Hickory Police Officers Clay Albrecht and John Ray have been cleared of any criminal misconduct in connection to an Officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Drew Marian Spencer of Taylorsville. The decision came after District Attorney Jay Gaither’s Office reviewed an investigative report from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
A statement released today (August 13) by H.P.D. said the District Attorney’s office considered the events and circumstances surrounding Mr. Spencer’s detainment, statements by non-law enforcement witnesses, Officer interviews and surveillance footage of the incident. H.P.D.’s administrative investigation concurs with the District Attorney in finding that Officers acted in a manner that was appropriate and consistent with their training, agency policy and state law.
The shooting occurred early on the morning of June 2 in the parking lot at the Kangaroo Express store, 2853 North Center Street in Hickory. The Officers were questioning the driver of a City of Hickory work truck who had pulled into the business. The truck was heavily damaged on the right side. The Officers recognized the suspect as Drew Spencer from a fight call a few hours earlier at McCroskey’s Irish Pub & Grill in Hickory.
While speaking to Mr. Spencer, who remained in the driver’s seat, the suspect pointed a handgun at the Officer. As the Officer retreated, he and another Officer fired at Spencer. A handgun was in the suspect’s hand when the Officers re-approached the vehicle after the shooting. One spent shell casing was located in Spencer’s weapon. The weapon appeared to have malfunctioned after one shot was fired. Mr. Spencer was pronounced dead at the scene.
The City of Hickory work truck was stolen from a city employee’s residence on Cloninger Mill Road N.E. That employee’s personal vehicle was also broken into and items were taken from within.
Officer Albrecht was hired by the Hickory Police Department in July of 2012 and Master Police Officer Ray was hired in August of 2008. Officers Albrecht and Ray will return to their normal duties this week.
22-year-old Nathan Matthew Jennings-Townsend of Newton has been arrested by Agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation on five felony counts each of statutory rape or sex offense when the defendant is more than six years older than the victim, statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a child.
The offenses occurred between June 2012 and December 2012. Indictments were issued on August 4 of this year.
Jennings-Townsend was jailed yesterday (August 12) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $200,000 secured bond. He will appear in Superior Court on August 15 in Newton.
Two people injured in a crash that took the life of 19-year-old Allen Paul Barnes early yesterday (August 12) in Lenoir have been treated for their injuries at Caldwell Memorial Hospital and released, according to a spokesperson with the Lenoir Police Department.
Courtney Barnes was a passenger in a 2003 Kia driven by Allen Barnes, who was her husband. Mr. Barnes was pronounced dead at the scene. The Barnes’ home is on Freezer Locker Road in Hudson.
While going around a curve, the Kia crossed the center lane and ran head-on into a 2004 GMC driven by Tammy Church Houck of Alfred Hartley Road in Lenoir.
A preliminary investigation indicates that speed, road conditions and equipment on the Kia were factors in crash.
The Hickory Police Department will hold a Career Open House on September 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Floyd W. Lucas, Jr. Police Headquarters. Any interested certified or non-certified Police Officer applicants interested in learning more about the Hickory Police Department or a career in law enforcement are encouraged to attend.
During the Open House, command staff, recruitment staff and other key department staff will offer a facilities tour, an overview of departmental operations, a community policing discussion, a recruitment video and equipment demonstrations, with a period for questions and answers at the conclusion of the evening.
Qualification requirements are:
- 20 years of age or older.
- Good health or physical condition.
- Minimum of high school diploma or equivalent (college degree preferred).
- U.S. citizenship.
- N.C. driver’s license.
- Military must have honorable discharge (general discharges are evaluated on case-by-case basis).
- Pass an entry level physical ability test
- Pass an extensive background check, including psychological examination, polygraph examination, etc.
- Pass a pre-employment medical exam and drug screening.
- No criminal record or serious motor vehicle offenses.
- And, live within a 30 mile radius of H.P.D. headquarters.
41-year-old Marsha Autrey White of Blueberry Drive in Granite Falls was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (August 11) on charges of felony obtaining property by false pretense and allowing an unlicensed person to drive a motor vehicle. She also faces misdemeanor charges for larceny and injury to real property.
After her arrest, White was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $24,000, secured. A District Court date on the felony charge was scheduled for August 28 with an appearance on the misdemeanor charges coming up on October 28.
24-year-old Darrick Wayne Fowler was arrested today (August 12) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child.
Fowler had previously been arrested in Lincoln County on July 5 for felony statutory rape or sex offense of a 13, 14 or 15 year old by a defendant at least six years older than the victim and felony crime against nature.
After his latest arrest, Fowler was jailed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow.
The Catawba County Public Health Dental Practice is offering free initial dental exams for infants and toddlers ages 0-3 regardless of insurance status. A limited number of appointments are available Thursday, September 4 between 1:20 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. To make an appointment for a free exam, call 919-923-0360 or 919-780-8180. Appointments must be made by phone and will be provided on a first-call, first-served basis. Parents whose children participate will receive a $25 gift card and a gift for their baby.
Supported by a BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation grant to improve the oral health of pregnant women and infants, the free exams will be provided at the Catawba County Public Health Dental Practice by dentists and staff from health department dental practices in Catawba, Macon, Madison and Orange counties and the Elizabeth City dental practice.
Catawba County Public Health is located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory. For more information, call 828-695-5800 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.
41-year-old Quintin Jerome Smith of Somerset Drive in Catawba was served felony indictments by Maiden Police on charges of felony possession of cocaine (two counts), possession with intent to deliver cocaine and maintaining a place for a controlled substance. Smith was confined early this morning (August 12) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $30,000, secured. He will appear in Superior Court on August 18 in Newton.
35-year-old James Wallace Jernigan III of Laurel Street in Hudson was arrested at about 4:45 yesterday afternoon (August 11) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. Jernigan will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.
19-year-old Allen Paul Barnes of Freezer Locker Road in Hudson was killed in a two-vehicle crash in Lenoir early this morning (August 12).
At approximately 5:19 a.m., a 2003 Kia passenger car driven by Barnes was heading north on the 2700 block of Ellerwood Road in Lenoir with his wife Courtney Barnes as a passenger. While going around a curve, the Kia crossed the center lane and ran head-on into a 2004 GMC driven by Tammy Church Houck of Alfred Hartley Road in Lenoir.
Mr. Barnes was pronounced dead on the scene. A preliminary investigation indicates that speed, road conditions and equipment on the Kia were factors in crash.
Authorities have not released any information regarding the condition of Ms. Barnes or Ms. Houck.