News (826)

Boone Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 19-year-old James Martin Roberts. Mr. Roberts is from Kernersville, N.C. and currently lives in Boone while attending Caldwell Community College.

Investigators have been following numerous leads and tips, but so far have been unable to locate Mr. Roberts. He was last seen on Thursday, April 21, at approximately 12:30 p.m. near the intersection of Hardin Street and Rivers Street, near the Appalachian State University Convocation Center.

He may have been spotted in the Trout Lake area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A N.C. State Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in searching the area Saturday night (April 23), but did not find anything.  

Mr. Roberts was last seen wearing a black, short-sleeve, A.S.U. windbreaker, khaki shorts, gray New Balance shoes and a white golf visor hat. He is 5’10” tall and weighs approximately 145 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Mr. Roberts’ family says his disappearance is totally out of character for him. He enjoys hiking, camping and spending time on the trails in and around the Blue Ridge Parkway.      

Any information concerning Mr. Roberts’ favorite hangouts, recent whereabouts or persons he might have been with is requested. Anyone with information should call the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900 or High Country Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 or 828-737-0125.

Last Wednesday (April 20), the state announced that they will seek the death penalty for 22-year-old Eric Terril Yount of Granite Falls. Yount is accused of killing two people at the McDonald’s restaurant on Highway 321 N.W. in Hickory. The announcement was made during a hearing in Catawba County Superior Court.

On March 2 of this year, Yount allegedly shot and killed 22-year-old Richelle Scott Lail and 28-year-old Cody William Watts.

Victoria Jayne has been appointed to represent Yount, who is being held in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond. His next court date is scheduled for July 11.

32-year-old James Willard Thacker of Hickory will not face the death penalty in the fatal shooting of a Granite Falls woman. The announcement was made by prosecutors for the state during a hearing in Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday, April 19.

Thacker is accused of shooting 40-year-old Tammy Annette Cloninger on the morning of February 15, 2016. The case remains under investigation by the Hickory Police Department.

Thacker remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he has been held without bond since the day of the shooting. His next appearance in District Court is set for August 1.

A trial date has been set for 43-year-old Rickey Allen Payne of Hickory. Payne is accused of killing 48-year-old Loretta Joyce Chadwick of Hickory nearly three years ago. Payne’s trial date was set during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday, April 19 after prosecutors and defense counsel agreed to the date. His trial will begin on January 23, 2017. The case is proceeding as a non-capital matter.

The case has been investigated by the Hickory Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Payne remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond, where he has been since June 8, 2013. No court appearances are currently scheduled prior to the start of his trial next January.

Friday, 22 April 2016 10:13

Maiden Woman Accused of Shooting at Neighbor

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33-year-old Celeste Monte Hauser of North 1st Avenue in Maiden was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:35 a.m. today (April 22) on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one misdemeanor count of discharging a firearm in the city limits.

Events leading to her arrest began when a 60-year-old female victim on the 400 block of 2nd Street S.W. in Hickory told Police that she had a confrontation with Celeste Hauser, who was staying next door. The victim said Hauser assaulted her, went into her residence and came back out with a handgun. Hauser then reportedly fired a single shot at the victim while both women were still outside. The victim was not hit.

Hauser went back into her residence. When Officers arrived, they attempted to speak to the suspect. According to Police, Hauser seemed to be attempting to barricade herself inside the residence. Hauser did not speak to Police, but Officers heard the sound of doors latching and furniture being moved.

Officers then located a 53-year-old female neighbor who was acquainted with Hauser. The neighbor called Hauser and talked her into coming out voluntarily. Hauser was taken into custody without further incident.

A search of the suspect’s home led to the discovery of a handgun.

Hauser was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility, where she is listed as Celeste Monte Rogers. Bond was set at $7,000, secured, with a court date scheduled today in Newton.

An officer involved shooting occurred early this morning (Friday, April 22) in Lenoir. According to the Lenoir Police Department, at approximately 1 a.m. today they received several 911 calls of shots being fired in the area of Starcross Road. Officers responded and made contact with the resident of 1914 Starcross Road, Harold David Houser III.  Shortly after the initial contact additional shots were fired with Officers returning fire. After an exchange of gunfire between officers and Houser he was taken into custody by officers.

Houser was treated on the scene by EMS personnel and transported to Caldwell Memorial Hospital, where he has been admitted for treatment. Houser was listed as stable with non-life threating injuries.

