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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:37

Lenoir Teen Accused of Setting Fire at CCC&TI

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18-year-old Nicholas McKenzie Coffey of Angelic Way in Lenoir was arrested by Hudson Police yesterday (September 23) on three counts of making a false threat of mass violence against an educational property and one count of setting fire to an educational building.

Events leading to Coffey’s arrest began on September 17 and continued on September 22 when Hudson Police were notified of written threats against Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute. Police and college administrators worked together to provide for student safety and the continued normal operation of the school. Lenoir Police and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office assisted Hudson Police in providing security on the campus.

On September 18, a trashcan inside the building was set ablaze. Damages were minor and were confined to the trashcan.

During the course of the investigation, a suspect was developed. Yesterday, the offender, Nicholas Coffey, was taken into custody without incident. He was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $300,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Lenoir.

Statesville Police are investigating a residential breaking & entering that occurred on Monday September 15. The incident was reported at 12:15 a.m. when Statesville Police were told that an unidentified suspect had broken into a residence on the 100 block of North Elm Street.

An Officer was on patrol in the area when a vehicle came up behind the patrol vehicle, honking its horn. The Officer spoke to the driver, an 84-year-old female who lived nearby. The woman said an unidentified black female entered her residence and was using the shower. The victim ran out the back door of her residence while calling 9-1-1, got into her vehicle and located the Officer.

A second Officer responded and both searched the residence, but did not locate anyone. The Officers checked the bathroom and found evidence the shower had just been used and also found an article of clothing belonging to the suspect.

The same victim had reported a similar incident that occurred during the late-night hours of September 9. The victim saw the same individual going through her kitchen getting food. There were no signs of forced entry on either occasion.

The Statesville Police Criminal Investigations Division is currently investigating both incidents. Anyone with information concerning the identity of the suspect should call Statesville Police at 704-878-3515 or Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340. Callers may remain anonymous. A cash reward is possible.

Police this morning (September 24) dismissed the felony death by vehicle charge that had been filed early this month against 17-year-old David Arthur Engelmann. The charge was filed in connection to an August 31 automobile accident that killed 17-year-old Jay Brian “Jake” Robertson on 6th Street N.W. in Hickory. Engelmann is a student at Hickory High School where Robertson was also enrolled.

Investigators say they need more time to complete their investigation. Their findings will be submitted to the district attorney’s office, which could then choose to seek an indictment from a grand jury.

Engelmann still faces charges for D.W.I., careless & reckless driving, driving after consuming alcohol under the age of 21 and an open container violation.

23-year-old Joshua Lee Herron of the Coffee Creek Apartments in Charlotte has been arrested on one felony count each of possession of stolen goods, obtaining property by false pretense, breaking & entering a motor vehicle, breaking & entering a building, larceny and larceny after breaking & entering.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives, operating on a tip, located Herron, who was wanted in connection to two break-ins in eastern Lincoln County. Detectives Greg Hager and Frank Runyon traveled to Charlotte Monday (September 22) where Herron was taken into custody after a brief foot chase.  

He was charged on August 29 in connection to break-ins at two locations on the night of August 24. A number of items were stolen from a work truck and another business located on Highway 16 North. The suspect gained entry by cutting a hole in a chain link fence to access the truck and through a back window in the rear of the building.

On August 27, Detectives were checking pawn tickets and discovered that some of the stolen items were pawned at the Boger City Pawn Shop in Lincolnton and at Trading Post & Pawn on Highway 16 in Denver. Some of the pawned items were returned to the owners on September 2.

Detectives had made contact with the suspect, who previously lived on Clover Lane in Denver, on several occasions by phone, but he didn’t show up for scheduled appointments at the Sheriff’s Office.

After his arrest, Herron was placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $60,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on October 2.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 06:48

Some Claims Against D.A. Gaither Dropped

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Whitney Shaffer, the former assistant district attorney in the 25th prosecutorial district, is dropping some of her claims against current district attorney Jay Gaither, according to published reports.

