim, Joseph Burke, in the neck. Burke survived the shooting.

Hewitt was taken into custody a little more than 24 hours later on March 16, 2011. He also is charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

He has been incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Center without bond on the murder charges since his arrest.

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 13:41

Suspect Charged With Assaulting Man With Tire Iron

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20-year-old Matthew Scott Gregory of Rinehardt Road in Mooresville was arrested last Thursday (October 1) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and assault with a deadly weapon.

According to a news release issued today (Tuesday, October 5) last Thursday at 12:35 p.m. the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received a call for a Breaking and Entering during which a victim had been assaulted with a metal object. Deputies and Detectives responded to a residence on Rinehardt Road and learned that the victim knew the suspect. The victim stated that his friend, Matthew Scott Gregory, forced entry to the back door of the residence by breaking the glass in the door. Matthew Gregory then proceeded to the victim’s bedroom, where he was asleep.

The victim stated that he awoke to his dog barking and when he opened his eyes he saw Matthew Gregory standing over him with a tire iron. He told police that Matthew Gregory then started yelling at him and began to strike him in the head and all over his body with the tire iron. A struggle then occurred and the victim was able to make it outside where he stopped a car traveling on Rinehardt Road and asked for help because he said that he believed Matthew Gregory was trying to kill him.  

Matthew Gregory was contacted by phone and returned back to the residence where he spoke to Detectives and confirmed that he did force entry to the residence and assaulted the victim because he believed that he broke into his car the night prior. Gregory was arrested and charged He was placed in the Iredell County Jail under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Tuesday (October 13). 

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 11:15

HPD to Hold Halloween Edition of Coffee With a Cop

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The Hickory Police Department will hold a “Coffee with a Cop” event on Halloween, October 31. Coffee with a Cop will take place at Starbucks on Highway 127 North (1342 2nd Street N.E.) from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. The event will feature coffee, conversation and Halloween goodies for any children in attendance.

Coffee with a Cop is a national movement designed to build trust between community members and Police Officers. Officers and community members come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.

The Hickory Police Department also strives to incorporate young people from the community in each of their events as a way of furthering their community policing initiatives.

22-year-old Matthew Levi Lewis Gibson of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning on two counts of failure to register as a sex offender. He also faces charges for a felony probation violation and indecent liberties with a child. In addition, Gibson was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

Just before 3 a.m. today, Officers served the warrants for Gibson’s arrest at a mobile home park in Hickory’s St. Stephens area. Gibson is on the sex offender registry as the result of a 2014 conviction in Catawba County for indecent liberties with a child. The offense occurred in 2010 when the victim was ten years old and Gibson was 16.

Following his arrest, Gibson was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $95,500 secured bond. He’ll appear in Superior Court tomorrow and on October 12 & 19. A District Court date on the marijuana charge was set for December 9.

26-year-old Samuel Brian Hancock and 18-year-old Arlena Ritchie of Fox Run Drive in Statesville have been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of child abuse, including a willful act or omission causing serious physical injury.

On September 30, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Rowan Regional Hospital regarding a two-month-old child who had been brought to the hospital with serious injuries. The child was emaciated and had bruises and marks on her face consistent with abuse. She was transferred to Brenner’s Hospital in Winston Salem.

Detective Sergeant Amy Dyson of the Special Victim’s Unit identified and interviewed several witnesseses. As a result of the investigation, Hancock and Ritchie were both charged and arrested. Iredell County D.S.S. is also investigating and has taken custody of the victim, as well as another child.

Further medical tests have revealed that the victim had several hairline rib fractures and was suffering from severe malnutrition. The fractures are believed to have occurred in Cabarrus County and will be investigated there.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, the child is responding well to treatment and has been released from the hospital. She is now in the care and custody of D.S.S., pending their investigation.

Hancock and Ritchie were both placed in the Iredell County Jail with bond for each set at $200,000, secured. Both were scheduled to appear in court yesterday (October 5).

Axjo America plans to invest $11.1 million and create 14 new jobs at a new manufacturing facility in Conover. The company expects to consolidate two current facilities into the new location. Axjo America plans to purchase an existing 143,268 square foot facility in Conover and add new machinery and equipment that will allow the company to grow in size and increase product offerings to the cable industry.

Axjo America located in Hickory in 2011 but has since outgrown their facility. After exhausting a search for suitable buildings in Hickory and other locations and states, Axjo selected the Conover facility as best location for the expansion. Axjo uses primarily recycled environmentally friendly materials and the latest injection molding technology to produce fiber-optic reels for spooling equipment. The spools are low weight, UV-resistant and waterproof. Over the next five years Axjo plans on expanding into the large spool sizes adding new injection molding machines each year.

Axjo America is a subsidiary of Axjo AB, a Swedish company in business since 1945 and a leading supplier of plastic spools in Europe. Grants to encourage Axjo to expand were approved by the Catawba County Board of Commissioners and the Conover City Council at their regularly scheduled board meetings on Monday.

35-year-old Darrell Ray Sanders of Conway Drive in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (October 5) by Granite Falls Police Officers. He’s charged with felony larceny by employee. Sanders was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $3,500 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first court appearance Monday.

37-year-old Jose Alvaro De Leon Lopez of Virginia Street in Lenoir was arrested Monday (October 5) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with felony financial card theft and misdemeanor financial card theft. Following the arrest, Lopez was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $2,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, October 6).

A Lincoln County man with a long rap sheet has been charged in connection with an assault on a child that resulted in injury.

29-year-old Timothy Jackson Brazell of Turner Street in Lincolnton was arrested last Friday (October 2) by Lincolnton Police Officers. He's charged on an outstanding warrant for felonious child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury. The warrant was a result of an investigation conducted by Det. Brent Heavner of the Lincolnton Police Department as well as Lincoln County Department of Social Services.

According to a news release issued Monday (October 5) the victim in the case is a juvenile with whom Brazell supervised in a parental role. The juvenile did suffer injuries as a result of the abuse.

Brazell has prior convictions for possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance, sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule IV controlled substance, sell or deliver schedule IV controlled substance, felony possession of schedule II controlled substance, obtain property by false pretense, simple assault, larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property, and several other traffic related cases.

Bond for Brazell was set at $20,000 secured. He was scheduled to make his first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on Monday. His next Court appearance is scheduled for October 26.