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News (1055)

Thursday, 23 February 2017 13:15

Lincolnton Man Arrested on Child Sex Offense Charge

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34-year-old Phillip Wayne Vrchota of Pinewood Drive in Lincolnton was arrested Wednesday (February 22) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony taking indecent liberties with a minor.

The arrest is in connection to incidents that occurred in June and July 2016. On January 12, 2017 Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Kelsey Harrington received a report of child sexual assault. During the investigation it was learned that the suspect allegedly touched a 12-year-old female inappropriately on various parts of her body while at his home in Lincoln County.

Vrchota knew the victim who is a relative. He was interviewed at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday and then arrested on the felony charge. Vrchota was detained in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (Thursday, February 23).

Thursday, 23 February 2017 11:15

Newton Man Convicted in 2014 Murder Case

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38-year-old Kevin Jamal Haqq of Newton will spend 38 years in prison after a Catawba County jury found him guilty of second-degree murder yesterday (February 22).

After an eight-day trial, Haqq was found guilty of the July 24, 2014 stabbing death of 20-year-old Jason William Margarita of Sherrills Ford at a Balls Creek residence.

Following the jury’s verdict, the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, gave Haqq an active prison term of 38 to 46 years.

After closing remarks by Prosecutor Sean McGinnis and Defense Attorney Ken Darty, the jury deliberated for about three hours Wednesday before rendering its verdict, which came in at about 6:30 last night.

Chris Branch led the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. McGinnis and Chad Smith prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 10:20

Traffic Stop Leads to Felony Cocaine Charge

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25-year-old James Lee Totty III of 23rd Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 11:20 last night (February 22) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

Totty was arrested when the vehicle he was driving was stopped for an expired registration plate at the intersection of Highway 321 N.W. and Clement Boulevard. A search of the vehicle turned up 0.5 grams of cocaine and 3.5 grams of marijuana. Totty was the vehicle’s only occupant.

He was taken into custody without incident. Totty was processed and released under a $10,000 unsecured bond. He was schedule to appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 05:46

Vehicle Crashes into House in Hickory

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A vehicle crashed into a house this morning (Thursday, February 23) in Hickory.  The accident happened at the intersection of Highway 127 and 3rd Avenue N.E., across from the Catawba Science Center.  Hickory Police responded to the call at about 6:25 this morning.

Published reports say the driver ran through a red light and struck a utility pole then the house.  According to Hickory Police, two vehicles were involved.  Minor injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

No additional details are available.

35-year-old Joy Amanda Moorefield and 20-year-old Aaron David Isley were both arrested Wednesday (February 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Moorefield was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond, Isley's bond was set at $6,000 secured. Moorefield was scheduled to appear in District Court today (Thursday, February 23), Isley's District Court date is set for Friday (February 24).

Thursday, 23 February 2017 05:24

Habitual Larceny Charges Lodged Against Hickory Woman

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32-year-old Erika Nicole Self of 5th Street NE in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (February 22) by Hickory Police Officers. She's charged with two counts of felony habitual larceny. Self was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, February 23).

17-year-old Sulayman Admeer Williams of 23rd Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested yesterday (February 22) by Hickory Police Officers.  He's charged with felony breaking & entering to a motor vehicle, along with misdemeanor counts of larceny and possession of stolen goods or property.

Events leading to Williams’ arrest unfolded yesterday as Police were investigating a residential break-in that had been reported the previous day.  In the process, Officers encountered Williams walking on 5th Street N.E., carrying a backpack.  In the backpack were a purse and other personal items belonging to a female who was the victim of a vehicle break-in.  That victim’s case was unrelated to the residential break-in.

Williams was released; however, Officers met with the victim and confirmed that the purse and backpack were the items taken from her in a vehicle break-in.  The stolen property belonged to three female victims, 21, 47 and 27 years of age, all from Conover.

Warrants for Williams’ arrest were issued.  He was taken into custody without incident shortly before 10 p.m. at his residence.  Williams was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond.  A District Court date was set for tomorrow (February 24).

Drivers in the City of Morganton may want to avoid the intersection of Collett Street and Davis Drive on Saturday (February 25). City of Morganton Electric Services workers plan to remove a large, storm-damaged tree at the intersection and workers will close the intersection at various times between 6:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. that day. For more information, call Electric Services at 828-438-5277.

26-year-old Justin Drew Coffey of Ridgeway Place in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (February 22) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony speeding to elude arrest. Coffey was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, February 23).

Thursday, 23 February 2017 04:42

Heroin Possession Charge Filed Against Conover Man

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24-year-old Kenny Tran of 1st Street West in Conover was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule IV controlled substance. Tran is also charged with seven counts of failure to appear. Following the arrest, Tran was jailed this morning (Thursday, February 23) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $32,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (February 24).

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