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Tuesday, 16 September 2014 08:43

3 Departments Investigate Valdese Shooting

A shooting incident in Valdese is under investigation. Valdese Police, Drexel Police, and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting incident at AutoZone on Main Street in Valdese.

Witnesses told Valdese officers arriving on the scene that the suspects had fled the scene in a burgundy truck and the victim left the scene on foot. A Valdese Officer and Burke County Sheriff’s Deputy located the suspect vehicle on I-40, about a half mile past exit 112. The officers then conducted a felony vehicle stop.

Jeff Ballard and Bradley Ballard were detained for questioning. During a search of the suspect vehicle three firearms, a knife, and slapjack were confiscated. The victim, Jeremy Green, had fled the scene on foot and after searching the area Officers could not find Green.  

All hospitals in that area were placed on alert to contact the police department if Greene looked for treatment at their facility.

Witnesses told police they believe the victim did receive a head injury from a physical altercation with the suspects, before the gun went off.

According to family members, Green was hit three times and he is currently at the Carolinas Medical Center, and he is in critical condition.

This investigation is ongoing and charges are pending in this matter.

The following is the direct statement that WHKY-TV received yesterday afternoon from the Boone Chief of Police, Dana Crawford regarding the death of Anna Smith.


“We are all terribly saddened at this discovery. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Smith. I want to assure the Smith Family and the Boone community that we have begun and will continue to conduct a thorough investigation to find the answers that we all want to know. We have much to do in this case and must look at all possibilities; therefore, we cannot prematurely arrive at any conclusions. Obviously, in a death investigation there are many facts that would not be prudent to release. In fact, releasing sensitive information could hinder an investigation and potentially damage a criminal case if this case were to turn in that direction. I am greatly concerned about the state of anxiety that the citizens of Boone and the students and faculty find themselves in, and I want to address these concerns to the degree possible.

We intend to work this case as any death investigation. At this point we do not have direct information that there is foul play. In fact, there are factors to indicate that Ms. Smith was intent on harming herself. I know this is difficult for family and friends to hear, but these are facts. This is not the time that I would have preferred to release this information; however, it has been referenced that Ms. Smith had been experiencing some emotional difficulties in prior press releases from ASU and even from the family. It is important to note that a letter was found with the body of Anna Smith. To protect the integrity of the investigation we are not prepared to discuss the content of the letter that appears to have been authored by Ms. Smith. We intend to request a forensic analysis of the letter.

Today an autopsy is being conducted by a forensic pathologist and we fully expect that the preliminary findings will shed some light on what happened to Ms. Smith. Other aspects of the autopsy examination will take additional time to analyze. This investigation is in the beginning stages and we will be open and transparent, but please understand that we cannot release information that will jeopardize the case.   

Based upon reports that we have heard from community members and media sources, it is obvious to me and my staff that many, if not most, people in the community are under the impression that this case is a homicide. We do not have any information leading us in that direction. The reason that I am reluctantly releasing this information is because I do not want to give the impression that we are not investigating all possibilities- we are. We will pursue the facts, wherever they may lead, to determine what happened to Anna Smith.

We are not investigating this case alone. We will be working with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, and the ASU Police Department. In addition, we will be consulting the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We will all work together to determine how this happened. We continue to receive information and encourage any citizen with information to contact the Boone Police Department.”

The 911 call can be found on the Boone Police website townofboone.net.

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:37

Body of Missing App State Student Found

Boone Police Investigators and the North Carolina SBI Investigators confirmed that the body found near Poplar Grove Road in Boone is 18 year old Anna Marie Smith. 

Smith was a freshman at Appalachian State University, and she was reported missing on September 03, 2014. 

A North Carolina Driver's License and an Appalachian State University Identification card belonging to Smith were found at the scene.  Ms. Smith's body was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for an autopsy. 

A time frame for the completion of the autopsy to determine the cause of death is currently unavailable. 

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:29

Weekend Arrests

36- year old Bernard Arnel Patterson of East Orange Street in Fayetteville NC was arrested this morning by the Hickory Police Dept. Patterson is charged with misdemeanor child abuse and discharging a firearm in city. He is under a $4000 bond and has a court date for October 15th.

27- year old Justin Edward Maltba of 5th street in Hickory was arrested yesterday by the Hickory Police. Maltba is charged with common law robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Maltba has two scheduled court dates, and he was supposed to make his appearance today. Bond is set at $53,000.

31- year old David Alexander Beatty of Sherwood Lane in Newton was arrested yesterday by the Newton Police Dept. Beatty is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, and bond is set at $75,000. Beatty had his first court appearance today.

31- year old Roger Dale Killian of Deal Road in Claremont was arrested yesterday by Catawba County Sheriffs Officers. Killian is charged with felony failure to register as a sex offender. He has a court appearance scheduled for September 19th, and his bond is set at $50,000 .

21- year old Tomas Juan Miguel of Mull Street in Morganton was arrested yesterday by Hickory Police. He is charged with driving while impaired, and two counts of felony serious injury by a vehicle. Miguel had his first appearance in court today, and his next court date is October 15th. Miguel is being held under a $171,000 bond.

30- year old Henry Pham of 23rd Street in Hickory was arrested yesterday by the NC Highway Patrol. Pham is charged with driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, and a stop sign violation. Pham is scheduled to appear in court on October 9th, and bond is set at $10,000.

19- year old Harold Chance-Paul Turner of Knob Oak Lane in Charlotte was arrested on Friday by Catawba County Sheriff Officers. Turner is charged with First-degree burglary, obtaining property under false pretense, and felony larceny. He has two scheduled court dates coming up with the first date set for Wednesday September 17th. Bond is set at $17,500.