Shaffer’s attorneys indicated that they will drop claims made against Gaither in his individual capacity for sexual harassment/hostile work environment, sexual harassment/quid pro quo, constructive discharge and defamation per quod. Altogether, eight claims and one alternative had been made against the Gaither. Three of those claims and the alternative will now be dropped.

Shaffer worked in the district attorney’s office during 2013. She filed a civil suit against Gaither in June. She is currently an assistant D.A. in district 29B, which serves Transylvania and Polk counties.

Gaither’s attorneys had previously filed motions to dismiss all the charges, but the claims against Gaither in his official capacity remain in place.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 15:38

Granite Falls Man Faces Felony Burglary Charge

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20-year-old Lonnie Phillip Bentley of Hillside Avenue in Granite Falls was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (September 22). Bentley was charged with first-degree burglary. He was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on September 25 in Lenoir.

21-year-old Samantha Romero Monzote of Weyland Avenue in Charlotte was arrested early this morning (September 23) on one count of felony larceny and one misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked. She was taken into custody without incident on the 400 block of U.S. Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Monzote was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $9,275, secured. She will appear in District Court on October 15 in Hickory. A District Court appearance in Charlotte was scheduled for today on a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.

36-year-old Douglas Lucian Salyer of Kingsport, Tennessee was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock Sunday night for felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and misdemeanor resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He was also charged with a felony probation violation.

He was arrested after Police were called in reference to a man sleeping in a vehicle in the parking lot at the Food Lion store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. While en route, Officers learned that the vehicle had been reported as stolen. They later discovered that the man, Douglas Salyer, was wanted on a warrant out of Tennessee for the probation violation.

After Salyer exited the vehicle, he attempted to flee on foot when Officers ordered him to put his hands behind his back. He was apprehended after taking a couple of steps.

Salyers initially said the vehicle belonged to his mother, who was in the store. The woman in the store was later determined to be a prostitute who was not related to the suspect. She was not charged.

Salyer was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $43,800 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court tomorrow (September 24) in Newton. Salyer will face extradition on the felony fugitive warrant from Tennessee.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 14:45

Exodus Ministries to Travel to Germany

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The Rev. Susan Smith Walker of the Exodus Missionary Outreach Church and its associated ministries will travel to Germany to facilitate a leadership retreat where she hopes to help participants develop greater empathy and compassion. Rev. Walker has developed an interactive program that highlights how the Exodus church, the prison ministry and Exodus Homes work together to make the community a better place to live for all people. She will also share other ways to make a difference at home and in the world, such as the Shelter Box program (www.shelterbox.org) and Compassion International (www.compassion.com).

Three years ago, a friend of Rev. Walker's who lives in Germany came to tour the Exodus ministries while in the United States after reading about it on Facebook. When she returned to her church in Germany, she convinced The American Protestant Church (APC) in Bonn to begin sending annual financial support to Exodus Homes. The APC is a diverse English-speaking congregation with 40% of its members from Africa, 30% from Germany and the rest from countries all over the world who are in Bonn to attend university or to work.

The retreat will be held 80km from Bonn at the The Familienferiendorf Hübingen in the mountains of the Nassau Natural Park in Westerwald. Rev. Walker leaves for Germany on September 30 and will return on October 6.

For more information, contact Rev. Walker at revsusanwalker@gmail.com or 828-962-8196 or contact Pastor John Carrick at pastor.john@apcbonn.de.

According to published reports, 43-year-old Herbert Spencer Kidwell of North Main Street in Drexel has been sentenced to at least 50 years in prison and will most likely spend the rest of his life in confinement. Kidwell pleaded guilty to statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense and three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Kidwell’s victim was a 14-year-old middle school student from Burke County. Prosecutors said Kidwell used a popular messaging app in an effort to establish relationships with underage girls. He presented himself online as an 18-year-old from Texas. Following several months of online communication with his victim, Kidwell had sex with the girl on multiple occasions after convincing her to leave her home.

Prior to his arrest in November of 2013, Kidwell was employed as a Loss Prevention Officer at a local K-Mart store.