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News (901)

Ashley Nicole Pearson of Hickory was injured in a hit & run accident at about 10 p.m. on New Years Eve (Wednesday, December 31).

A vehicle struck Ms. Pearson of Hickory while she was walking across the 500 block of 2nd Avenue S.E. near Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. She was not at a crosswalk when she was hit. Pearson sustained serious injures in the collision and was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center and later transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem where she was listed in stable condition.

The vehicle that struck Pearson left the scene. Police say the suspect vehicle is most likely a passenger car with damage to the passenger side headlight and turn signal. Both a clear lens and a yellow lens were broken.

The Hickory Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit is seeking public assistance in the investigation. Anyone with information regarding the on-going investigation should call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.

A man has been charged with stabbing another man to death in a New Year’s Day incident in Catawba County. 18-year-old Christopher Daniel Mackey of 25th Avenue NE, Hickory, was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers Thursday (January 1) and charged with murder, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Thursday at 10:12 p.m. Catawba County Sheriff’s Office patrol responded to a report of a person being stabbed at 3345 43rd Avenue Place NE in Hickory, off Sulphur Springs Road. When deputies arrived they discovered that 33-year-old Phillip White had been repeatedly stabbed on his right torso. The suspect, Christopher Daniel Mackey, fled on foot prior to the arrival of officers. Mackey was later found several trailers away at his girlfriends’ home. He was taken into custody and initially charged with the assault offense. At 4:45 a.m. today (Friday, January 2) the Sheriff’s Office learned that White had passed away, and a murder charge was added. Mackey is being held at the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond, a court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Friday, 02 January 2015 06:10

New District Attorney Sworn In

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The new District Attorney representing Catawba, Burke and Caldwell Counties was sworn in Thursday. David Learner took the oath on New Year’s Day in a Burke County courtroom along with 18 assistant DA's. Learner replaces Jay Gaither as the D.A. in District 25 after defeating the incumbent in a runoff election in July. Learner will take on some high-profile cases from 2014. Included in those cases are the Sharman Odom prosecution, Odom is charged in the strangulation death of Newton teacher and guidance counselor Maggie Daniels. Learner will also be in charge of the prosecution of Donald Kincaid in connection with a triple-murder in Morganton in August.

20-year-old Brock Mackie Towery of 20th Avenue Court N.E. in Hickory was arrested at about 2:40 this morning (January 2) by Hickory Police Officers. He was charged with possession of heroin, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance.

He was arrested after Officers on Patrol pulled behind a red 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier and saw the vehicle crossing the double-yellow line. Officers conducted a traffic stop on the 100 block of Government Avenue S.W.

The driver, who was the vehicle’s only occupant, was identified as Brock Towery. No outstanding warrants for his arrest were found; however, Police said Towery appeared to be impaired. They asked him to exit the vehicle, and, as he did so, Officers saw an orange pill bottle under the driver’s seat.

In the pill bottle were 14 individually packaged baggies containing a white substance later identified as heroin. The drugs had a weight of one gram.

Towery was arrested without incident. An additional search of the vehicle turned up two used syringes.

Following his arrest, Towery was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for January 5 in Newton.

25-year-old Necole Elizabeth Lusk of River Trail Lane, Granite Falls, was arrested Thursday (January 1) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession of stolen goods or property. Following the arrest, Lusk was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (January 5).


36-year-old Randy Phillip Leopard, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (January 1) on one felony count of breaking & entering and one misdemeanor count of littering.


Events leading to arrest unfolded when Police responded to an alarm at the Iron Thunder Saloon & Grill on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. There, they found a broken window in the front of the building and an A.T.M. damaged inside the restaurant. Officers also noticed some leaves near the A.T.M.


Police then searched a nearby wooded area, where they found Leopard with a hammer in his possession. He was taken into custody without incident. The littering charge was likely the result of the condition of Leopard’s campsite.


The suspect was not successful in removing anything from the A.T.M., though it did sustain $200 in damages. Damages to the window were estimated at $250.


Following the arrest, Leopard was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Monday (January 5).


Friday, 02 January 2015 05:30

Driver Climbs Out of Vehicle After it Flips

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The driver involved in a New Year's Day wreck in Burke County climbed out of the vehicle following the accident. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the Thursday morning accident. According to published reports, the accident happened on Warlicks Church Road near Connelly Springs at approximately 10:30 a.m. Rescue workers said the driver managed to climb out of the wreckage after flipping his car on a curve in the road. The driver was taken to the hospital, the extent of injuries was not known.

Friday, 02 January 2015 05:26

Catawba County Man Charged with Murder of Infant

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A Catawba County man is charged with murder in connection with the death of an infant. According to a news release from the Newton Police Department, Wednesday (December 31) at 7:20 a.m., Newton Police responded to 711-E Sandalwood Ct to assist EMS. Upon arrival officers were told that a seven-month-old child was found not breathing and non-responsive by his mother’s boyfriend. The child was immediately transported by EMS to Catawba Valley Medical Center for treatment.

During the investigation at the scene the boyfriend, 23-year-old Tyler Leroy Linebarger of Trillium Court, Conover, told police that the child was lying on the sofa asleep. Linebarger said that he went upstairs to take a shower and when he came back downstairs the child was lying on the floor. Linebarger stated he picked up the child and placed him back on the sofa and went back upstairs. When Linebarger returned downstairs he noticed the child blue and not breathing. Linebarger went to a neighbor’s apartment to call 911.

The child’s mother, Amber Leigh Estep, was on scene and stated that she last saw her son at 5:40 am when she left for work and he was fine. Police investigators were contacted along with DSS who responded to the scene and to the hospital. An examination of the child at Catawba Valley Medical Center revealed recent and past injuries that were severe in nature. The child was transported to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte for treatment and was immediately taken for surgery upon arrival at Levine’s. Investigators traveled to Levine and spoke with doctors about the extent of the child’s injuries. Doctors discovered the child had severe internal injuries located in various parts of the body that were a direct result of “horrific trauma”. Doctors also confirmed the child had several older injuries that were in various stages of healing.

The child passed away Thursday morning. Linebarger was arrested and initially charged with one count of felony child abuse-inflicting serious injury. A count of murder was added after the victim passed away. Linebarger is being held in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $175,000 secured bond. This investigation is continuing with additional charges possible.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014 14:52

Catawba Chamber to Hold Annual Luncheon on February 26

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The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Shareholders & Investors Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center.

The event will feature an appearance by world-class inspirational speaker Tommy Spaulding. Mr. Spaulding is the president of Spaulding Companies LLC. His book, “It's Not Just Who You Know” was released on August 10, 2010. Mr. Spaulding is also the former CEO and President of one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world, Up with People, and he founded Leader's Challenge, which has become the largest high school civics program in the state of Colorado.

The cost is $55 per person with corporate tables of eight available for $450. The event is open to Chamber members and their guests only.

An RSVP is required. Call 828-328-6111 or email pmanfredi@catawbachamber.org.

46-year-old George Randal Wilson, Sr. of Clearfield Place in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday for three felony out-of-county probation violations. He was also charged with two counts of communicating threats and one count of cyberstalking. Wilson is on probation following a D.W.I. conviction in September of last year and convictions for discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle and possession of stolen goods or property in June of 2012, all in Columbus County.

Following his arrest, Wilson was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $45,000 secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for January 12 in Lenoir.