56-year-old Donna Thomas Harris of Hudson, will spend at least 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with the April 2014 stabbing death of her husband.
The Honorable William T. Pomeroy, Superior Court Judge from Lincoln County, issued an active prison sentence of 16 to 21 years for Harris during Caldwell County Superior Court on Monday (March 14). She will serve that prison term in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
According to the investigation by Hudson Police Department, officers responded to a reported stabbing at an apartment complex on April 22, 2014, and found William Daniel Harris III suffering from stab wounds to his chest and hand.
William Harris confirmed to officers that his wife, Donna Harris, had stabbed him, and people tending to him at the scene told officers he had told them the same thing when he came from the apartment his wife was in to seek assistance.
Investigators found Donna Harris inside the apartment and recovered numerous pieces of evidence consistent with a stabbing. Throughout their investigation, officers developed more evidence that revealed an ongoing volatile relationship between the couple that escalated into the stabbing that led to William Harris’ death.
Donna Harris previously served a prison sentence of 6 to 8 years for voluntary manslaughter in the February 2003 shooting death of Gary Wayne Hollar in Lenoir. She pleaded guilty to that crime in August 2004 and was released from DAC custody in June 2010.
Det. Richard Blevins investigated the case for Hudson Police Department with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Andrew Jennings was the prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office.
A Lenoir man pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Monday (March 14) in Caldwell County Superior Court.
63-year-old Bobby Dean Sparks was sentenced to serve seven to nine years of active prison time in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable William T. Pomeroy, Superior Court Judge from Lincoln County, following his guilty plea for the stabbing death of 48-year-old Sammy William Sturgill.
According to the investigation by Lenoir Police Department, officers responded to a domestic call at Sparks’ Bradford Street residence on June 24, 2014, and observed Sparks walking down his front steps and into the road at a rapid pace away from the officers.
Sturgill was seen lying on the ground in front of the house and was unresponsive when officers reached him. He was confirmed dead by EMS personnel moments later.
Sparks told investigators that he had killed Sturgill because he was in fear for his life after the victim had attempted to stab him. The autopsy report showed that Sturgill suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest and abdomen with slashes to the face and neck, and cuts to the hands from a knife.
Det. J.D. Wesson investigated the case for Lenoir Police Department. Andrew Jennings was the prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office.
Primary Election Results, Tuesday March 15 (Asterisks Indicates Winners)
Catawba County Board of Commissioners - Rep. (Top Two Are Winners) FINAL RESULT
*Dan A. Hunsucker 39.63%
Troy A. Sigman 28.77%
*Barbara Gale Beatty 31.60%
Catawba County Voter Turnout - 35.67%
Alexander County Board of Commissioners – Rep. (Top Two Are Winners) FINAL RESULT
*Ryan Mayberry 34.67%
*Jeffrey P. Peal 33.39%
Larry Yoder 31.95%
Alexander County Voter Turnout - 37.28%
Burke County Board of Commissioners – Dem. (Top Three Are Winners) FINAL RESULT
Gerald King 10.63%
*Jeffrey V. Morse 19.95%
*David L. Rust, Jr. 22.24%
*Emily B. Church 31.19%
Richard Garrison 15.99%
Burke County Board of Commissioners – Rep. (Top Three Are Winners) FINAL RESULT
Ron Lewis 12.99%
Pat Messick 10.28%
*Scott Mulwee 14.29%
*Jeff Brittain 18.43%
Jack Carroll 10.22%
*Johnnie Carswell 16.52%
Rod Eckard 6.35%
Cristy Gupton 10.92%
Burke County Voter Turnout - 31.61%
Caldwell County Board of Commissioners – Rep. (Top Three Are Winners) FINAL RESULT
William Howard 19.29%
*Robbie Wilkie 21.34%
*Jeff Branch 24.48%
*Randy T. Church 22.53%
Ben Griffin 12.35%
Caldwell County Voter Turnout - 32.25%
N.C. State Senate, District 45 – Rep. (Caldwell, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Allegheny) FINAL RESULT
*Deanna Ballard 52.96%
Ken Boham 47.04%
N.C. State Senate, District 46 – Dem. (Burke, Cleveland) FINAL RESULT
Jim Cates 46.18%
*Anne Fischer 53.82%
N.C. State House, District 73 – Rep. (Alexander, Wilkes, Yadkin) FINAL RESULT
Dwight Shook 48.52%
*Lee Zachary 53.82%
N.C. State House, District 87 – Rep. (Caldwell County) FINAL RESULT
*Destin Hall 59.74%
George S. Robinson 40.26%
N.C. Governor – Rep. FINAL RESULT
*Pat McCrory 81.76%
Charles Kenneth Moss 7.65%
C. Robert Brawley 10.59%
N.C. Governor – Dem. FINAL RESULT
Ken Spaulding 31.23%
*Roy Cooper 68.77%
U.S. Senate – Rep. FINAL RESULT
Larry Holmquist 4.94%
Paul Wright 8.48%
Greg Brannon 25.18%
*Richard Burr 61.41%
U.S. Senate – Dem. FINAL RESULT
Ernest T. Reeves 9.41%
Chris Rey 16.49%
Deborah K. Ross 62.38%
Kevin D. Griffin 11.72%
U.S. President – Rep. FINAL RESULT
Ted Cruz 36.77%
John R. Kasich 12.68%
Marco Rubio 7.71%
*Donald J. Trump 40.24%
U.S. President – Dem. FINAL RESULT
Bernie Sanders 40.76%
*Hillary Clinton 54.59%
Connect NC Public Improvement Bond - FINAL RESULT
For - 65.56%
Against - 34.44%
31-year-old Harley Tyrell Smith of Carlton Drive in Claremont was arrested by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with four counts of trafficking in methamphetamine. Smith was detained this morning (Tuesday, March 15) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.
