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Main Street Champions from across the state were recognized this morning (March 18) for their commitment to downtown improvements and strong communities at an awards breakfast in Goldsboro. 37 individuals or organizations were honored.

Several honorees are from the Greater Hickory Metro Region. Those include: Tony & Margaret Jackson (The Jackson Group, Inc. & the Hickory Downtown Development Association); the City of Lenoir’s Building & Maintenance Division & the City of Lenoir Main Street Program; Wayne Hoyle (Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton, Inc.); Charlotte Eidson (City of Morganton); Jerry Hodge (Downtown Newton Development Association); and Jeff Archer (Downtown Statesville Development Corporation).

This morning’s event was part of N.C. Main Street’s 20th anniversary celebration. Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III attended the “Breakfast with Main Street Champions Ceremony” at Goldsboro’s Paramount Theatre to personally thank each recipient.

In Caldwell County Superior Court today (March 17), a judge declined defense counsel’s motion to change locations for the 25-year-old double homicide trial of 56-year-old William Eugene Murphy, five weeks after a mistrial was declared. The Honorable William T. Pomeroy, Superior Court Judge from Lincoln County ruled that the retrial will begin on August 8 of this year in Lenoir.

The judge heard arguments for the change of venue from Defense Attorney Lisa Dubs and those against by Assistant District Attorney Michael Van Buren during a hearing in Lenoir on Monday (March 14).

Dubs maintained that publicity from media coverage of Murphy’s case and trial created too great a prejudice for him to receive a fair and impartial second trial in Caldwell County. She also questioned whether a mistrial would be likely in moving ahead with a new trial.

Van Buren countered that the two sides were able to select a jury in spite of media exposure prior to the first trial, which started in January, and only used one of the two pools of jurors that was brought in for that trial. He also rejected the notion that media coverage of the case was prejudiced against Murphy, telling the court that news stories and reports were factual and non-inflammatory in nature.

Judge Pomeroy reviewed evidence presented to him by both sides before rendering his decision this morning. He said appropriate safeguards could be exercised in selecting a jury to provide extra preventive measures to ensure that a potential pool of jurors would not be tainted.

Dubs, who objected to the court’s decision, asked to address her client’s bond, but Judge Pomeroy opted not to do so. Murphy’s bond remains $500,000 on the murder charges.

Murphy is accused of killing Mark Randall Secreast and his wife, Jeanie Barlow Secreast, inside their Caldwell County home. The case was investigated at that time, but not solved. New evidence surfaced and Murphy was arrested and charged with the murders in April of 2010.

The initial trial began January 11 of this year after it had been delayed on two previous occasions. Two weeks of jury selection were followed by two-and-a-half weeks for the presentation of evidence. Murphy did not take the stand during the trial. On February 10, the 12-member jury remained deadlocked at 6-6 after more than five hours of deliberation.

Murphy remains incarcerated at the Caldwell County Detention Center, where he has been held for nearly six years.

23-year-old Kaden Von Drehle Bishop of Edgefield Lane in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at 3:20 yesterday afternoon (March 16) on felony counts of breaking & entering a motor vehicle, larceny after breaking & entering and first-degree burglary. He was also charged with misdemeanor larceny, and he was arrested on a warrant from January of this year as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.

The charges come in connection to incidents in May of last year on Waterbury Court in Hickory’s Waterford Hills neighborhood. At about 3:35 a.m. on May 19, a resident saw a suspicious vehicle and called Police. At the time, no evidence of a crime was found.

Later that same day, residents of the neighborhood found that items were taken from several unlocked vehicles in the area. Through the course of the investigation, Police identified Kaden Bishop as the suspect.

A search of Bishop’s residence turned up several items stolen from the Waterford Hills break-ins, as well as items stolen from vehicle break-ins in Newton.

He was arrested yesterday at H.P.D. headquarters as true bills of indictment were served in connection to those incidents. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $80,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.

37-year-old Larry Davis Reid, Jr. of Highway 10 West in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:15 Wednesday morning (March 16) on one felony count of assault on a law enforcement officer and one misdemeanor count of simple assault.

He was arrested after Police were called to Frye Regional Medical Center on North Center Street in Hickory where a patient, Larry Davis Reid, Jr., had reportedly punched a doctor. Reid was arrested at the hospital. During the booking process at Hickory Police Headquarters, Reid reportedly punched an Officer. No serious injuries were reported in either incident.

Reid was confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,500 secured bond. He will make a first appearance in District Court today (March 17) with another court date on April 28.

19-year-old Landon Alexander Sigmon of South Caldwell Avenue in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police early Wednesday morning (March 16) on one felony count of first-degree burglary and single misdemeanor counts of second-degree trespass and carrying a concealed gun. He was also charged with two counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

Events leading to his arrest began on February 21 of this year when Police responded to an attempted burglary on 8th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory. A suspect kicked in the back door, but was prevented from entering by one of the residents. The suspect, who was identified by one of the occupants as Landon Sigmon, then fled on foot.

Early yesterday, Police responded to a disturbance in the parking lot at the Hillside Gardens apartment complex on 1st Street S.E. in Hickory. Upon arrival, Officers recognized Landon Sigmon as the subject from the incident in February. Sigmon, who had previously been banned from Hickory Housing Authority property, again fled on foot. He was apprehended and arrested at 2:10 a.m. on the 800 block of 1st Street S.E.