Preliminary information indicates that Houser shot into a neighbor’s house before officers arrived on scene, with no one being injured at the neighbor’s house. A passing vehicle was shot by Houser during the exchange with no one being injured.  Furthermore, during the incident, several Officers returned fire and all officers involved in the incident have been placed on Administrative leave as a matter of Department practice and policy.

The State Bureau of Investigation was contacted as dictated by Department policy and is conducting their investigation into the incident. The Lenoir Police Department will be conducting an internal review of the incident as is a part of Department policy.  Chief Scott Brown has been in contact with the District Attorney’s office concerning the status of the incident.

Criminal charges for Mr. Houser are anticipated for his actions with this incident. The investigation is on-going at this time.

Catawba County Social Services continues to offer Information and Options Counseling to adults in the county who are experiencing a major life transition and need assistance discovering and navigating the services that may be available to them. Information can be provided about services ranging from in-home assistance and adult day care services to assisted living or nursing home placement.

Some examples of individuals seeking this service include: aging individuals wanting to discuss options to sustain health, wellness, and independence; individuals returning home from a rehab center following a surgery; or an individual having increased difficulty managing household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, but who wants to remain at home.

This service is designed to help the person identify options, weigh the pros and cons of each, and make an action plan to help meet their goals. The counselor will work with the person to discuss their preferences, values, service needs and circumstances. The counselor will also provide information about various options so the person can make informed choices about long-term services and supports.

Information and Options Counseling provides valuable information to individuals who may not be aware of what services are available. While Social Services has always provided information and referral services to persons who need to make decisions such as these, the Information and Options Counseling service is a more in-depth and personalized approach.

The goal is to offer decision support to individuals making decisions about their own care. To make use of this service, the person in need of care must be able to make their own decisions. However, caregivers or family members are invited to participate in the process if they wish.

To schedule an appointment with a certified Information and Options counselor, call Catawba County Social Services at 828-695-5609.

32-year-old Randy Lee Poteet of Morganton was arrested by Morganton Public Safety Officers last week. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, two counts of driving while license revoked, and speeding.

According to a news release issued this week, Morganton Public Safety’s Traffic Unit focused part of its traffic safety enforcement operations in and around school zones. Last Friday (April 15), the Traffic Unit conducted a seatbelt enforcement initiative in the school zone on East Union Street near Tennessee Street. During that time, Public Safety Officer J.L. Gillstrap stopped a car for speeding at 41 mph in the 25 mph school zone. During the traffic stop, the driver, Randy Poteet of Morganton, admitted to driving while his license is revoked.

It was discovered that Poteet had an order for arrest for failure to appear on a previous court date. Poteet was taken into custody, during which time a foil gum wrapper was located in the subjects pocket; a substance was located inside the wrapper that tested positive for Methamphetamine. The Burke County Narcotics Task Force was contacted to handle the drug investigation.

Poteet was taken to the Burke County Magistrate’s Office where he was given a total bond of $5,000 before being placed in Burke-Catawba Detention Confinement Facility. He is no longer listed as an inmate. Poteet is scheduled to appear in District Court May 9, May 10, and May 11.

36-year-old Brandy Necole Goodwin of Oakmont Drive in Lenoir and 32-year-old Travis Steven Helton of Rogers Road in Hickory were both arrested Thursday (April 21) by Hickory Police Officers. Goodwin is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to appear on a count of misdemeanor larceny. Helton is charged with possession of a stolen automobile, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The suspects were arrested by Hickory Police Officers Thursday on Highway 70 SE. Following their arrests, Goodwin and Helton were each placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility. Bond for Goodwin was set at $16,000, Helton's bond is $20,000. They're both scheduled to appear in District Court today (Friday, April 22).

A suspected sex offender being sought by authorities in Burke County has been caught. 32-year-old Omar Cristian Region-Vera of Morganton was wanted by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office on charges of statutory rape of child less than 13 years old when the offender is more than 12 years of age and more than six years older than the victim and incest involving a child less than 13 years old when the offender is a parent.

On April 18, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault. Deputies spoke with the mother of the juvenile victims. Detectives processed the scene and went to the Burke County Child Advocacy Center where the children were interviewed, examined and provided with medical treatment. Also assisting in the investigation is the Burke County Department of Social Services.

According to the Burke County Sheriff's Office, Region-Vera was apprehended in Tennessee. No further details on the arrest were released.