34-year-old Justin Mikeal Freeman of K.T. Lane in Granite Falls was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers Saturday (November 7) on felony counts of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and larceny of a firearm. Following his arrest, Freeman was confined in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $200,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (November 9) in Lenoir.

Monday, 09 November 2015 14:16

Fundraiser Honors the Memory of Addy Cook

A Winter Wonderland Gala was held Saturday night at Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church in Bethlehem to benefit “Addy’s Giving Heart.” The fundraiser honors the memory of Addison “Addy” Christine Cook, who died in February of 2013.

Money raised goes to provide individual boxes of toys and hygiene items to children in the hospital, to low-income families and to children entering the foster care system in the community.

Addy Cook suffered a pediatric stroke when she was five months old and subsequently endured several different types of seizures, resulting in multiple stays in various hospitals. She was eight when she passed away.

Saturday’s program included remarks from Pastor Mike Stone, a performance by the All-American Dance Studio, a silent auction and a period for dancing.

“Addy’s Giving Heart” is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. For more information, visit addysgivingheart.org.

Monday, 09 November 2015 11:54

Veterans Job Fair Set for Friday

A Veterans Job Fair will be held on Friday, November 13, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the American Legion Fairgrounds in Newton. The event is co-sponsored by the NCWorks Career Center and Goodwill, with special thanks to the American Legion and Catawba Valley Community College.

24 Veteran-friendly employers are currently registered, with over 400 job openings in many fields. There are over 170 entry-level positions, as well as many professional and manufacturing positions. There are also on-the-job training opportunities.

Seven partner organizations will be on hand to assist Veterans.  

The event is open only to all Veterans, Reserve, National Guard, prior military and active duty personnel. Job seekers must provide proof of service. There is no charge for employers, partners and Veteran job-seekers.

The American Legion Fairgrounds is located at 1 American Legion Avenue in Newton, just off of Highway 70 S.E.

Hickory Police are investigating a shots-fired complaint at the Ridgecrest apartment complex on 12th Avenue S.E. in Hickory.

The incident was reported at 11:20 Friday night when an older model, red truck driving through the parking lot was flagged down by the occupants of a black S.U.V. One passenger got out of the S.U.V. and began firing shots in the direction of the truck. At least 12 shots were reportedly fired. Both vehicles fled the scene.

Responding Officers found spent shell casings and a bag of marijuana in the area. No injuries were reported and no suspects have been identified.

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

26-year-old Ethan Daniel McLean pleaded guilty to robbery with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to serve three-to-five years. The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, handed down the sentence last Wednesday (November 4).

McLean was convicted in connection to a robbery at the Exxon station located off exit 106 in Morganton. The suspect entered the store wearing a dark hoodie with white writing on the shoulder area and an orange bandana covering his face. He was holding a black pistol in his hand and fled the scene with approximately $1,000 in cash.

Investigator Ryan Stotts of the Morganton Department of Public Safety received information that McLean had been bragging about the robbery and had spoken of committing another one. Based on that information, Officers initiated a traffic stop about two weeks later. McLean was in the vehicle. Investigator Stotts found a dark hoodie and orange bandana in his possession that matched a witness’ description. When confronted with details of the case, McLean confessed to committing the crime.

Chris Back was the prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office.

In Burke County Superior Court Wednesday (November 4), 36-year-old Matthew Robert Outlaw of Claremont pleaded guilty to felony breaking & entering and felony larceny. He was also convicted as an habitual felon. He will serve five to seven years in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.

Outlaw’s habitual felon status enhanced his sentence. He had prior felony convictions in Catawba, Caldwell, Gaston and Cleveland counties.

In April of 2015, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about a possible B&E on Tex’s Fish Camp Road in Connelly Springs. Burke County Detective John Huffman investigated and determined that a U-Haul truck had been used in the crime. Det. Huffman developed the truck’s driver as a suspect.

Det. Huffman tracked down the defendant after a local U-Haul station gave information about Outlaw. The Detective then interviewed Outlaw about the case. Outlaw gave a full verbal and written confession when presented with the findings of the investigation.

The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, presided over the conviction. Det. Huffman led the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Chris Back prosecuted the case.

24-year-old Logan Gene Long of Lincolnton and 19-year-old Damarcus Dashaun Dixon, both of whom escaped Friday morning (November 6) from a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office prisoner transport van in Raleigh, were captured less than an hour later.

The two were being transported to Central Prison in Raleigh after appearing in court in Lincoln County. At about 9:30 a.m., the men escaped through the back door while the vehicle was at a traffic light on Western Boulevard in Raleigh. Both men were shackled and handcuffed.

Long and Dixon were apprehended near North Carolina State University around 10:15 a.m. by Raleigh Police and the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

Five other inmates in the van did not try to escape. Those inmates were being transported to several other prison locations.

A statement from the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office says Long and Dixon were able to escape when a door lock bar on a cage inside the van became worn over years of opening and closing. Road vibration caused the bar to vibrate into the unlock position, allowing the prisoners to reach through a slim opening and release the back door on the van from inside. New security measures have been taken to prevent any further breaches in security.

Long is an habitual felon and Dixon was convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon in September.

Last Wednesday (November 4), 30-year-old Donovan Wayne Campbell of Lenoir pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony breaking & entering, felony larceny and habitual breaking & entering in Burke County Superior Court. Campbell was given a prison sentence of five-to-eight years.

Campbell’s string of crimes that led to his conviction came over a three-week period that started on September 29, 2014. Witnesses in each case reported items missing, along with a pillowcase from one of the beds in a bedroom at each home.

Burke County Sheriff’s Detectives Stephen Ritchie and Jared Bell interviewed witnesses and possible suspects. They developed Campbell as a suspect through a tip from the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office regarding similar incidents in that county.

When interviewed, Campbell admitted to committing the crimes. He told Investigators he took mostly jewelry from the homes while the residents were away, using the pillowcases to carry the items. Detectives recovered the majority of the stolen items.

The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, presided over the conviction. Chris Back prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

35-year-old Stephanie Gene Hamlin of 2nd Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 3:15 yesterday afternoon (November 5) on one felony count of larceny by servant or other employee.

She was arrested in connection to a November 2 report from the Mighty Dollar store on Highway 127 South in Mountain View. An employee at the store, Stephanie Hamlin, was allegedly keeping money from cash transactions and not running those transactions through the register.

A warrant for her arrest was issued on the same date and she was taken into custody at H.P.D. headquarters yesterday. Hamlin was processed and released under a $3,500 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.

44-year-old Christopher Ray Baker of Island Ford Road in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a charge of felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury.

Just before 9 p.m. on October 30, Deputy Charles Davidson responded to a reported domestic assault at the Island Ford Road address. The Deputy spoke with the victim who said she had been in a verbal argument with Christopher Davidson at their home. The argument turned physical when the suspect forcibly struck the victim in her eye. The victim had noticeable bruising and swelling around her eye. The victim was able to call 9-1-1 and was later taken to the hospital by E.M.S. where she was treated for her injury.

Baker was arrested and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $1,500 bond. Additional investigation showed that the victim sustained a closed fracture to the orbital floor of her eye. The charge was upgraded and bond was increased to $15,000. District Court dates were set for November 23 and December 7.