An eight-year-old boy was injured in a hit-and-run near Claremont Sunday afternoon (April 24).

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the accident happened off Deal Road in Catawba County at about 1:35 p.m. According to Troopers, the boy was riding his bike and was turning around at the end of his driveway when he partially entered the roadway where he was hit by a vehicle.

Catawba County E.M.S. transported the boy to Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory. He was later flown to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. He reportedly suffered serious injuries to his left arm.

Troopers found parts of the suspect vehicle on the roadway. Authorities are searching for a dark blue or black 2005-2010 Pontiac G6. The vehicle may have damage to the right front quarter panel.

WHKY’s Fentress Chestnut is following the story. She'll have details on the WHKY-TV news tonight (April 25).

49-year-old Harold David Houser III of Starcross Road in Lenoir was served with a warrant yesterday (April 24) for attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of exchanging gunfire with Lenoir Police during an incident at his residence early Friday morning (April 22).

Houser was hit by gunfire during the exchange. He was transported to Caldwell Memorial Hospital. He was arrested upon his release from the hospital Sunday.

Houser was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $1-million secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (April 25) in Lenoir.

Additional charges are expected.

Boone Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 19-year-old James Martin Roberts. Mr. Roberts is from Kernersville, N.C. and currently lives in Boone while attending Caldwell Community College.

Investigators have been following numerous leads and tips, but so far have been unable to locate Mr. Roberts. He was last seen on Thursday, April 21, at approximately 12:30 p.m. near the intersection of Hardin Street and Rivers Street, near the Appalachian State University Convocation Center.

He may have been spotted in the Trout Lake area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A N.C. State Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in searching the area Saturday night (April 23), but did not find anything.  

Mr. Roberts was last seen wearing a black, short-sleeve, A.S.U. windbreaker, khaki shorts, gray New Balance shoes and a white golf visor hat. He is 5’10” tall and weighs approximately 145 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Mr. Roberts’ family says his disappearance is totally out of character for him. He enjoys hiking, camping and spending time on the trails in and around the Blue Ridge Parkway.      

Any information concerning Mr. Roberts’ favorite hangouts, recent whereabouts or persons he might have been with is requested. Anyone with information should call the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900 or High Country Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 or 828-737-0125.

Last Wednesday (April 20), the state announced that they will seek the death penalty for 22-year-old Eric Terril Yount of Granite Falls. Yount is accused of killing two people at the McDonald’s restaurant on Highway 321 N.W. in Hickory. The announcement was made during a hearing in Catawba County Superior Court.

On March 2 of this year, Yount allegedly shot and killed 22-year-old Richelle Scott Lail and 28-year-old Cody William Watts.

Victoria Jayne has been appointed to represent Yount, who is being held in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond. His next court date is scheduled for July 11.

32-year-old James Willard Thacker of Hickory will not face the death penalty in the fatal shooting of a Granite Falls woman. The announcement was made by prosecutors for the state during a hearing in Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday, April 19.

Thacker is accused of shooting 40-year-old Tammy Annette Cloninger on the morning of February 15, 2016. The case remains under investigation by the Hickory Police Department.

Thacker remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he has been held without bond since the day of the shooting. His next appearance in District Court is set for August 1.

A trial date has been set for 43-year-old Rickey Allen Payne of Hickory. Payne is accused of killing 48-year-old Loretta Joyce Chadwick of Hickory nearly three years ago. Payne’s trial date was set during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday, April 19 after prosecutors and defense counsel agreed to the date. His trial will begin on January 23, 2017. The case is proceeding as a non-capital matter.

The case has been investigated by the Hickory Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Payne remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond, where he has been since June 8, 2013. No court appearances are currently scheduled prior to the start of his trial next January.

33-year-old Celeste Monte Hauser of North 1st Avenue in Maiden was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:35 a.m. today (April 22) on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one misdemeanor count of discharging a firearm in the city limits.

Events leading to her arrest began when a 60-year-old female victim on the 400 block of 2nd Street S.W. in Hickory told Police that she had a confrontation with Celeste Hauser, who was staying next door. The victim said Hauser assaulted her, went into her residence and came back out with a handgun. Hauser then reportedly fired a single shot at the victim while both women were still outside. The victim was not hit.

Hauser went back into her residence. When Officers arrived, they attempted to speak to the suspect. According to Police, Hauser seemed to be attempting to barricade herself inside the residence. Hauser did not speak to Police, but Officers heard the sound of doors latching and furniture being moved.

Officers then located a 53-year-old female neighbor who was acquainted with Hauser. The neighbor called Hauser and talked her into coming out voluntarily. Hauser was taken into custody without further incident.

A search of the suspect’s home led to the discovery of a handgun.

Hauser was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility, where she is listed as Celeste Monte Rogers. Bond was set at $7,000, secured, with a court date scheduled today in Newton.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:48

Police Investigate Robbery in N.W. Hickory

Hickory Police are investigating a robbery that occurred early Wednesday morning (just after midnight) outside an apartment on Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory.

A 52-year-old male victim arrived at his apartment and parked his vehicle. As he got out of the vehicle, an unknown subject wearing a dark hoodie and a dark mask ran toward the victim and hit the victim with his hand or with a possible unknown object.

The suspect took the victim’s iPhone, valued at $600, and fled on foot. The phone was recovered after the suspect dropped it in the parking lot.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:41

Hickory Man Arrested on 2014 Drug Charges

27-year-old Adam Paul Moser of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested yesterday afternoon (April 20) by Hickory Police on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

His arrest stems from an incident in September 2014. Officers on foot patrol at the Terrace Hills public housing complex in the area of 2nd Street Place S.E. spotted a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle’s only occupant, Adam Moser, was in the driver’s seat. Officers conducted a search and found 0.4 grams of crack cocaine and half of a Xanax pill. Moser was initially arrested at that time.

Moser was re-arrested yesterday without incident at K&M Tire, which he lists as his employer. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. Moser was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today in Newton.

32-year-old Omar Cristian Region-Vera of Morganton is wanted by the Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of statutory rape of child less than 13 years old when the offender is more than 12 years of age and more than six years older than the victim and incest involving a child less than 13 years old when the offender is a parent.

On April 18, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault. Deputies spoke with the mother of the juvenile victims. Detectives processed the scene and went to the Burke County Child Advocacy Center where the children were interviewed, examined and provided with medical treatment. Also assisting in the investigation is the Burke County Department of Social Services.

The suspect, Omar Cristian Region-Vera, has gone into hiding. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500.