News (1513)

39-year-old Michael Andrew Laney of Buffalo Shoals Road in Lincolnton was arrested Saturday (January 14) by Maiden Police Officers. He's charged with single counts of possession of methamphetamine, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and second degree trespassing. Laney is also charged with two counts apiece of assault by pointing a gun and communicating threats. He was jailed at the Catawba County Detention Facility. Bond for Laney was set at $25,000. A District Court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday, January 17).

24-year-old Alomar Teracious Edwards of Lee Avenue in Linconlton was arrested Friday (January 13) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts of statutory rape/sex offense against a victim 13, 14 or 15-years-old by a defendant at least six years older.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Kelsey Harrington received a report on December 28, 2016 after deputies responded to a call at CHS-Lincoln in reference to a missing 15-year-old juvenile.

It was determined during the investigation that the juvenile had engaged in sexual intercourse between January 1, 2016 and January 12, 2017 with Alomar Teracious Edwards. The victim knew the suspect in the case. Detective Harrington interviewed Edwards last Friday while he was in the Lincoln County Detention Center on other charges. A news release says the suspect admitted to having sex with the female.

Edwards was ordered held without bond and will have a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court on Tuesday (January 17).

31-year-old John Christopher Watts of Old NC 10 in Hickory was arrested last Thursday (January 12) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of trafficking drugs by possession, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule VI controlled substance, and sale and delivery of controlled substance within 300 feet of a school.

Last Thursday, Burke County Sheriff’s Officers were serving a warrant at a residence on Old NC 10. While at the home, Watts reportedly threw drugs out the rear door of his residence in the presence of Officers. An investigation revealed additional narcotics inside the residence.

Watts was taken into custody without further incident and confined at the Burke Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $75,000 secured bond. A first court appearance was scheduled for last Friday (January 13). His next District Court appearance is scheduled for February 1.

A Wilmington man was sentenced to a minimum of eight years in prison after pleading guilty to obtaining property by false pretense and possession of stolen goods, and admitting his status as a habitual felon during Catawba County Superior Court earlier this month.

54-year-old William McDowell Butler Jr. was given an active prison sentence of 8-10 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, on January 6. Details on the sentencing were included in a news release issued last Friday (January 13).

Butler received money after knowingly defrauding the Gold and Silver Assay Company and the Gold King in March 2015 and was found to be in possession of stolen property belonging to three other individuals.

The defendant’s habitual felon status enhanced the sentence he was given. Butler had prior felony convictions for breaking or entering in Beaufort County (June 1991), forgery of an instrument in Beaufort County (September 1993) and obtaining property by false pretense in Caldwell County (April 2001).

The case was investigated by Spencer Cline of Newton Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith.

37-year-old Reginald Curtis of Morganton was found guilty of two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by a Catawba County jury last Thursday (January 12).

The jury deliberated for an hour before returning its guilty verdict against Curtis, who was given two active sentences of 7-10 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable William T. Pomeroy, Superior Court Judge from Lincoln County. Those sentences will run concurrently.

In addition, Judge Pomeroy imposed fines totaling $200,000 for Curtis on the trafficking convictions.

Curtis was found guilty of trafficking more than 200 grams of methamphetamine but less than 400 grams by transportation and possession. He has previously been convicted of trafficking marijuana in November 2008.

On January 16, 2014, Curtis was driving a rental car when he was stopped for traffic violations by deputies with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. A search of the vehicle turned up a shoebox containing 303.85 grams of methamphetamine.

When the methamphetamine was found, Curtis tried to flee on foot, but he was captured by the deputies.

Danny Cline and Jared Hallman led the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Sean Baetjer prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will meet in regular session Tuesday night (January 17). Commissioners typically meet on Monday, but this month's session was moved to Tuesday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday today.

