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29-year-old Miranda Williams Cherry of Villa Woods in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (August 24) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony counts of manufacture methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine. Cherry was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for August 31.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office reports a missing teenager has been found. According to a spokesperson from the Sheriff’s Office, who contacted WHKY just before 5:00 this morning (Tuesday, August 25), Hannah Olivia Secrest was found. There were no details available on the circumstances surrounding her being located or on her condition.

Secrest was reported missing late Monday afternoon (August 24). She had last been seen in the Morganton area on August 18.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 04:34

Cocaine Charges Filed Against Newton Woman

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53-year-old Jeaneen Williams McCombs of Buchanan Place in Newton was arrested Monday (August 24) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and felony possession of cocaine. Following the arrest, McCombs was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $11,000 bond. A District Court date is set for Wednesday (August 26).

We have more information on the arrest of a man in Burke County on sex offense charges. We first reported the arrest of this suspect Monday. The man, who is reportedly a registered sex offender, allegedly violated the law by operating a church.

53-year-old Kenneth Lee Cagle of Hickory was arrested Sunday (August 23) on multiple charges. Cagle has been charged with felony counts of sex offender employment violation, and sex offender premises violation.

For approximately 2 months the Burke County Criminal Investigations Division (BCCID) has been monitoring the activities of registered sex offender: Kenneth Lee Cagle. Initial reports from several private sources in the community indicated that Cagle had been maintaining a church within his residence in Catawba County and was attempting to gain funds to open a church within Burke County’s jurisdiction.

Investigators discovered Cagle had raised the funds to open and maintain a church facility. On Sunday BCCID found that Cagle was functioning as a leader within a newly opened church facility. Cagle’s participation in this activity is in violation of state law. Cagle was apprehended in a traffic stop without incident after he left the church facility.

Cagle was placed the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility Morganton under $50,000 secured bond. He has since posted bond and is no longer in custody. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, August 25).

A Conover man who was found guilty of felony child abuse inflicting serious physical injury three months ago was given his prison sentence during Catawba County Superior Court on Monday (August 24).

The Honorable Jeffrey Hunt, Superior Court Judge from Transylvania County, sentenced 27-year-old Luis Alberto Villa-Campos to an active prison sentence of five to seven years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.

Villa-Campos was found guilty by a jury on May 20, 2015, of the offense that left a then-3-month-old female child with multiple broken limbs and additional body trauma from an alleged incident of tugging on the child between him and the child’s mother, 27-year-old Ruby Hoard of Conover.

Hoard faces similar charges tied to the case. Her trial will be heard at a later date.

Villa-Campos initially denied any wrongdoing and said he did not know how the child’s injuries occurred, though he admitted he knew she was hurt. Villa-Campos later said there was an altercation between him and Hoard prior to April 1, 2014, and both of them were holding the child. They began pulling the infant in opposite directions, an act he said may have injured her.

While keeping the child on April 1, 2014, the defendant’s mother took her to the hospital after noticing swelling in one of the legs as she tried to console the crying infant. The child was admitted and evaluated at Catawba Valley Medical Center where it was determined she had multiple broken bones, bruising and swelling. She later was transported to Brenner Children’s Hospital at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

Neither Villa-Campos nor Hoard showed up at either hospital to check on the child.

Dr. Stacy Briggs of WFUBH told investigators and shared testimony that the infant suffered two broken arms and a broken leg, adding that her injuries were not accidental.

Det. Jason Reynolds investigated the case for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Sigmon and Michelle Lippert handled prosecution of the case for the District Attorney’s Office, and Michael Van Buren provided preparation work.

43-year-old Jacquelyn Elizabeth Counts of Village Circle in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:30 Friday night (August 21) on a felony warrant out of Iredell County for larceny of a motor vehicle and as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.

She was processed and then released about an hour later under a $7,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for yesterday (August 24) in Statesville.

Monday, 24 August 2015 15:18

Burke County Teen Reported Missing

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Investigators with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing teen. Hannah Olivia Secrest was last seen in the Morganton area on August 18.

She was driving a blue, four-door 2006 Toyota Corolla with tag number DBK-7241. Authorities say Ms. Secrest may be in the Nebo area.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Hannah Secrest should contact the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500.

31-year-old Donald Ray Guest II of 29th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before midnight Friday (August 21) on one felony count of possession of cocaine and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after Officers on foot patrol on the 900 block of South Center Street saw a group of suspicious individuals gathered in the area. Police observed as several people come in and out of the crowd.

Officers stopped Donald Guest on foot and conducted a search of his person. They found 4.5 grams of marijuana, 1.4 grams of powder cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Guest was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $22,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (August 24) in Newton on the felony charge with another court date on the misdemeanor charges coming up on September 22.

37-year-old Branden Lowell Benson of Carriage Lane in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a charge of failure by a convicted sex offender to notify of a change of address.

On August 18, Deputy D.C. Price of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit attempted to verify a valid address for Benson. Deputy Price was unable to locate Benson at the Carriage Road address. The Deputy learned that Benson had been living in the woods in Hickory, but had failed to report the change of address, as required by law.

Benson was taken into custody and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $150,000 bond. He’ll appear in an Iredell County courtroom on September 2.

Benson also has a pending court date on a 2014 second-degree rape charge in Catawba County.

62-year-old William Ray Lewis was arrested Friday (August 21) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony counts of possession of schedule I controlled substance and possession of schedule II controlled substance. Following the arrest, Lewis was incarcerated under $12,000 secured bond. A court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, August 24).