41-year-old John Harrison Ollis of Rollins Drive in Catawba was arrested Monday (July 8) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony trafficking in opium or heroin.

On Monday, Burke County Sheriff’s Office deputies initiated a traffic stop on a Toyota Camry on Main Street in Valdese. Deputies identified the driver as Johnny Harrison Ollis who did not have an active driver’s license and was on parole.

During a search, a trafficking amount of opium and drug paraphernalia were reportedly seized from the vehicle. Ollis was incarcerated in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under $3,000 secured bond. He was not listed as an inmate as of today (July 11). His first appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday.

46-year-old Joshua Lee Lumpkins of Hudson, will spend at least 25 years in prison following his conviction for two counts of attempted first-degree statutory rape and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, sentenced Lumpkins to an active prison term of 25 to 40 years after he pleaded guilty to the charges against him during Caldwell County Superior Court on Monday (July 8). Lumpkins will also be required to register as a sex offender and is subject to satellite-based monitoring for the remainder of his life.

The offenses started when the female victim was 10 years old and occurred over a period of time between September 1, 2017, and February 5, 2019. The criminal activity came to light when the girl revealed to her mother what had taken place, and it was reported to Hudson Police Department.

During an interview with HPD investigators and ensuing forensic interview with Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center, the victim described how the defendant tried to have sexual intercourse with her and explained how he touched her inappropriately on different places of her body.

When interviewed by investigators, Lumpkins confessed to his activity with the female victim. The offenses were investigated by Scott Lovins of Hudson Police Department with assistance from Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center. Andrew Jennings prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

The State is not seeking the death penalty in the murder case against 32-year-old Justin Drew Dalton, of Newton. Prosecutors announced during Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday (July 10), that they do not intend to proceed with the murder case against Dalton as a capital matter.

Dalton is charged with murder in connection to the May 27, 2019, death of Emden Lee Syres Jr., who was found deceased inside the bedroom of his Sigmon Dairy Road, Maiden home after he failed to show for work.

The defendant was spotted in a vehicle along Springs Road in Hickory two days after Syres’ body was found and was taken into custody at that time by law enforcement authorities following a brief foot chase. At the time of his arrest, Dalton was also charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, and he was charged on warrants from 2017 with counts of misdemeanor child abuse and failure to appear for driving while license revoked.

Dalton remains in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond. His next District Court date is September 3. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the case.

Additional charges have been filed against a man charged in an Alexander County sex offense case. 44-year-old Robert Boyd Fox of Hiddenite was charged on Monday (July 8) by the Alexander County Sheriff's Office.

As WHKY previously reported in May, Fox was charged with ten counts apiece of first degree statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a child. On Monday, ten more counts of each charge was filed.

Fox was initially jailed in the Alexander County Detention Center under $1,000,000 secured bond. An additional $1,000,000 secured was added Monday, bringing the total bond to $2,000,000. The next District Court date for Fox is set for next Monday (July 15). This case is still being investigated.

40-year-old Cenanthia Lynn Vinson of Palmer Street in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (July 9) by Lenoir Police Officers. Vinson is charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Following the arrest Vinson was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $2,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Thursday (July 11).

Catawba County United Way awarded Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services $24,300 to help cover meals costs for Meals on Wheels and Seniors Morning Out programs during the calendar year 2020. This award allows Senior Nutrition Services to purchase approximately 5,031 meals, which is equivalent to feeding 24 program receipts for almost an entire year.

Meals on Wheels and Seniors Morning Out provide a nutritious meal and more. Programs provide a social connection and a safety check for seniors. Recipients in Catawba County report feeling happier and healthier after starting the programs. More seniors are able to remain independent and in their own homes for longer, prolonging placement in a care facility.

Catawba County United Way helps make Meals on Wheels and Seniors Morning Out accessible for seniors, providing funding to keep waitlists and wait times for services minimal. To learn more about Senior Nutrition Services or a volunteer opportunity, call us at 828-695-5610. To learn more about Catawba County United Way, the programs supported by United Way in our community and giving opportunities visit http://www.ccunitedway.com/.

18-year-old Peyton Nathaniel Ramseur of 26th Street NE in Hickory was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny and possession of stolen goods. Ramseur was arrested last Wednesday (July 3) by Hickory Police in a case involving counterfeit money. Ramseur was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (July 10) under $3,500 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (July 11).

A Burke County man will serve an active prison term of 28 to 43 months following his conviction for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a Burke County firefighter. 59-year-old Randall Hugh Stewart of Morganton entered a guilty plea during Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (July 9), in connection to the vehicular death of 40-year-old Jason Keith Hensley.

The Honorable David Phillips, Superior Court Judge from Gaston County, imposed the sentence for Stewart, who will serve his period of incarceration in the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections. The sentence was the maximum possible term for the offense based on the defendant’s prior record level.

Stewart also faced habitual felon status, but the defense filed a motion to have that indictment dismissed prior to the entry of the plea. Following arguments from both sides, Judge Phillips ruled that one of the felony convictions Stewart had from California was not “substantially similar” in nature to a felony in North Carolina. Therefore, the habitual felon indictment was dismissed by the court.

Hensley was a volunteer firefighter for Triple Community Fire Department when he was struck and killed by the pickup truck Stewart was driving on October 9, 2017. He had been with the department only eight months.

On that date, Hensley and another firefighter were cleaning storm debris from a tree blocking the roadway on U.S. Highway 70 in Drexel when he was hit by Stewart. Investigation by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol showed that Hensley was wearing his department-issued reflective gear, and all emergency vehicles at the location – including a Drexel Police Department cruiser, brush truck from Triple Community Fire Department and Hensley’s personal vehicle – had their emergency lights in operation.

Stewart failed to yield at the scene, striking Hensley and his vehicle as well as the fire department’s brush truck. The blunt force impact of the crash resulted in Hensley’s death.

Members of Hensley’s family and members of the Triple Community Fire Department were present for the hearing and sentencing. A department representative addressed the court and described the impact the fatal crash had on Hensley’s family and firefighters from Triple Community Fire Department.

Trooper Daniel Lane investigated the fatality for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and Trooper Dan Souther also completed an accident reconstruction. Assistant District Attorneys Lance Sigmon and Michelle Lippert prosecuted the case for the State.


37-year-old Anthony Edward Deyton was arrested today (July 9) by authorities in Burke County. He was charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Deyton was arrested shortly before noon today and placed in jail in Morganton under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (July 10).

27-year-old Tyson Travon Cromwell of 14th Avenue SE in Hickory was arrested today (July 9) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and failure to appear on a count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Cromwell was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $90,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for August 28.

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