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The Burke County Grand Jury returned a true bill of indictment against 19-year-old Justin Nojan Sullivan today (Monday February 1) in connection with the December 2014 death of 74-year-old John Bailey Clark.

Clark’s body was found in a shallow grave near his home on his property at 5576 Rose Carswell Road in Morganton on Dec. 18, 2014, after officers from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office attempted to locate him at his residence during a welfare check.

Officers went to Clark’s home and found the door to his residence unlocked. They also found what appeared to be a blood trail and drag marks coming out of the house. A more thorough search of the property led to the discovery of Clark’s body buried in the yard.

His apparent cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the head from a small-caliber firearm. Continued investigation of the case led to 19-year-old Sullivan, who also lived on Rose Carswell Road with his parents.  

Sullivan, a self-proclaimed Islamic convert, also faces federal charges. The federal charges allege that he attempted to provide material aid to the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He was arrested on those federal charges on June 19, 2015.

Sullivan is being housed at the Buncombe County Detention Center in Asheville on the federal charges without bond.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the murder case with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Monday, 01 February 2016 14:07

Hickory Man Jailed on Felony Assault Charge

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30-year-old Janathan Troy Farley of 17th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:40 Saturday night (January 30) on one felony count of assault inflicting serious injury including strangulation and one misdemeanor count of assault of a female.

Farley’s arrest came after the victim filed a report at H.P.D. headquarters regarding a domestic assault at the suspect’s residence.  The incident allegedly occurred on January 27.

Police took Farley into custody without incident at his residence.  He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond.  An appearance in District Court was set for February 24 in Newton.

Monday, 01 February 2016 14:00

Vale Man Arrested on Felony Fugitive Warrant

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39-year-old Jonathan Shawn Nixon of Phelps Road in Vale has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. He was also arrested on a warrant dating back to last year for failure to appear on a communicating threats charge.

The fugitive warrant originated in Elkhart County, Indiana, where he faces charges for burglary and a parole violation.

Nixon was jailed yesterday (January 31) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $50,500, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance on the fugitive warrant today with another District Court date coming up on February 9.

28-year-old James William Jenkins IV of the Gastonia Highway in Lincolnton was arrested by Lincolnton Police yesterday (January 31) on charges of burning personal property and injury to real property.

Late Saturday night (January 30) and early Sunday morning, Lincolnton Police responded to domestic disturbances at an address on South Aspen Street in Lincolnton. Officers spoke with the victim, who said her husband, James William Jenkins IV, had damaged her vehicle and residence by striking it with his vehicle, causing substantial damage.

A warrant was issued and Jenkins was arrested at his parents’ residence. Jenkins was taken before a Magistrate and then released under a $1,000 unsecured bond.

A short time later Sunday morning, Officers again responded to the victim’s residence to assist Lincolnton Firefighters with a vehicle fire. Police arrived to find Firefighters extinguishing the victim’s vehicle, which was on fire. They found Jenkins in the driveway, suffering from minor injuries and receiving treatment from Lincoln County E.M.S. Jenkins’ vehicle was also at the residence. E.M.S. transported Jenkins to Carolinas Healthcare System (Lincoln) for his injuries.

Another warrant was issued for felony burning of personal property. Jenkins was arrested after he was treated and released from the emergency room. He was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $6,000 secured bond. A first appearance in Lincoln Co. District Court was set for today (February 1).

41-year-old Robert Keith Martin of Roby Lane in Taylorsville and 24-year-old Ryleigh Elizabeth Waldrop of Tron Avenue in Valdese were both arrested by Hickory Police early Sunday morning. Martin was charged with felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance, while Waldrop was charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and misdemeanor driving while license revoked.

They were arrested in connection to the theft of a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo that was reported stolen on January 29. Police spotted the vehicle yesterday while on patrol in the area of Highway 70 S.W. and 4th Street Drive S.W. Waldrop was the driver and Martin was a passenger in the front seat.

A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a digital scale, unloaded syringes, Seroquel and Fluoxetine. Seroquel is an antipsychotic and Fluoxetine is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia and panic disorder.

