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31-year-old Acquilla Booze Cain of Statesville was arrested Saturday (May 2) by Statesville Police Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of common law robbery and obtaining property by false pretense.

At about 7 p.m. on Saturday, The Statesville Police Department received information that a wanted person, Acquilla Cain was at 639 Harrison St. Preliminary information was received that Cain was possibly armed, and may have possibly been holding a female against her will inside the residence.

Officers responded, and got no answer at the door at 639 Harrison Street. Due to the information at hand, with the suspect possibly being armed, the Statesville Police Special Response Team was activated and responded to the scene. Statesville Police Negotiators attempted to make contact with the occupants of the residence to no avail.

After numerous exhaustive attempts to make contact were unsuccessful, the SRT unit made entry into the residence at about 10:25 p.m. After a diligent search, the suspect Cain and the female were located hiding in the attic. Cain was taken into custody without incident. The initial report that a possible kidnapping was taking place was eventually found not to be true. No one was injured.

Cain was incarcerated in the Iredell County Detention Center under $10,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for today (Monday, May 4).

The fate of a Catawba County man accused of multiple sexual offenses with two female child victims rests in the hands of the presiding judge in his case. The Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, will render his verdict in the state’s case against 40-year-old Linzie Lee Swink today (Monday, May 4) in the first bench trial held in Catawba County.

Swink is facing charges for rape of a child and sexual offense with a child stemming from multiple incidents alleged to have occurred from October 2009 to May 2010 at the female victim’s home at that time in Vale. He also is accused of indecent liberties with a different female child. The victims were 9 years old at the time of the offenses. Both girls, now 15, testified and shared what Swink did to them. One of them testified that Swink had sexual intercourse with her on at least four occasions and the other said he touched her genital area in an inappropriate manner.

At the end of closing arguments by Defense Attorney Michael Neece and Assistant District Attorney Michael Van Buren on Friday, Lewis expressed his appreciation to both for their presentations during the 25th Prosecutorial District’s second bench trial since the practice was approved by a constitutional amendment.

The two attorneys wrapped up four days of evidence presentation and witness testimony early Friday afternoon with their closing arguments.

Neece argued that Swink had maintained his innocence all along and that the state did not present enough credible evidence to refute his denial of the charges against him.

Van Buren countered by questioning the credibility of the defendant, who took the stand Thursday in his defense and was cross-examined by the state Friday morning. He pointed out that neither child had anything to gain by not being truthful.

Swink, a truck driver, told Neece in testimony Thursday that he was not even in North Carolina on many days between October 2009 and May 2010 when the incidents allegedly happened, noting that he often stayed with his mother when he did come to Catawba County rather than the Vale location where the bulk of the offenses occurred but usually was in Bristol, Tenn., where his job was located.

However, gas receipts from stations in North Carolina, including some from Catawba County, proved otherwise, paving the way for Van Buren to question Swink’s credibility as well as that of several other defense witnesses.

Judge Lewis will announce his decision at 2 p.m. today in Catawba County Superior Court.

We have more information on a story we first reported Friday afternoon on WHKY. Three suspects were arrested following an incident in western Burke County Friday.

51-year-old David Floyd Blanchard of South Drive in Morganton, 31-year-old James Robert Hughes of U.S. 70 West in Morganton, and 28-year-old Sarah Ray Blankenship of Forsythe Street in Marion were all arrested Friday (May 1) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. Blanchard is charged with single counts of felony manufacture methamphetamine, felony possession with intent to distribute meth precursor, possession of a firearm by a felon, and misdemeanor larceny, along with two counts of habitual felon. Hughes is charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. Blankenship is charged with misdemeanor simple assault.

The Sheriff’s Office responded to a call Friday, at approximately 10:15 in the Dysartsville Road/Hwy 70 area about suspicious people running behind some houses. Deputies spoke with North Carolina State Highway Patrol Troopers who were responding to a possible accident in the area. Burke deputies assisted by a Burke County K9, a Glen Alpine officer and Highway Patrol searched the home of James Hughes at 2309 Hwy 70 West, Morganton and found David Floyd Blanchard in the home. Blanchard, one of “Burke County’s Most Wanted” was arrested without incident. The Burke County Narcotics Task Force was called to the home regarding a possible meth lab but none was located.

James Robert Hughes was found behind a chicken coop at the residence and Sarah Ray Blankenship was arrested in the yard of that same residence. Blanchard was placed in jail under $101,000 secured bond, a Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today. Hughes was jailed under $7,500 secured bond, a court date is listed for June 1. Blankenship’s bond was set at $1,000 secured. Her court date is scheduled for this Friday (May 8).

21-year-old Kyler Fred Roland has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to an April 24 break-in on Ostwalt Amity Road in Troutman. 20-year-old Sydney Elizabeth Bowman is wanted in connection to the same incident.

When Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the scene of the break-in, they learned that the suspect gained entry, then went directly to a hidden location inside the business where cash was stored and removed $8,752 from the premises. Nothing else was removed nor disturbed.

Det. Sgt. Jamie Robb gathered additional information that led to the identification of a possible suspect. The suspect, Sydney Elizabeth Bowman, had ties to the business and knew where the cash would be stored. Investigators learned that Bowman needed to money to post bond for her boyfriend, Kyler Fred Roland. Roland was in jail under a $40,000.00 secured bond on charges of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering. Detectives gathered additional evidence suggesting that Bowman and Roland conspired together to commit the break-in and steal the money.

Investigators also learned of a second incident at the same location in which Bowman allegedly stole $1,400 in cash on April 2 and used that money to buy a vehicle. The vehicle was seized earlier this week after it was involved in a high-speed chase with Troutman Police.

Bowman was charged with breaking & entering, larceny after breaking and entering for the incident that occurred on April 24. Additionally, she was charged with felony larceny for the theft on April 2. Kyler Fred Roland was charged with conspiracy to commit a breaking & entering with the intent to commit a larceny therein.

Roland was bonded out on April 24 using the stolen cash. He was re-arrested a short time later on the current charges, for which he was given an $80,000 secured bond. Roland has court dates on May 15 and June 16.

Detectives recovered the $3,500 that Bowman used to pay Roland’s bond, but, at this time, her location and the location of the remaining $5,252 are unknown.

According to a published report, Burke County Sheriff's Officers took several people into custody Friday morning (May 1) during a standoff after they surrounded a home just west of Glen Alpine. The incident reportedly started with a report of an accident on Highway 70 where the driver took off running toward the home.

The report says Deputies learned 51-year-old David Floyd Blanchard was inside and repeatedly yelled for him to come out. Blanchard, whose last known address was on South Drive in Morganton, is on the Burke County Sheriff's Office most wanted list for drug and weapons charges. According to the report, deputies said they also saw signs of a possible meth lab inside the home.

As of this afternoon, Blanchard had been charged with felony failure to appear. He was being held in jail under $101,000 secured bond. A Superior Court is scheduled for Monday (May 4). Narcotics officers were continuing to investigate the incident.

Dr. Michael M. Dempsey was appointed in April of 2015 as the Dean & Director of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. He succeeds former and founding director, Dr. Paul Knott who retired in February of this year. The Center opened in August of 2012 in Asheville’s historic Montford. It currently offers 10 master-level graduate programs.

Dr. Dempsey came to Lenoir-Rhyne from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech), where he served in numerous capacities, most recently as director of educational partnerships. In this role, he provided leadership for the administration and growth of higher education-related academic programming and services for the college’s dual-enrollment programs.

Dr. Dempsey’s other collegiate leadership experiences include building multiple community partnerships, management of recruitment efforts and aiding in the creation and growth of three area cooperative or innovative high schools. He has also taught college world history for a number of years, with particular emphasis on ancient Rome and ancient/medieval China and Japan. In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Dempsey has more than eight years of experience in journalism, and has worked for a number of North Carolina-based newspapers.

Dr. Dempsey holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the College of Charleston, a master’s degree in history from the University of Charleston & The Citadel, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Carolina University.

For more information on the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, visit asheville.lr.edu.

Friday, 01 May 2015 11:24

Silver Alert Issued for Elderly Concord Man

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The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, 76-year-old Jimmy Allen Lambert, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Mr. Lambert is a white male. He is 5' 6" tall and weighs 140 pounds. He is balding with brown hair and blue eyes. Mr. Lambert was last seen wearing a blue or red long-sleeved button-up shirt, navy blue work pants, white sneakers and a gray hat.

He was last seen at 373 Roberta Road S.W. in Concord. He may be traveling in a white 2007 Honda Odyssey with N.C. license tag number ZXK6242. No additional information is available and no photo has been released.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Jimmy Allen Lambert should call the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000.

Friday, 01 May 2015 11:19

Hickory Man Charged with Common Law Robbery

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43-year-old Timothy Nathaniel Wingo of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:50 yesterday afternoon (April 30) on one felony count of common law robbery.

He is accused of assaulting a 36-year-old Hickory woman in a parking lot on the 400 block of South Center Street in Hickory on April 24. Wingo allegedly took $100 in cash and a cell phone valued at $180 from the victim. He did not use a weapon. No significant injuries were reported. The suspect and victim were acquainted prior to the incident.

He was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

33-year-old Lavonnie Lee White of 7th Avenue SW in Hickory was arrested today (Friday, May 1) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and discharging a weapon into occupied property. Following the arrest, White was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $125,000 bond. A District Court date is set for Monday (May 4).

39-year-old Darwin Geovanni Casco of Sharon Avenue in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (April 30) by Probation and Parole Officers. He’s charged with felony probation violation. Following the arrest, Casco was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $500,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for May 26.