Commissioners will hold four public hearings at Tuesday's session. One public hearing is scheduled to receive citizen comments and consider an economic development agreement with GKN Driveline Newton LLC. Another is being held to hear comments on  an amendment the 2009 economic development agreement with Apple Inc. Commissioners are also holding a public hearing to receive comments on amendments to the wall signage regulations, and another is to discuss and receive comments on the definition for conference/retreat centers in the Catawba County Unified Development Ordinance.
The Board will also consider appropriating grant funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Catawba County Library. They'll consider transferring $126,705 in remaining funds from completed capital Catawba County Schools projects to replace a chiller at Mountain View Elementary. Commissioners will also discuss modifying two minor outcomes for Social Services to better align with state policy and the changing environment, and endorsing the updated Catawba County Children’s Agenda.

The Board will also consider approving a resolution and bylaws for the creation of an operating board of K-64. This is a proposed partnership with the three public school systems, Catawba Valley Community College, business and industry, county government and other community partners. It's goal is to create a world class education system.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

Hickory Police are investigating an armed robbery at the Cubbard Express store on 2nd Street N.E. in Viewmont.

At about 11:20 last night, Hickory Police Officers responded to an armed robbery call at the store. The female clerk said that two suspects came into the store and demanded money while holding her at gunpoint. The suspects took an undisclosed sum of cash and tobacco products valued at $31. They exited through a side door and left the store on foot. No one was injured.

One suspect was described as a tall, young black male with a slim build. He was wearing a pink Under Armour hoodie, dark pants with three white stripes down each outer leg and a light-colored facemask. He was carrying a black book bag with green and possibly yellow highlights.

The second suspect was said to be a tall, young black male with a slim build. He was wearing a black zip-up hoodie, blue pants and a black mask.

A possible third suspect involved appears to be a black male wearing a gray hoodie, black pants and a black hat. He was seen walking through the rear parking lot at the Cubbard Express just before the robbery.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551 or contact Investigator Jeff Pruett directly at 828-261-2617 or

29-year-old Thatcher Lynn Wilson of Black Oak Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 6:30 last night (January 12) on one felony count of speeding to elude arrest.

He was arrested in connection to an incident on November 18 of last year. At that time, Officers responded to a fight at an address on 1st Avenue N.W. in Hickory. As they arrived, Officers saw a white 2006 Mercedes fleeing the scene on 1st Avenue N.W. at 2nd Street N.W. Police attempted to stop the Mercedes at 2nd Street N.W. and 2nd Avenue N.W., but the vehicle accelerated and pulled away. The chase was terminated.

Officers recognized the driver as Thatcher Lynn Wilson as he initially pulled away from the scene of the fight. A warrant for his arrest was issued. He was taken into custody without incident yesterday at a convenience store on North Center Street in Hickory.

Wilson was processed and released nearly three hours later under an $8,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

32-year-old Clarence O'Brien Heller of Eastover Drive in Statesville was arrested Tuesday (January 10) By Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with interference with an electronic monitoring device. Heller is also charged on an outstanding warrant for child support and additional warrants from Probation and Parole.

On Friday, December 2, 2016, Iredell County Probation/Parole went to 501 Russell Street Apartment 2 in Statesville to serve a parole warrant on Clarence O’Brien Heller. While attempting to serve Heller with the parole warrant he ran out the front door of the apartment and ran into nearby woods.  The electronic monitoring bracelet was pinged to determine its location and was located in a trash can next to where Heller ran into the woods. A warrant was then secured on Heller for Interference with an Electric Monitoring Device.

Heller is currently on post release supervision from serving time for a possession of schedule II controlled substance conviction. Bond for Heller on the interference charge was set at $3,500 secured. He's being held at the Iredell County Jail under a total bond amount of $121,283. A District Court appearance is scheduled for January 31.

Hickory Police are investigating an armed robbery at the Cubbard Express store on 2nd Street N.E. in Viewmont.

The incident occurred between 11:15 and 11:20 last night (January 12) when two black males entered the store. The men demanded money, and at least one handgun was displayed. The suspects kept their faces covered during the robbery.

They took tobacco products valued at $31 and an undisclosed sum of cash. The suspects left the store through a side entrance. It’s not known if they fled on foot or in a vehicle.

No one was injured. No further description of the suspects is available.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

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