The District Attorney’s Office for the 25th Judicial District announced today (March 21) that a Catawba County Narcotics Investigator acted lawfully in the fatal shooting of 41-year-old Irecas Rayshion Valentine. The incident occurred on November 28, 2016 during a Catawba County drug investigation. The shooting took place in Hickory; however, the Hickory Police Department was not involved.
The D.A.’s Office reviewed the case to determine whether the shooting was lawful or unlawful. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.) also conducted an investigation. The S.B.I. interviewed witnesses, photographed the scene and collected physical evidence. No video is known to exist of the actual shooting; however, body camera footage from Officers arriving after the incident was collected and examined.
All information obtained during the S.B.I. investigation was shared with the D.A.’s Office. The S.B.I. presented its findings to a team of experienced prosecutors, including three Chief Assistant District Attorneys, four prosecutors in the D.A.’s Office, the D.A.’s Chief Investigator (who is a retired U.S. Marshal) and a Victim Witness Legal Assistant (who is a retired Captain from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office with 26 years of law enforcement experience).
Valentine fled from law enforcement officers about three years earlier, resulting in a confrontation that he survived after being shot multiple times. Officers approaching a Porsche Cayenne automobile on November 28, 2016 were unsure of the driver’s identity, but had information that it might be Valentine.
According to the D.A.’s statement, all evidence indicates that Valentine's driver side window was completely rolled down and the radio was off. Valentine looked directly at the Officers and could hear their commands.
Officers immediately identified themselves and commanded Valentine to put the car in park and turn it off. Valentine then put the car in reverse and began backing up, slowly. According to witness statements, Officers again loudly commanded Valentine to stop and put the car in park. Valentine refused to comply. He accelerated abruptly and rammed two Sheriff’s Office vehicles, one of which was occupied by an Investigator.
Only one Sheriff’s Investigator fired his weapon. The entire sequence of events unfolded in what was described as “just a few seconds”.
Based upon applicable law and the facts as reported by eyewitness accounts, corroborated by photographs and other physical evidence, the D.A. concluded that the Investigator acted lawfully.
29-year-old Michael Allen Poarch of Spencer Road in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 1:30 Sunday afternoon (March 19) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arrested after Officers responded to a shoplifting incident at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. During the incident, Police found one gram of methamphetamine and a glass pipe on Poarch’s person. No charges for larceny were filed.
Poarch was processed and released under a $5,000 unsecured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court yesterday (March 20) in Newton. No additional court date is listed at this time.
43-year-old Robert Duke Chapman, who is listed as a homeless person, was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9 a.m. Friday (March 17) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He was also charged with violating his parole.
On Friday, Officers received information that Chapman was on foot on the 900 block of 1st Street S.W. in Hickory. He was wanted for an outstanding parole violation. Officers located the suspect, but he fled on foot. He was detained behind an apartment complex on 10th Avenue S.E. During the arrest, Officers found 0.66 grams of methamphetamine on Chapman’s person.
Chapman is on parole following a September 2010 conviction in Forsythe County for the sale of a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to sell a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, conspiracy to sell or deliver a schedule II and possession of a controlled substance on penal institution property. He was also convicted as an habitual felon. Chapman was given a nine year, two month sentence. He was released on parole in January of this year.
Chapman was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $7,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled yesterday (March 20) with his next court date coming up on April 10 in Newton.
45-year-old Jerome Lee McNeely of 10th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was served true bills of indictment by Hickory Police at about 12 noon Friday (March 17) for one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny, plus one misdemeanor count of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. He was also charged with failure to appear on a warrant from Burke County.
His arrest comes in connection to an incident last year. Officers responded to a break-in at the Nationwide Insurance offices on Springs Road N.E. Entry was made through a window. Cash and a revolver were taken.
McNeeley was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $19,000, secured. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled today (March 20) in Newton.
52-year-old Brian Clifton Hoyle, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock yesterday morning (March 19) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and habitual larceny.
Clifton was arrested after Officers responded to a shoplifting call at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. Loss Prevention reported that the suspect, entered the store, put on a hoodie and attempted to leave the store. Loss Prevention stopped the suspect, Brian Hoyle, past the last point of sale. The hoodie was valued at $17. The suspect had previously been banned from all Walmart stores.
Hoyle was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $30,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
25-year-old Michelle Donyel Woods of Lafone Road in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police Saturday (March 18) as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Woods is wanted in Tazewell County, Virginia for shoplifting and for a probation violation.
Woods is accused of taking more than $200 in merchandise from a Walmart store in Virginia. She was initially arrested in the town of Tazewell, Virginia.
Woods is currently in custody at the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (March 20) in Newton.
19-year-old Tashanna Lashay Foster of 18th Street Place N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 3:45 yesterday afternoon on one felony count of failure to appear.
The charge comes in connection to an incident in July of 2014 when Foster allegedly sold food stamps for bond money. She was originally arrested on November 19 of 2014.
Yesterday, Foster was taken into custody without incident at the Hickory Police Department. She was processed and released under a $1,000 secured bond. Foster will appear in Superior Court on May 1 on one felony count of illegal possession or use of food stamps.
40-year-old Robert Lamonte Mayfield of Kings Avenue in Sherrills Ford was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:25 last night (March 16) on one felony count of failure to return hired property.
Mayfield was taken into custody without incident on the 800 block of South Center Street in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $12,000 secured bond. As of this morning, he was no longer in custody in Catawba County. Mayfield will appear in District Court Monday (March 20) in Charlotte.
The investigation is continuing into the death of a child in Burke County. The three-year-old child was found, deceased, shortly before 8 a.m. yesterday (March 15) on the porch at a residence at 1259 Hopewell Road in Morganton.
An autopsy was performed today. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the autopsy showed no signs of trauma. Toxicology and other tests will not be available for approximately two weeks.
The Burke County Criminal Investigation Division is working on the case. The investigation is ongoing.
43-year-old Wesley W. Sizemore of Mount Juliet, Tennessee was arrested by a Trooper with the N.C. State Highway Patrol in Catawba County yesterday (March 14). He was wanted on a felony fugitive warrant for larceny from a building. The warrant was issued yesterday in Lancaster County, South Carolina.
Sizemore was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled this morning in Newton.
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