30-year-old LeighKathrine Mina of Burke Hollow Road in Boone has been arrested on a charge of felony first-degree kidnapping. She was arrested by Burke County Detectives in Watauga County yesterday (January 23).
Mina was charged in connection to the January 18 kidnapping of Carlton Lamaar Edmonston. 31-year-old Robert Leroy Littleton III of Fleetwood, N.C. was previously arrested in Tennessee in connection to the same case. Mina told authorities that she and Littleton had recently married, but she was unable to produce any documentation to verify the marriage.
The investigation into the kidnapping began last Friday (January 19) when Edmonston’s family contacted the Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office. The kidnappers called the victim’s family and demanded money. Following Littleton’s arrest, the suspect told Investigators that Edmonston had been taken to a remote location in Tennessee where he was assaulted and abandoned. Edmonston has not been found.
Mina was placed in Burke-Catawba District Confinement Center under a $200,000 bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Morganton.
The investigation in ongoing.
32-year-old Christopher Jihoon Kim of County Home Road in Conover was charged by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (January 23) on a warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.
Kim is wanted in Frederick County, Virginia on three felony counts of attempting to obtain money by false pretense. Warrants for his arrest were issued by the Winchester Police Department in Virginia for crimes that allegedly occurred on three different dates in August of 2016.
Kim was already a prisoner in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility, where he had been held since December 21 of last year on another fugitive warrant. Total bond was set at $55,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
25-year-old Sheleka Lucinda Tribble of 9th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (January 24) on one felony count of breaking & entering and one misdemeanor count of interfering with emergency communications.
Her arrest stems from an incident on January 13 when Hickory Police responded to Frye Regional Medical Center in reference to an assault that had occurred at a residence on 3rd Avenue S.E. During the assault, multiple known suspects forcibly entered the residence.
Arrest warrants were issued for four suspects, including Sheleka Tribble. She was taken into custody without incident just before 3 a.m. today. Tribble was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
39-year-old Scott Duncan Robinson of Forest Drive in Maiden was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:35 p.m. yesterday (January 23) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, plus misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance.
Robinson was taken into custody without incident at a restaurant on 11th Street Court S.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $7,500, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
The City of Morganton Water Resources Department plans to shut off water tonight (January 24) beginning at 10:00 to repair a faulty valve. One lane of North Green Street/Highway 181 was scheduled to be closed beginning at 1:00 p.m. in preparation.
The shut-off will affect North Green Street/Highway 181 from Independence Boulevard to the upper St. Mary’s Church Road/181 Intersection. Surrounding businesses and residences will be without water for an estimated 6 hours. For more information contact the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
35-year-old Richard Charles Cunningham, of Bluefield, West Virginia, will spend a minimum of just over three years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the December 2015 death of 32-year-old Matthew Lee Swanson. The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, sentenced Cunningham to serve 38 to 58 months in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday (January 23). Family members and law enforcement were in full agreement with the terms and conditions of the plea.
Officers from Hickory Police Department responded to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory during the early-morning hours of Dec. 6, 2015, to find Swanson unconscious on the floor of a back room. He was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center and later Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem where he died on Dec. 7, 2015. Cunningham was working as a bouncer at the business and had a confrontation with Swanson that escalated into a physical altercation. A witness told investigators she saw Cunningham strike Swanson six or seven times.
Investigators sought video surveillance from the establishment and were told initially that the cameras were not operational. However, that proved to be false, and surveillance was recovered on December 8, 2015. That footage showed the defendant and victim engaged in an altercation, with Cunningham delivering punch-like motions to Swanson while the victim was on the floor. The defendant went back to the front of the business and left a short time later.
The autopsy indicated that Swanson’s cause of death was hypoxic ischemic brain injury due to concussive/post-traumatic apnea due to blunt force injury of the head and acute ethanol intoxication. Carlos De Los Santos investigated the case for Hickory Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith handled prosecution for the State.
A scam has been reported in Burke County. The Burke County Sheriff's Office has received reports of people getting phone calls from a Sgt. Richard Manely who claims to be with the Sheriff’s Office. The person posing as a member of the Sheriff’s Office says he is calling about an outstanding warrant and says the matter can be cleared up by paying him money.
The Sheriff's Office wants to let the public know that this is a scam. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency would never call an individual requesting money to clear up a legal matter.
A shooting reported early this morning (January 24) is under investigation in Statesville. A 911 call was received at approximately 12:15 a.m. from Zarrie James, who said that he had been shot, and was in need of assistance. Mr. James was located on Garner Bagnal Boulevard near Wilson Lee Boulevard. EMS and Statesville Police Officers arrived at the scene.
