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43-year-old Michael Lane Hensley of 12th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11:35 last night (May 8) on a felony fugitive warrant. Hensley was wanted in Los Angeles, California for possession of a schedule VI controlled substance.

He was arrested on 8th Street N.E. following a traffic accident. Hensley was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for May 13 in Newton.

26-year-old Monte Chase Connor of Falls Avenue in Granite Falls was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:45 Friday night (May 6) on one felony count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

Events leading to his arrest unfolded as Police responded to a residence on 20th Street N.E. in Hickory where several people had gathered. Witnesses said that one person had fired a handgun at the ground and at the pavement. One person suffered a small cut and may have been hit by a ricochet or by debris. E.M.S. responded, but the victim refused treatment.

The suspect was identified by witnesses as Monte Connor. Connor had left the scene when Police arrived. He was located and taken into custody without incident at a residence on Stonehaven Street in Conover. At the time of Connor’s arrest, 23 Alprazolam pills were found on his person.

Connor was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $12,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (May 9) in Newton.

40-year-old Jamey Lee Johnson of North Tradd Street in Statesville has been arrested by Statesville Police and charged with the possession & sale of non-tax-paid alcohol.

His arrest came about as the Statesville Police Narcotics Division was investigating complaints regarding the sale of non-tax-paid alcohol at 417 North Tradd Street. On Thursday, May 5, a search warrant was executed at the residence. Officers found and seized more than 41 gallons of non-tax-paid alcohol in various containers.

Johnson was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center under a $2,500 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on June 15.

Hickory Police are investigating a robbery at the Sprint store, 1828 Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory.

Sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. today (May 6), an unknown suspect or suspects gained entry by breaking the front door. A preliminary estimate of property loss was set at $10,000.

No further information is available at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

Friday, 06 May 2016 11:28

Hewitt Convicted in Triple Homicide

According to published reports, 37-year-old Everette Porshau Hewitt has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

He was convicted of killing Wade Sigmon, Susan Blevins and Connie Miller in 2011. Hewitt was also found guilty of shooting Joseph Burke, who survived. In addition to the murder charges, Hewitt was convicted of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and first-degree burglary. He was found not guilty of robbery with a firearm.

Sentencing will take place next week. The state is pursuing the death penalty against Hewitt, who has been incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility without bond on the murder charges since his arrest.

The Statesville Police Department is currently seeking information regarding the whereabouts of 37-year-old Shannon Dawn Johnson Ikard and her two children, 11-year-old Brandon Malik Johnson and eight-month-old Tarella R. Johnson. The three were last seen on Sunday (May 1). They were reported missing by a family member.

Shannon Ikard is a white female. She is 5’4” tall and weighs 150 pounds. She has blue eyes and shoulder length red hair. Ikard may be driving a gray 2007 Toyota Corolla with N.C. BME-4564. The Toyota has stickers on the rear window with the name “Tyrell” and a photo.

Brandon Johnson is a white male. He is 4’7” tall, weighs 90 pounds, has brown eyes and short brown hair. Tarella Johnson is a white female. She weighs 17 pounds and has blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the family’s whereabouts should call the Statesville Police Department at 704-878-3406.

In Caldwell County Superior Court this week, a trial date was set for 59-year-old Nancy Benge Austin of Lenoir, who is accused of murder. Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to begin the trial on November 14 of this year.

Austin is accused of murder in connection to the December 26, 2013 death of 20-year-old Dylan Joseph Short. She faces a felony murder charge.

Jamie Adams and Lance Sigmon will prosecute the case for the District Attorney’s Office. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the case, with assistance from the S.B.I.

In Burke County Superior Court today (May 5), 27-year-old Michael Lee Shuping of Morganton was sentenced to an active prison term of 10-14 years after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and concealing a death.

Shuping, who also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a weapon by a prisoner, was sentenced to serve his prison term in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.

Kuehnert ordered that Shuping serve a 22- to 36-month concurrent sentence for the possession of firearm charge, and gave him a suspended sentence of 15 to 27 months with supervised probation for 60 months upon his release from prison that runs consecutive to his active term.

The defendant was arrested in April 2015 for the accidental shooting death of 39-year-old Leslie Renee Hensley.

Shuping told investigators that he was involved in moving Hensley’s body to Rutherford County and dumping it on the side of a dirt road. Using information from Shuping, Investigators found Hensley’s remains on April 17, 2015, five days after the fatal shooting, at the bottom of a steep bank on the side of the road in Rutherford County and later located her car in Cleveland County.

38-year-old Timothy Hal Edwards of Morganton also faces charges related to the case.

Burke County Sheriff’s Detective Stephen Ritchie investigated the case, with assistance from Charlie Morris of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Frank Webster handled the prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

Dan Moore has been named Interim Superintendent of the Catawba County Public Schools. The Catawba County Board of Education took the action at its meeting yesterday (May 4). Moore has been acting superintendent since the departure last month of former Superintendent Dan Brigman.

Moore, previously the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for Catawba County Schools, has also served with the school system as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Prior to coming to Catawba County, Moore served as Director of Personnel in the Macon County, N.C. school system. He has been a school administrator and teacher in both North Carolina and Georgia. Moore received his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia and a B.A. in Physical Education from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.

The Catawba County Board of Education also approved a contractual agreement with the N.C. School Boards Association (NCSBA) to assist with its search for a new superintendent. The Board expressed its desire to conduct the search expeditiously and will meet with the NCSBA next Thursday (May 12) to begin the process.

The Catawba County school system has a student enrollment of 16,326 in 28 schools. It is the largest employer in Catawba County with 2,010 employees.

Thursday, 05 May 2016 10:57

Second Arrest this Week for Hickory Man

64-year-old Leverne Williams of 8th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory has been arrested by Hickory Police for a second time this week. He was initially arrested Monday night (May 2) for felony habitual larceny in connection to a shoplifting incident at Walmart in February of this year. The habitual larceny charge was filed as the result of previous convictions, two for felony larceny and four for misdemeanor larceny.

Following his arrest Monday, Williams was released on a written promise to appear in court the following day. He was taken into custody without incident at about 1:40 this morning for failure to appear in court.

Williams has been jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $2,500 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for June 13 in Newton.