Wednesday, 05 February 2020 11:10

Sexual Assault Under Investigation in Catawba

A burglary, kidnapping, and sexual assault that occurred in the Town of Catawba early yesterday (February 4) are under investigation.

The incident happened at the Quail Village Apartments 2nd Street S.E. in Catawba. A 9-1-1 call reporting a burglary and sexual assault came in at about 8:13 a.m. Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at 8:21 a.m. and began to assess the incident. Officers from Catawba Police Department arrived a short time later and initiated an investigation.

Officers learned that a resident was confronted by an intruder who entered their apartment. The resident was held captive inside the apartment and sexually assaulted. The intruder then fled on foot shortly before the 9-1-1 call.

The suspect is described as an African-American male in his 30s or 40s. He is about 5'10" to 6'0" tall with facial hair. He was wearing casual clothing and a toboggan.

The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division is leading the investigation, in continued partnership with the Catawba Police Department. Interviews with persons of interest are ongoing. The District Attorney’s Office is consulting and closely following the investigation.

Wednesday, 05 February 2020 11:01

Hickory Teen Faces Felony Embezzlement Charge

18-year-old Shalen Ariannia Izard of 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:15 yesterday afternoon (February 4) on one felony count of embezzlement.

She was arrested after Hickory Police responded to an employee theft call at the Bargain Hunt store on North Center Street in Hickory. The employee, Shalen Izard, allegedly voided customer transactions and took money from the cash register.

Izazrd was taken into custody without incident yesterday at the store. She was processed at the Hickory Police Department and then released under a $1,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

31-year-old Jessica Dawn Wright of 9th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:45 a.m. yesterday (February 4) on one felony count of failure to appear and one misdemeanor count of larceny. She allegedly failed to appear in court on one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wright was taken into custody without incident yesterday at the Red Roof Inn on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. in Hickory. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court on the larceny charge was scheduled for February 17 in Newton. A court date on the failure to appear charge was set for February 25.

27-year-old Lela Mae Boyette of 4th Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after four o'clock yesterday afternoon (February 4) on one felony count of failure to appear.

Boyette failed to appear in court on a charge of felony possession of methamphetamine. She was initially arrested in June of 2018 when she was reportedly found to be in possession of 0.4 grams of meth, 4.5 grams of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Boyette was arrested a second time in June of last year.

Boyette was taken into custody without incident yesterday at her residence. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $7,000, secured. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled for March 9 in Newton.

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 11:42

Union Grove Man Charged with Murder

42-year-old Gerald Issac Lunsford of Lunsford Lane in Union Grove has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff's Officers on charges of murder and felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Events leading to his arrest began at 1:15 a.m. on Monday (February 3) when Deputies responded to reports of a possible suicide at Lunsford's residence. Deputies found a female lying in the yard with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Deputies began C.P.R.

A witness said that two men ran from the residence before Deputies arrived. A perimeter was established as Deputies attempted to locate the men.

Iredell County E.M.S. arrived and pronounced the female victim deceased at 2:05 a.m. The victim is 40-year-old Jera Lee Wagoner of North Wilkesboro. Crime Scene Investigators and Detectives were called to the scene.

A short time later, a man came to the crime scene and told Investigators his son had called him needing a ride. Investigators spoke to Aaron Patrick Reavis on the phone and then met with Reavis on Ridgeline Road. Reavis told Investigators that Gerald Issac Lunsford shot the female. Reavis said he ran from the residence for fear of being shot, as well.

Later that morning, Lunsford arrived at the Sheriff’s Office where he was interviewed by Investigators. Lunsford said that he fired a rifle. He told Investigators that he ran because he is a convicted felon.

Based on statements made by witnesses and by Lunsford, as well as evidence gathered at the crime scene, Investigators charged Lunsford with murder. He was jailed in the Iredell Co. Detention Center without bond. He'll appear in District Court on February 24.

Lunsford has a criminal history that includes felony breaking & entering and misdemeanor counts of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence, assault, two counts possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, assault on a female, and resisting a public officer.

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 11:32

Hickory Man Faces Felony Meth Charge

54-year-old Darrin Derrick Johnson of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday (February 3) on a magistrate's order for felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine). He was also served an order for arrest for second-degree trespassing.

Johnson was taken into custody without incident at the Salvation Army Hickory Corps on 3rd Avenue Place S.E. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. Johnson was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton. He'll appear in court on the trespassing charge on February 17.

36-year-old Leonardo Omar Martinez-Zarate of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 7:20 last night (February 3) on a felony warrant out of Iredell County for larceny of a motor vehicle. Martinez-Zarate was taken into custody without incident at a business address on Fairgrove Church Road S.E. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. Martinez-Zarate was no longer listed as an inmate in Catawba County as of this morning. He'll appear in District Court tomorrow in Statesville.

29-year-old Qinnlinn Jerel Thomas of 3rd Street Place S.W. and 47-year-old Yuronna Jamell Bonds of 8th Avenue Drive S.E., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon (February 3). Thomas was charged with a felony probation violation. Bonds faces one felony count each of defeating an anti-shoplifting device and habitual larceny. She was also charged with a felony parole violation.

Thomas is on probation as he serves a 36-month suspended sentence following a July 2019 felony conviction in Catawba County for breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering. He had been listed as an absconder from probation.

Bonds was charged in connection to an incident on January 29 when Hickory Police responded to a larceny call at the Hollister store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Warrants were issued for two suspects. 61-year-old Gary Donell Vinson of Hickory was arrested on January 31 in connection to the same incident, as reported by WHKY on that date. Bonds is on parole following a habitual larceny conviction in Catawba County in December of last year.

Thomas and Bonds were both taken into custody without incident at Bonds' residence. They were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Thomas set at $50,000, secured. Bonds was given a $20,000 secured bond. Appearances in District Court were scheduled today in Newton.

28-year-old Jordan O'Neal Shade and 27-year-old Jalen Michael-Marquis Shade, both of the same address on North Davis Avenue in Newton, have been arrested by Hickory Police. Jordan Shade was arrested just before 5 a.m. today (February 3) on an outstanding felony warrant from Caldwell County for failure to appear on a charge of fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. Jalen Shade was arrested at about 2:30 Saturday afternoon (February 1) for felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked.

Following their arrests, both men were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Jordan Shade set at $25,000, secured, while Jalen Shade was given a $3,000 secured bond. Neither man was listed as an inmate in Catawba County as of this morning. Jordan Shade will make an appearance in Superior Court on March 2 in Lenoir. Jalen Shade was scheduled to a make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

36-year-old Pa Khang of Anderson, California was arrested by Maiden Police yesterday (February 2) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. She is wanted by the Rochester Police Department in Olmsted County, Minnesota for felony second-degree sale of drugs and felony possession of drugs. Following her arrest, Khang was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $800,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

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