A guilty plea entered in Burke County today in a child abuse case resulted in a minimum six-year prison sentence. 25-year-old Brittany Nichole Hefner of Connelly Springs, who was charged with felony child abuse, entered a guilty plea in Burke County Superior Court. The charge stems from an incident in late January of this year in Connelly Springs, the victim was one of Hefner’s twin three-month-old sons. Hefner received a sentence of 72 to 99 months in prison.
36-year-old Brandon David Lail of Morganton, was given a prison sentence of five to seven years in Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (November 1). Lail pleaded guilty to felony larceny, possession of stolen goods and he admitted his status as a habitual felon.
The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, issued the active prison term for Lail, who will serve his time in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
Lail’s sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status, which includes prior felony convictions for financial transaction card theft in Cleveland County (2009) and obtaining property by false pretense in Burke County (2012 and 2015).
The victim reported in May 2016 that his motor vehicle had been broken into and that his golf clubs had been stolen. The clubs were located by officers at Hickory Pawn and Gun, and identified by the owner as those stolen from his vehicle. The pawn ticket provided information that the defendant had pawned the clubs the same day they were reported stolen, and video surveillance showed Lail pawning them.
Valdese Assistant Police Chief James Buchanan investigated the case, which was prosecuted by David Swanson and Michelle Lippert of the District Attorney’s Office.
46-year-old Darrick Dwayne Hunt of Bamburgh Court in Charlotte was arrested Wednesday (November 2) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with felony uttering a forged instrument. Hunt was arrested without incident at an address on 3rd Street NW. He was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, November 3).
59-year-old Sharon Denise Logan of Hampton Heights Drive in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (November 2) by Hickory Police Officers. She was charged with felony larceny. Logan was arrested without incident at an address on Catawba Valley Boulevard. Following the arrest, Logan was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility. Jail records show that Logan faces additional charges including failure to appear, second degree trespassing, and habitual felon. The Catawba County Jail’s website lists Logan’s bond at $46,000. A District Court date is set for tomorrow (Friday, November 4) in Newton.
Three suspects have been charged by Hickory Police in connection with the murder of a woman who was found deceased in a residence earlier this week. 33-year-old Micky Lee Swink of 9th Street SW in Hickory and his mother, 49-year-old Tina Louise Swink, of 5th Avenue NE in Hildebran were arrested Wednesday (November 2), they're both charged with murder. Micky Swink is also charged with felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. 39-year-old Richard Lee Deal of Wilson Heights Drive in Hildebran was arrested early this morning (Thursday, November 3) and charged with accessory after the fact to a felony.
On Tuesday (November 1), shortly after 6 p.m., Hickory Police were called to 2043 9th Avenue NE in reference a death case. Upon arrival, officers found 66-year-old Patricia Diane Swink, deceased inside the residence. The victim was Tina Swink's Aunt. Patricia Swink's vehicle was stolen from the residence, but was later recovered by police. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.
Micky and Tina Swink were both placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond. Deal was jailed under $250,000 bond. All three suspects made first appearances in District Court today, they're scheduled for probable cause hearings on November 22.
27-year-old Britney Morgan Lingerfelt was arrested Wednesday (November 3) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Lingerfelt is also charged with failure to appear. She was placed in jail in Morganton under $44,000 secured bond, a court appearance is scheduled for Friday (November 4).
40-year-old Susan Danielle Lloyd of Waterfalls Road in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (November 2) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony probation violation. Lloyd was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
29-year-old Kimberly Lorraine Ward was arrested Tuesday (November 1) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with two counts of trafficking opium or heroin by transportation, two counts of trafficking opium or heroin by possession, two counts of possession with intent to sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance, simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying a concealed weapon.
On Tuesday, Iredell County Sheriff’s Deputies were conducting a License Check Point on Monticello Road at Miller Farm Road. A black Chevrolet truck pulled up to the check point and Deputy Caskaddon approached the driver side. The officer noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Deputy Caskaddon asked the driver to pull the vehicle to the side of the road. The officer asked the driver to step out of the vehicle and searched the vehicle.
Deputy Caskaddon also spoke to the woman, later identified as Kimberly Lorraine Ward. She was found to be in possession of 183 dosage units equivalent of 30.3 grams of Dilaudid pills, and 71.5 dosage units equivalent to 21.1 grams of Hydromorphone pills. She was also found to be in possession of a pair of brass knuckles.
Ward was arrested and transported to the Iredell County Detention Center and jailed under $500,000 secured bond. A District Court date is scheduled for November 21.
