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60-year-old Michael Kevin Julian of Taylorsville has been arrested by Alexander County Sheriff’s Officers and charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child under the age of 13. Detectives arrested Julian yesterday (May 19).

Julian was jailed under a $150,000 bond. He’ll make a first appearance in District Court on Monday (May 23).

Due to the sensitive nature of the case, no further information will be released.

28-year-old Brandon Keith Maynor of Betterbrook Lane, 20-year-old Jessica Brittany Lane of Rosehill Drive, 62-year-old Robert Deal Shuford of North Grove Street, 40-year-old Jon Christopher Shuford of Pruitt Houser Street and 30-year-old Leslie Katherine Shuford of North Grove Street, all from Lincolnton, have been arrested by Lincolnton Police on drug charges.

Maynor was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested less than a week later by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers for trafficking meth and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substance. Lane was charged with possession of meth. Robert Shuford, the owner of the residence on North Grove Street, was charged with maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance. Jon Shuford faces charges for possession of schedule II & schedule III controlled substances, while Leslie Shuford was charged with possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.  

According to a press release issued yesterday, on Saturday, April 30, Lincolnton Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers executed a search warrant at the North Grove Street residence. The search was the result of a joint investigation conducted by narcotics units from both agencies into drug-related traffic at the residence. The two agencies combined resources in an effort to curb drug trafficking activity at the residence and in elsewhere in western Lincoln County. The joint investigation was the result of numerous citizens’ complaints.

The residence has been the location of previous drug arrests. Detectives believe it to be hub for drug trafficking and distribution in the area.

When the search warrant was executed, Officers found nine people at the residence. They also found various amounts of meth and several different types of prescription medication, as well as paraphernalia used in the packaging & distribution of controlled substances. All the items were seized as evidence.

The operation was coordinated by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Lt. Jon Propst and Lincolnton Police Lt. Jason Munday.

Maynor was scheduled to appear in court today (May 20) on an unrelated misdemeanor weapons charge, with an appearance on the drug charges set for July 12. Lane has no Lincoln County court dates listed; however, she does have an October 3 appearance scheduled in Gaston County on a felony meth charge. Robert Shuford will appear in Lincoln County District Court on June 7. Jon Shuford has a court date on June 17 and Leslie Shuford was due to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom today.

30-year-old John Christopher Watts of Reece Road in Drexel was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:40 yesterday (May 19) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after Police were called to reports of a suspicious person looking into vehicles in the parking lot at the Hardee’s restaurant on Highway 321 N.W. in Hickory. Officers arrived and found the man, who was identified as John Watts. Police say Watts behaved nervously. As they conducted a safety check for weapons, Officers found a total of 48.4 grams of marijuana and a digital scale on Watts’ person.

He was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

14-year-old Benjamin Lee Mack, II has been found and is back home with his parent. The teen’s mother contacted Sheriff’s Deputies last night (May 18) and reported that he had returned home. A Deputy went to the residence and found the teen to be in good condition.

Benjamin Mack was reported missing Monday (May 16) by his mother. He had last been seen the previous day, as reported Monday on WHKY.

Lincolnton Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects in a vending machine break-in at the Pro Wash USA car wash on Hartman Street in Lincolnton.

On Monday (May 16), Lincolnton Police Officer Isaiah Matthews responded to a reported B&E at the car wash. Officer Matthews spoke with an employee who said that someone broke into the business’ cash & change machine the night before. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken. Damage to the machine was estimated in excess of $1,000.

Officers viewed video surveillance footage and learned that the crime occurred at about 11:30 Sunday night. The suspects appear to be a white male and a female of unknown race. Their vehicle was a late model Chevrolet Captiva. The male appeared to commit the actual B&E while the female served as a lookout.

The white male appears to be in his mid-20s. He was wearing camouflage cargo shorts, a black shirt and a ball cap. The female was wearing a hoodie pulled over her head. Detectives are in the process of obtaining enhanced surveillance footage to assist in the identification.

Detectives are asking citizens and businesses to be on the lookout for the suspects and to contact Police if anyone attempts or has attempted to cash in several one-dollar bills or a large amount of change.