Sigmon was charged with burglary in connection to the February incident and with resisting and trespassing in connection to yesterday’s events. The weapons charge and the other resisting charge were from outstanding failure to appear warrants dating back to last year.

Sigmon was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $78,000 secured bond. He has District Court dates on April 6, April 27 and May 19.

23-year-old Johnny Wray “Nuke” Izard, Jr. of Lee Avenue in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on charges of common law robbery and assault on a female.

At about 11:30 Sunday night (March 13), Lincolnton Police responded to a reported motor vehicle theft on Cobb Street in Lincolnton. The victim said Johnny Wray “Nuke” Izard had stolen the vehicle. She told Police that Izard pulled her hair and physically removed her from the driver’s seat. The suspect was last seen driving the vehicle on North Aspen Street.

A BOLO (or, “Be On the Look Out” call) for the vehicle was issued. A short time later, Lincolnton Police Officer Rick Hensley spotted the vehicle and Izard in the Oaklawn community. As Officer Hensley attempted to make contact, the suspect fled on foot. The Officer was unable to locate Izard, but the vehicle was recovered and returned to its owner.

Warrants for Izard’s arrest were issued. He was taken into custody by Lincolnton Police Officer William Vaughn on Monday (March 14).

Izard was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $5,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court yesterday (March 15) with his next court date coming up on April 5.

Izard has previous convictions that include breaking & entering, larceny, assault and drug charges. Additionally, Izard has been validated as a gang member by the North Carolina Department of Corrections. He is a member of the Bloods.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 11:50

More Info Released on Lenoir Meth Arrests

The Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Office has released more information regarding the arrests of 40-year-old James Clifford Sharpe and 42-year-old Wendy Lee Setzer, both of the same address on Grassy Knob Lane in Lenoir. They were each charged with one felony count of manufacturing methamphetamine. Sharpe was also charged with a parole violation, while Setzer faces one count of maintaining a dwelling to keep or store a controlled substance. Their arrests were initially reported on WHKY on March 11 and 15, respectively.

The two already face pending charges for manufacturing methamphetamine stemming from an investigation in September of 2014. On March 10 of this year, Agents with the Sheriff’s I.C.E. Unit raided the Grassy Knob Lane residence after an investigation led them to another “shake & bake” style meth lab. Sharpe was the only occupant when the home was searched. He was found hiding in the master bedroom and taken into custody without incident. Setzer, who was at work at the time, was arrested the following day without incident.

Agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation’s Clandestine Lab team responded and assisted in the investigation. Agents found components and precursor chemicals consistent with the manufacture of meth. Both individuals had also been spotted on the Nplex precursor log buying ephedrine-based products from local pharmacies. The materials were seized and disposed of by the S.B.I.  

Both subjects were jailed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center. Sharpe was given a $50,000 secured bond, while Setzer’s bond was set at $25,000, secured. They were scheduled to make first appearances in District Court on Monday (March 14) with their next court dates coming up on April 4.

If convicted, the couple will face mandatory prison time.

Goodwill Industries’ Graduate Services Program invites the public to a free afternoon of learning with best-selling author, Devay Campbell. Goodwill’s partner institution, Catawba Valley Community College, will host the event at the newly-renovated Catawba Valley Workforce Development Innovation Center. The event will take place on April 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Ms. Campbell is the author of “The BEST Job Interview Advice Book” and the co-author of “Her Chronicles”. She is also the CEO and founder of Career 2 Cents.

The event will focus on personal branding information, resumes & interviewing tips for today’s job market, career transition advice, tools for overcoming obstacles to success and advice from a certified human resources professional.

CVCC’s Workforce Development Innovation Center is located at 2550 Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Refreshments will be provided.

Registration is required by April 15. Visit devaycampbell-goodwill.eventbrite.com to register. For more information, email gortiz@goodwillnwnc.org.

54-year-old Myron Lee Noell of Prestige Heights Drive in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at 8:20 last night (March 15) on one felony count of possession of cocaine.

He was arrested when Officers on the 600 block of South Center Street saw a vehicle with no taillights. Police followed the vehicle into the Sunny Valley apartment complex.

As Officers approached the vehicle, Myron Noell got out and placed a baggie containing a white substance in his mouth. He spit the baggie out when ordered to do so. The baggie contained 0.2 grams of crack cocaine. Noell was the vehicle’s only occupant.

He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $3,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.

30-year-old John Michael Laboda of Knobhill Drive in Connelly Springs was arrested at about 11 o’clock last night (March 15) on one felony count of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of child abuse.

Events leading to his arrest unfolded as Hickory Police responded to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Catawba Valley Boulevard where an injured or sick man was slumped in front of the store window. After several minutes, the man slowly responded to Officers. He was identified as John Laboda. Management at Dick’s said Laboda had previously entered the store and attempted to purchase a shotgun.

A one-year-old female child was nearby, standing near the curb with no apparent guardian. D.S.S. was called to the scene. The child was taken to D.S.S.’ offices and Laboda was charged with child abuse.

A container containing ten pills was found on Laboda’s person. The pills were identified as Xanax.

Laboda was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on May 10 in Newton.