39- year old Jerry Gerard Parson was arrested yesterday on 6th street NW in Hickory by the Hickory Police. Parson is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

32-year old Mark Allen Willard, was arrested yesterday by the Hickory Police at 1st Avenue NE in Hickory. Willard is charged with misdemeanor assault on a female.  

Thursday, 11 September 2014 13:54

Operation Medicine Drop Coming to Lenoir

Operation Medicine Drop is coming to Lenoir. On September 27 from10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Caldwell Safekids and the Lenoir Police Department will give the public an opportunity to prevent accidental poisonings, abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The public is invited to bring medications for disposal to the Foothills Pharmacy at 202 Harper Avenue in Lenoir. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

Since 2010, over 1600 sites have collected over 53 million dosage units of medication during take-back events statewide. Operation Medicine Drop is an effort coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Riverkeepers of North Carolina.

More information has been released in the arrest of 54-year-old Samuel Henry Vinci, Jr. of Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls, first reported yesterday (September 10) on WHKY. Vinci was charged with solicitation by computer of a minor to commit an unlawful sex act & appearing at a meeting location, failure to register or inform of an online identifier, providing false information during address verification and violation of the social networking ban by a sex offender.

The arrest was made as part of an investigation into several violations of the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. Vinci was taken into custody Tuesday (September 9) at a location where he intended to meet with a minor child for the purpose of sexual activity. Prior to his arrest, Vinci conversed with the minor child through a social networking site to establish a meeting location.

The investigation was conducted, in part, to monitor the registered sex offenders in Caldwell County and to combat the growing trend of abuse towards minors through social media. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office is part of the Internet Crimes against Children Task-force (ICAC) that includes numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.  

Vinci was placed on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry in February 2009 after being released from prison following two second-degree rape convictions in December 1998 in Rutherford County.

Vinci has been confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Lenoir.

33-year-old James Justin Thornton III of Conover was convicted last week in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court on felony counts of breaking & entering and larceny. He was also convicted of habitual breaking & entering. Thornton was sentenced to no less than 30 months and no more than 48 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in December 2013 in Conover and involved a commercial breaking & entering and theft of copper wiring and copper piping.

Robert Houston of the Conover Police Department handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Brenda Brewer prosecuted the case. The Honorable C. Preston Cornelius presided over the convictions.

Thornton will be transported to the Department of Adult Correction for processing.

One person has been killed and another seriously injured in an accident in Lincolnton early this morning.

The call came in at 12:03 a.m. today regarding a motor vehicle crash where North Cedar Street comes to an end at the intersection with East Hoke Street. Lincolnton Police responded and found a single-vehicle accident that ended on property located at 315 East Hoke Street.

One of the vehicle’s occupants was deceased and the other occupant was seriously injured. The injured victim was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for treatment. No update is available as of noon today. The victims’ identities have not been released.

Lincolnton Police Det. Robert “Trey” Hayes, one of the department’s accident re-constructionists, responded to the scene and handled the investigation into the accident. The Lincolnton Fire Department and Lincoln County E.M.S. also responded.

The investigation is ongoing. More information will be released when the investigation is complete.

24-year-old Joshua Daniel Stilwell of Connelly Springs was convicted last week in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court on felony counts of attempted trafficking in opium or heroin, possession of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of a gun on educational property. Stilwell was sentenced to no less than 24 months and no more than 36 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in August 2012 in Hickory. An off-duty Catawba County Sheriff’s Deputy noticed a vehicle in the parking lot at CVCC and saw weapons in the vehicle. After contacting the Hickory Police Department, an investigation determined that the vehicle was stolen and that the defendant had illegal controlled substances in his possession.

Officer Kyle Stephens with the Hickory Police Department handled the investigation, with assistance from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith prosecuted the case with the Honorable C. Preston Cornelius presiding over the conviction.

Stilwell has been transported to the Division of Adult Correction in Raleigh for processing.

24-year-old Scotty Eugene Shoemaker, Jr. of Adeline Lane in Statesville and 38-year-old Joshua Alexander Patrum of Hopewell Church Road in Hiddenite have both been arrested by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Events leading to their arrests began on August 31 when a citizen reported that Shoemaker traded for two firearms with a resident of northern Iredell County.  The caller suspected the guns might have been stolen.  The caller provided information regarding who traded for the firearms and allowed Deputies to check the serial numbers.  

Deputies went to the resident and checked the guns, at his request.  Neither was reported stolen.  During the investigation, Officers learned that Shoemaker was a convicted felon and was not allowed to possess firearms.  The bill of sale was signed by Shoemaker using a female’s name.  Shoemaker said he got the female’s permission to sign her name, which he used because he is a convicted felon.  The guns were seized and a warrant was issued for Shoemaker’s arrest.  He was taken into custody the same day.

Shoemaker told Officers he had posted a dirt bike for sale on Facebook and received a reply from Patrum, who had two guns to trade.  Shoemaker eventually traded the dirt bike for the two rifles.  Deputies verified the trade and were told that one of the rifles was purchased, new, by Patrum’s wife.  Patrum is also a convicted felon and is not allowed to possess either firearm.  A warrant was issued for Patrum’s arrest.  He was taken into custody on September 4.

Shoemaker was given a $15,000 secured bond and Patrum’s bond was set at $10,000, secured.  Shoemaker has a court date on October 6 for the probation violation and on October 24 on the firearms charge.  Patrum will appear in court on September 19.