62-year-old Gary Wayne “Lucky” Norris, who is listed as a homeless person from Lincolnton, has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on felony warrants for the sale & delivery of methamphetamine and conspiracy to sell or deliver meth.
On Thursday, March 10, Officer Tiffany Cline encountered a person acting suspiciously in the parking lot at Hardee’s in Lincolnton. The subject was identified as Gary Wayne Norris, who was wanted on the outstanding drug warrants.
The warrants followed a four-month investigation into the sale, manufacture, usage and trafficking of methamphetamine in west Lincolnton. The investigation was the result of citizens’ complaints regarding specific residences in the area. Sgt. Dennis Harris led the investigation, which included undercover operations, physical surveillance, technical surveillance and drug interdiction techniques.
Officer Cline arrested Norris without incident. He was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond. His next appearance in Lincoln County District Court was set for April 12.
Additional arrests are possible.
Norris has no prior convictions in North Carolina; however, he does have prior criminal convictions in at least four other states. Those charges include second-degree murder and armed robbery, among others.
The Lincolnton Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing person, 36-year-old Stacy Nicole Cadenhead, who may also go by the name of Stacy Schronce. She was reported as a missing person yesterday (March 14). Ms. Cadenhead had not been seen since Thursday, March 10.
Ms. Cadenhead is described as a white female, 5’2” tall, weighing 150 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She may be driving a 1992 Ford Van with North Carolina license tag MVM-9304.
According to a statement released by the Lincolnton Police Department, Ms. Cadenhead is known to have addiction issues. She frequents neighborhoods with known drug activity.
Det. Brandon Hunsucker is the lead detective in the case. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Stacy Nicole Cadenhead should contact Lincolnton Police at 704-736-8900 or contact Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous. Information leading to Ms. Cadenhead’s location could result in a reward of up to $1,000.
The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double-homicide at 6161 Rest Home Road in Claremont. The victims have been identified as Mark Wilson and Deidra Ramseur, both of the Rest Home Road residence.
The victims were found in the home, deceased. Investigators have determined there was forced entry into the residence.
According to published reports, the couple had a 10-year-old daughter who was not home at the time the bodies were discovered. Deputies said a family member found the couple after they had not been heard from over the weekend.
Anyone with information regarding the crime should call Sgt. Investigator Tyler Whisenant at 828-645-8340.
42-year-old Wendy Lee Setzer of Grassy Knob Lane in Lenoir was arrested Friday (March 11) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Setzer was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. She made her first District Court appearance Monday (March 14).
26-year-old Brandon Michael Bolick of Beach Street in Granite Falls was arrested Friday (March 11) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine, breaking and entering, and larceny after breaking and entering. Bolick was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $7,500 secured bond. He made his first appearance in District Court Monday (March 14).
47-year-old Michael Raye Shuping and 48-year-old Sherry A. Benfield were both arrested Sunday (March 13) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. Shuping is charged with failing to notify Sheriff of address change by a registered sex offender, larceny of a motor vehicle, failure to appear, obstructing or delaying an investigation, and obtaining property by false pretense on a true bill of indictment. Benfield is charged with obstructing or delaying an investigation and harboring a fugitive.
On Saturday evening (March 12) Morganton Public Safety Officers responded to Michaels Street to investigate a disturbance. Investigator Beaver arrived and spoke with Sherry Benfield who reported an argument with her boyfriend, identified as “Michael Evans.” The officer saw the man walking away from the apartment complex and asked him about the disturbance. Investigator Beaver determined that the disturbance was not serious and prepared to leave.
The officer attempted to confirm the identity of Michael Evans by asking for his date of birth. He had suspicions regarding the information given by the man, but did not have cause to detain him or anyone else.
Further investigation revealed that the man the officer was speaking to was, in fact, Michael Raye Shuping. Investigator Beaver discovered that Shuping was a wanted person for failing to notify a change of address, by a registered sex offender, obtaining property by false pretense and failure to appear.
Officers returned to Michaels Street and arrested Benfield. At approximately 3 a.m. Sunday Shuping was located, near Tractor Supply at Independence Boulevard and arrested without incident.
Shuping was placed in jail under $100,500 secured bond, he made a first court appearance Monday (March 14). Benfield's bond was set at $10,000 secured and is scheduled to appear in court April 20.