Mr. James was transported to Baptist Hospital where he has undergone surgery. The investigation into this shooting is underway. A news release from the Statesville Police Department says there is no indication that the victim was randomly shot while driving, so the public should not be concerned for their safety while they drive to work or school today. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives have identified the body of a man found inside a burning car on Sunday (January 21). Following an autopsy at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem Monday (January 22) the victim was identified as 52-year-old Jimmy Wayne Brooks of Campbell Lane in Lincolnton.
The Lincoln County Communications Center received a report around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in reference to a vehicle fire. The North 321 Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and after firefighters doused the flames, they noticed the remains of a human body in the vehicle. The vehicle, a 1999 Pontiac Grand AM GT, was located in a vacant lot in the 2600 block of High Knoll Road.
The State Bureau of Investigations and the Lincoln County Fire Marshal’s Office were called in to assist Sheriff’s detectives with the fire investigation which is on-going. A cause for the fire has not been determined at this time.
More information has been released on the arrest of a woman on drug charges in Catawba County. 29-year-old Wanda Jo Rhyne was arrested Tuesday (January 23) by Maiden Police Officers. She was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of controlled substance in a detention center, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting a public officer.
In the early morning hours Tuesday, Maiden Police officers responded to a suspicious persons call near the intersection of Startown Road and West Maiden Road. Responding Maiden Police officers encountered and subsequently arrested 29-year-old Wanda Jo Rhyne. Rhyne attempted to use a false identity and was found to be in possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. A news release from the Maiden Police Department says Rhyne is a Lincolnton resident, the Catawba County "Who's In Jail" website lists her as a resident of Bristol, Virginia.
When Rhyne was transported to the Catawba County Detention Facility it was discovered that she was in possession of more meth, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, resulting in the possession in a detention center charge. She was jailed under $20,000 bond and was still incarcerated as of earlier today. Her next District Court date is February 6.
49-year-old Richard Henry Bilyou of Jenkins Road in Morganton was arrested Monday (January 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree burglary, two misdemeanor counts of injury to personal property, and one misdemeanor count of communicating threats.
On Sunday (January 21), at approximately 11:00 p.m., the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to 5624 Jenkins Road following a report of shots being fired. Deputies arrived at the residence and spoke to Arthur Harris about the incident. Harris explained his landlord, Richard Bilyou, had been yelling and threatening his family. Harris reported Bilyou was upset because they had not moved out quick enough, even though they had not been legally evicted.
After taking his family back inside, Harris said Bilyou began shooting down towards the residence. Bilyou came down to Harris’ residence and threw a propane cylinder through the glass of the front door. According to Harris, Bilyou took one or two steps inside his residence and immediately walked back outside. When deputies arrived, Bilyou had left the scene.
After the initial investigation, one deputy went to the magistrate’s office to secure warrants while other deputies stood by with Harris as he removed items from the residence. Warrants were issued against Bilyou, who was arrested the following day and confined at the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under $79,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court Tuesday (January 23). He has upcoming District Court dates February 13 and February 26.
36-year-old Terrie Patrice Williamson was arrested Monday (January 22) by Newton Police Officers. She's charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.
On Monday, Newton police responded to an apartment at 1326 North Frye Avenue, in reference to a stabbing. A man reporting the incident called for EMS assistance from a location outside of Newton. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Terrie Patrice Williamson, the suspect in the stabbing. The victim, 42-year-old Aaron Fitzgerald Rippy, of Conover, was not at the residence.
Williamson told officers that she and Mr. Rippy got into an argument, because Mr. Rippy was leaving and removing groceries from the apartment. Williamson stated that as Mr. Rippy was placing groceries into plastic bags, she was cutting the bags open. Officers noticed evidence of cut bags in the kitchen and bedroom. At some point during this altercation, Mr. Rippy was cut with the scissors on his arm. Williamson was placed under arrest for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and transported to the Newton Police Department for processing.
Williamson was then transported to the Catawba County Detention Facility where she was detained without bond due to this being a domestic violence case. She was scheduled to have a first court appearance yesterday in District Court in Newton. She was no longer listed as an inmate as of today (January 24), her next District Court date is February 5. Rippy was transported to Catawba Valley Medical Center where he was treated and released for minor injuries.
29-year-old Michelle Nicole Mathis of Water Street in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (January 22) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged on a bill of indictment with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods or property. Mathis was given a custody release and has a Superior Court date March 5.
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, Richard Keith Purdue. Mr. Purdue is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.
Mr. Purdue is a 53-year-old white male. He is 5’5” tall and weighs 135 pounds. He has black, ear-length hair and blue eyes. Mr. Purdue was last seen at 1428 Little Valley Lane in Lincolnton. He was wearing black jogging pants and a dark blue hoodie.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Richard Keith Purdue should call Det. Kelly Paris at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-735-8202.