Anyone with information should contact Lincolnton Police at 704- 736-8900 or contact Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

For more information, contact Det. Brandon Hunsucker at 704-736-8900.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:38

GHCCM to Offer Expunction Clinic Friday

An upcoming clinic is offering a chance at a fresh start for some citizens with criminal records. The Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM), in partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina, will offer an Expunction Clinic on Friday, May 20, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the ministry.

Persons with a criminal record may experience difficulty in obtaining housing, employment or other opportunities. Those interested in determining whether they are eligible for an expunction - the legal term for a court order that clears a mark on a person’s criminal record - are encouraged to call and register for the clinic.

Offenses that are generally eligible for expunction include first-time, non-violent offenses committed more than 15 years ago and first-time offenses committed when a person was under the age of 18 or 22. Charges that were dropped for which a person was found to be not guilty may also be eligible.

According to Kathee Martin, GHCCM’s Director of Programs & Services, there are 1.6 million North Carolinians with criminal records. There are nearly 1,000 state and federal laws designed to deny those persons various rights and privileges, which include public housing and hunting licenses.

Catawba County residents interested in determining whether or not they are eligible for an expunction or court order can register for the free clinic by contacting Ms. Martin at 828-323-7912. The clinic is by appointment only and space is limited.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:28

Hickory Man Jailed on Assault Charges

44-year-old Luciano Garcia Mondragon of 17th Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before 1 p.m. yesterday (May 17) on one felony count of assault inflicting serious injury including strangulation and one misdemeanor count of assault on a female.

He was taken into custody near the intersection of Fairgrove Church Road and Highway 70 S.E. Mondragon was confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond on the assault on a female charge. Bond on the other charge was set at $4,000. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

No further details are available.

29-year-old Donnie Lee Cherry, Jr. of Ashley Brook Lane in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of assault on a female and felony habitual misdemeanor assault.

On April 1, the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report alleging that a female had been assaulted by her boyfriend, Donnie Lee Cherry, Jr. Cherry was arrested for assault on a female. At the time, he was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and was charged for those offenses, as well. Cherry was given a $1,500 bond on the drug charges and no bond on the assault charge. A court date on those charges was set for June 6.

After further investigation, an additional warrant was issued for habitual misdemeanor assault. Cherry was arrested on May 13 and placed in the Iredell Co. Detention Center under an additional $5,000 bond. District Court dates were set for May 24, June 6 and June 14.

Previously, Cherry has been found guilty of assault on a female in 2008; simple assault in 2007, 2006 & 2004; and assault & battery in 2006.   He was also convicted in 2010 for felony second-degree kidnapping and in 2008 for common law robbery. Cherry has six assault cases pending from 2015 that include three counts of assault on a female and one count each of habitual misdemeanor assault, assault inflicting serious injury and assault by strangulation.    

38-year-old Petrina Lynn McDaniels of Bucks Run Court in Cleveland, N.C. has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers for a violation of pretrial release conditions.

Events leading to her arrest began on April 5 when McDaniels was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. She allegedly assaulted her boyfriend by slashing him with a vehicle key, cutting his stomach and back. McDaniels was given pretrial release conditions and released under a $15,000 bond.

On May 15, the same victim took out a warrant against McDaniels for simple assault and injury to personal property in connection to a separate incident. The victim said McDaniels cut him and hit him with a cell phone before burning his clothes and breaking his cell phone.

McDaniels was then taken into custody and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $6,000 bond. She’ll appear in District Court on June 13.

It was announced earlier today (May 17) that 37-year-old Everette Porshau Hewitt of Claremont was sentenced to life in prison; however, a report published by “The Hickory Daily Record” now states that sentencing will continue tomorrow as the result of a mistrial motion filed by defense attorney Robert Campbell.

The District Attorney's office would not comment on the latest developments.

Hewitt was convicted on May 6 of killing Wade Sigmon, Susan Blevins and Connie Miller in 2011. Hewitt was also found guilty of shooting Joseph Burke, who survived. He was also convicted of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and first-degree burglary.

Hewitt’s trial is a capital case; however, the death penalty would require a unanimous decision by the jury.