Waldrop and Martin were both were taken into custody without incident shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. The two were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $5,000, secured. They were both scheduled to appear in District Court today (February 1) in Newton.

A Burke County couple was arrested in connection with the abuse of three-month-old twin boys. 24-year-old Brittany Nichole Hefner and 20-year-old Nicholas Brandon Clark of Connelly Springs were arrested by Burke County Sheriff's Officers.

Both suspects are charged with felony child abuse. According to law enforcement reports, one of the boys suffered a traumatic brain injury. Officials say the boy has life-threatening injuries, according to reports, authorities believe it is a case of shaken baby syndrome.

The Sheriff's Office learned about the abuse when the parents called 911. Hefner and Clark are both being held under $75,000 secured bond, they made first court appearances today. WHKY's Fentress Chestnut will have more on this during tonight's edition of WHKY-TV News.

Catawba County Commissioners met in regular session this morning.

The Board adopted a resolution approving the sale of Catawba County Home Health and the Asset Purchase Agreement with Kindred, Incorporated, as well as authorizing the Chair to execute any documents needed to complete the sale.

Catawba County Public Health is one of the last local health departments in North Carolina to provide home health services. The Unifour is an increasingly competitive home health marketplace and Catawba County Home Health’s remaining competitive and financially viable has been a continual challenge. The Board directed that a contract be negotiated with Kindred, Incorporated. The proposed contract of sale has been available in the Clerk’s office since January 22.

The Board amended the 2014 Urgent Repair Project Budget Ordinance to appropriate the interest earned on the grant funds. A total of $446 has been earned to date. Catawba County received a $75,000 Urgent Repair Grant in June 2014 to rehabilitate 16 houses at $7,200 or less a house. The County is allowed to earn interest on the funds that were received from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

The County Budget Office was formally recognized at the meeting for winning the 2015 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This award recognized the County’s Fiscal Year 2015-16 budget. It's the 27th consecutive year that Catawba County’s Budget Office has been recognized by its peers for producing a budget document which is easy to read and understand.  

20-year-old Brandon Daniel Fairchild of PSI Drive in Boone was arrested Saturday (January 30) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of trafficking in LSD, trafficking in MDA or MDMA, and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver schedule I controlled substance. Fairchild was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $250,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was set for today (Monday, February 1).

Monday, 01 February 2016 05:55

Conover Man Charged With Felony Burglary

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26-year-old Donald Michael Carter of Bonji Drive in Conover was arrested Saturday (January 30) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony first-degree burglary, no operators license, and expired registration card or tag. Carter was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 1).

Monday, 01 February 2016 05:46

Man On Narcotics Most Wanted List Arrested

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Last Friday (January 29), Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Detectives arrested one of the suspects from the recently published narcotics “Most Wanted” list.  According to Detectives, several tips came in about 59-year-old Charles Montgomery Fitzgerald.  

Detectives investigated the tips and found Fitzgerald in a trailer park on Borders Road in Shelby. Detectives say Fitzgerald was living with his girlfriend and going by the alias, 'Johnny Black'.
Narcotics detectives used surveillance techniques to determine the specific residence Fitzgerald was said to be staying.  Detectives went to the house in an undercover capacity and were able to positively identify Fitzgerald and make the arrest.

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Lt. Jon Propst said that tips the office received allowed detectives to zero in on the area Fitzgerald was staying and confirm he was there, ultimately leading to the arrest.

Fitzgerald, whose previous address was on Fitzgerald Stowe Lane in Lincolnton, was charged with one felony count each of Manufacture Methamphetamine, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession with intent to Distribute Meth Precursors, Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substances, Possession of Methamphetamine, and misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was also served with an outstanding Order for Arrest. Fitzgerald received a no bond hold for the felony charges and $500 secured bond for the Order for Arrest. Fitzgerald’s bond for the Meth charges was going to be determined by a Lincoln County Superior Court judge today (Monday, February 1).

Anyone with information on any Most Wanted suspects is asked to contact the Drug Tip line at 704-736-8422 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Callers can remain anonymous and if information provided to Crime Stoppers leads to an arrest you could receive a reward of up to $1,000.  All leads will be investigated.