43-year-old Sabrina Suzanne Starnes, 22-year-old Dillan Wes Frye, and 16-year-old Mikall Lee Piercy, all of the same Snowhill Church Road Morganton address, were all arrested Monday (October 31). Starnes is charged with felony breaking and entering, Frye is charged with felony parole violation, and Piercy is charged with felony larceny after breaking and entering.
On Monday, officers with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office attempted to serve warrants on Sabrina Starnes and Mikall Piercy at their residence on Snowhill Church Road. The NCDPS-Community Corrections Division went to the same address to speak with Dillan Frye, who also resides there. Officers left the residence after finding no one at home but a deputy recognized Starnes’ vehicle traveling on Kathy Road and made a vehicle stop.
Sabrina Starnes was driving and her two sons, Dillan Frye and Mikall Piercy were passengers. During the stop, officers seized a stolen shotgun from the vehicle. Frye was taken into custody for the parole violation and ordered held with no bond. Starnes and Piercy were both taken into custody for outstanding felony warrants. Starnes received a $40,000 secured bond, and Piercy received a $20,000 secured bond. All three suspects were confined at Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility. Starnes and Piercy were both scheduled to appear in court earlier this week, Frye is scheduled to make a court appearance next Tuesday (November 8).
40-year-old Donald Gene Norris of Perth Trail in Denver was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule I, II, and IV controlled substances. In addition, Norris is charged with possession of schedule I and II controlled substances, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, and simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance.
Norris was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Thursday, November 3) under $35,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.
The investigation into the death of a woman found in a Hickory home is continuing. The Hickory Police Department has arrested two suspects and charged them with murder, however, as of this morning (Thursday, November 3) Hickory Police had not confirmed that the arrests are connected to the death case.
On Tuesday (November 1), shortly after 6 p.m., Hickory Police were called to 2043 9th Avenue NE in reference a death case. Upon arrival, officers found 66-year-old Patricia Diane Swink, deceased inside the residence. The victim’s vehicle was stolen from the residence, but was later recovered by police. Hickory Police have been investigating the incident as a homicide and it is believed that the suspect was known to the victim.
Online inmate records for the Catawba County Detention Facility show the arrest of 49-year-old Tina Louise Swink of Fireman's Lane in Taylorsville, and 33-year-old Micky Lee Swink of 9th Street SW in Hickory. Both suspects are charged with murder. Micky Swink is also charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. A spokesperson with the Hickory Police Department could not confirm any connection between these arrests and the murder investigation. Both suspects were confined in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond, District Court dates were scheduled for today.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the Hickory Police Department at 828-324-2060.
A Catawba County man received prison time after entering a guilty plea in a robbery case.
58-year-old Billy Ray Wilhelm of Claremont, will spend at least seven years in prison after pleading guilty to common law robbery and admitting his status as a habitual felon during Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday (November 2).
Wilhelm was given an active prison term of seven to nine years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Kevin M. Bridges, Superior Court Judge from Stanly County.
The defendant’s sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status, which includes prior felony convictions for uttering a forged instrument in Iredell County on September 18, 1989, and January 4, 1991, and selling a Schedule VI Controlled Substance on February 8, 2005, in Catawba County.
On December 7, 2015, Wilhelm approached an 83-year-old handicapped female in the parking lot of WalMart in Hickory, asking for money to assist his family as he gave her a false name. She gave him the money and also gave him her address to return the money at a later date.
The next day he showed up at her Conover residence and brought her newspaper to the house. She allowed him inside, but while he was in the home, he stole her purse. When she confronted him about it and tried to recover the purse, he shoved her and fled the residence. The victim was able to get the license plate number as the defendant drove away from her home.
Using that information along with some witness accounts and video footage from surveillance cameras at WalMart, investigators were able to develop Wilhelm as a suspect and arrested him on December 8, 2015.
Stacy Huffman led the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Learner and Kyle Smith prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
A 14-year-old girl has been located and is safe. She was found Wednesday afternoon (November 2) by Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies walking along a street east of Boger City.
Abigail Grace Maguire was returned to her parent’s home and removed from NCIC as a missing person.
A student at Hudson Elementary School has been hospitalized with meningitis. The child was diagnosed after the child was home sick on Tuesday. The Caldwell County Schools confirmed that the child has not attended school the entire week, and no other students have been affected.
A letter from the Caldwell County Health Department was sent home to parents today regarding the case. All of the classrooms were sanitized last night.
The germs that cause bacterial meningitis are spread from person to person. the Centers for Disease Control says that some symptoms of meningitis, which can be deadly, include sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. Other additional symptoms are often Nausea, Vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion. You can learn about the disease by going to cdc.gov.
Libby Brown, the PIO for Caldwell county schools said that the last time they’d heard from the family, the child was in good condition.