News (635)

41-year-old Libby Ann Williams, who is listed as a homeless person from Morganton, was arrested Monday (November 30) in Catawba County. She faces charges from warrants out of Burke County. Williams is charged with deliver methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine, and sell methamphetamine. Williams was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court date is set for Wednesday (December 2).

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 05:34

Statesville Boy Attacked By Rottweiler In Raleigh

Written by

A 22-month-old son boy was attacked by a friend's Rottweiler on Friday morning (November 27). The boy's family, who is from Statesville, was in Raleigh visiting friends for the holiday when it happened.

According to WSOC, Ryder Wells crawled through a doggie door into the backyard where the dogs were. The dog's owner is a family friend.

Family members are hopeful that the boy will recover, however, according to the WSOC report, the boy will have a long road to recovery. He's already had two surgeries, and will likely need several more.

Raleigh police said the attack was an accident and they don't expect to file any charges.

A Hickory teenager involved in an automobile crash that killed his high school classmate 15 months ago pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and driving while impaired during Catawba County Superior Court on Monday (November 30). The defendant will serve 60 days in jail.

18-year-old David Arthur Engelmann entered the plea in connection with the death of 17-year-old Jay Brian Robertson II, a Hickory High School classmate. The fatal accident occurred on August 31, 2014.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, gave Engelmann a suspended sentence of 13-25 months along with 18 months of unsupervised probation while he is a student at SUNY-Binghamton in New York. However, there is a stipulation that Engelmann must report to a designated facility in New York and submit to alcohol/drug testing within four hours of receiving notice from his attorney, Steve Brackett, at the request of the District Attorney’s Office. Those results must be turned over to the DA’s Office for review.

Additionally, Engelmann will serve a 60-day split jail sentence in Catawba County. He will report to the jail at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and remain incarcerated there until 3 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2016. The remaining 45 days of that split sentence will be served starting at 3 p.m. seven days after the final day of Engelmann’s spring semester in college. Kuehnert also required that he pay restitution in the amount of $4,775 to Jay Robertson and Nicole Rice, parents of the deceased, within 12 months, and Engelmann is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle for the next 12 months.

According to the investigation and accident reconstruction by Hickory Police Department Master Patrol Officer Amanda Efird, Engelmann was driving a Subaru Forester along 6th St. NW in the Viewmont community of Hickory when he allegedly ran off the road, overcorrected and flipped the vehicle. Robertson was ejected from the vehicle through its open sunroof and died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

Engelmann, who was 17 at the time of the fatal crash, was traveling at least 49 mph in a 35 mph zone, and an open bottle of tequila was found in the vehicle. Investigation by Hickory Police Department revealed that Engelmann’s blood alcohol level was .09.

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 05:14

Minimum 25 Year Sentence Imposed In Sex Offense Case

Written by

Sexual offenses with a 12-year-old female led to a lengthy active prison sentence for a Newton man. 21-year-old Jose David Rodriguez-Basquez pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual offense with a child by an adult offender and two counts of indecent liberties with a child during the Monday (November 30) session of Catawba County Superior Court.

The Honorable Gregory B. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, sentenced Rodriguez-Basquez to serve 25 to 35 years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. The defendant will have to register as a sex offender and enroll in satellite-based monitoring for the remainder of his life.

Investigation by Newton Police Department Detectives Ronnie Crawley and Spencer Cline revealed that Rodriguez-Basquez, 20 years old at the time, and the female victim were caught showering together at her home when her parents returned from a trip on Aug. 27, 2014.

The defendant and victim met some months prior to the showering incident and had exchanged nude photographs with each other. There also were text message exchanges that indicated Rodriguez-Basquez’s desire to have sexual intercourse with the girl. They also met on one other occasion when inappropriate touching occurred.

Assistant District Attorney Lance Sigmon pointed out that Rodriguez-Basquez provided a full confession to investigators during the subsequent interview following his arrest, but that interview revealed cause for concern when he admitted to having a fetish for child-themed pornography and anime depicting young girls having sex.

Rodriguez-Basquez offered an apology to the victim and her family, claiming repentance for his actions after 14 months of incarceration at the Catawba County Detention Facility.

A Catawba County man will serve at least seven years in prison after pleading guilty to assault and kidnapping charges.

37-year-old Robert Daniel Deese, of Newton, was given a sentence of 7 to 11 years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Gregory B. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, following his guilty plea in Catawba County Superior Court on Monday (November 30).

Deese entered guilty pleas to second-degree kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a firearm by a felon along with assault on a female and communicating threats.

The investigation by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Deese and the female victim had a dispute on March 5, 2015, because he felt she was being unfaithful to him. He followed her to her place of employment later that day where they continued to exchange words.

Later that night while she was in her bed, the victim heard a noise and looked up to find Deese in her bedroom. He repeatedly threatened her and physically assaulted her, striking her in the areas of the head and upper body.

He also pointed an unloaded gun at her and pulled the trigger, all while restraining her in the bedroom against her will.

Deese currently is serving a prison sentence for an indecent liberties with a child conviction in February 2013.

Scott Akins was the lead investigator for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, and Lance Sigmon prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

Page 46 of 46