Thursday (May 11) at approximately 2:40 p.m., Mayor Rudy Wright was found deceased at his home.
“It is with deepest sorrow, that I must inform you of the untimely passing of Mayor Rudy Wright today at his home,” said City Manager Warren Wood said in a news release from the city. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. While the Hickory Police Department is conducting an investigation, at this time there are no indications of suspicious circumstances. I ask that you respect the family’s privacy and allow them time to grieve.”
U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry, who represents the 10th District, issued a statement Thursday evening regarding Mayor Wright's passing. "Giulia and I are shocked and saddened to learn of Mayor Wright's sudden passing. Mayor Wright was synonymous with Hickory, displaying his love for the city during the entirety of his nearly two decades of service as mayor. His tenure was marked by significant economic transformation in our area, throughout which Mayor Wright always remained the city's biggest advocate and booster. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Donna and the entire Wright family as they mourn this loss."
Additional information will be released as it becomes available. Mayor Rudy Wright had served as Hickory’s Mayor since 2001.
A stabbing incident is under investigation by the Hickory Police Department. Very few details have been released in this case. Hickory Police report the incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday (May 10) in a business parking lot on 29th Avenue Drive NE, near Sandy Ridge Road. The individual stabbed is reported to be a male resident of Hiddenite. The extent of his injuries was not disclosed. The stabbing is reported to be the result of a domestic dispute. No other details were released, Hickory Police are continuing to investigate the case.
65-year-old Billy Joe Henry of “F” Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 9:45 yesterday morning (May 10) in connection to a case out of Charlotte. He was charged with one felony count each of first-degree rape, attempted murder and kidnapping, plus one misdemeanor count of assault on a female.
Henry was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $500,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for May 15 in Charlotte.
At about 4:15 Wednesday morning (May 10), Alexander County 9-1-1 took a call regarding a shooting on Zeb Watts Road in the Ellendale Community. The caller said a 15-year-old male had shot himself.
Officers arrived on the scene and found a white male with an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen. The victim was transported by Alexander County E.M.S. to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory where he underwent surgery.
Witnesses told Police that the victim and other teenagers had three firearms lying on a swivel stool. The victim grabbed a 9mm pistol from the stool, causing the firearm to discharge, injuring the victim.
The investigation is early stages.
59-year-old Dennis James Mcelrath was arrested Wednesday (May 10) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of controlled substance in prison or jail. Mcelrath was being held in jail in Morganton under $57,000 secured bond on the drug count and two previously filed failure to appear charges. He's scheduled to appear in Superior Court June 5.
26-year-old Brandon Michael Beatty of North Main Avenue in Newton was arrested Wednesday (May 10) by Probation and Parole officers. He's charged with three counts of felony probation violation. Beatty was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (May 15).
25-year-old Ryan Dale Sigmon of Beach Road in Hudson was arrested Wednesday (May 10) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Sigmon was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (May 11).
29-year-old Joshua Erik Moore was arrested last Thursday (May 4) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child.
According to a news release issued Wednesday (May 10), on March 3, 2017 a report was filed with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a child being assaulted by a family member. The report was assigned to Detective Patrick Dixson of the Special Victim’s Unit. The child was interviewed along with several additional witnesses. As a result of the investigation, Joshua Erik Moore was arrested and charged.
Following his arrest, Moore was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center where he was processed and given a $25,000 secure bond. His next District Court appearance is scheduled for August 25.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing teenager. On Tuesday (May 9), a missing person’s report was filed with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for 15-year-old Justin Ryan Shoemake of Vale.
The teen was last seen at approximately 10:00 p.m Tuesday in western Lincoln County. Shoemake does not have his cell phone and told friends he was running away from home. His destination is unknown but he has family in Tennessee. The missing teen is described as a white male, 5 feet tall and weighing around 120 pounds. He has blond hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Justin Ryan Shoemake is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
45-year-old George William Hill of 8th Street Place SE in Hickory was arrested today (May 10) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with failure to appear on counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hill was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $750,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for next Monday (May 15).
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office has received reports from citizens who say they've gotten telephone calls from a person claiming to be Sgt. Jackson with the Burke County Sheriff's Office. The caller instructs the citizen to go to CVS Pharmacy or Rite Aid to obtain green dot cards or to provide their credit card information to submit money for missing jury duty. The Sheriff's Office says this or any similar request is a scam.
17-year-old Quincy Harold Michael of Highland Avenue N.E. and 17-year-old Brandon Wade Fleming of Wandering Lane N.E., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (May 10). They were each charged with felony possession of marijuana. Michael was also charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to appear.
They were arrested after Police conducted a traffic stop late last night at the corner of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. and 16th Street N.E. They stopped a 2002 Ford Explorer for an expired registration plate.
Five people were in the vehicle. 47 grams of marijuana were found in the vehicle’s front passenger area. Fleming, who was a front seat passenger, was taken into custody without incident. 43 grams of marijuana were found on Michael’s person. He was a passenger in the rear. He was also taken into custody without incident. The driver was cited for driving with an expired registration.
Both suspects were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Michael set at $10,500, secured, while Fleming was given a $4,500 secured bond. Fleming has since been released, but Michael remained in custody as of this afternoon. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today in Newton.
24-year-old Franklin Dewayne Bryant of Laurel Street in Hudson was arrested Tuesday (May 9) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to an automobile and misdemeanor larceny. Bryant was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (May 11).
23-year-old Montavious Lemar Mayfield of 3rd Avenue Court S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (May 10) on one felony count each of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon, plus misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon, second-degree trespass and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
Mayfield was taken into custody at about 1:45 a.m. today at a residence on 9th Avenue S.E. in Hickory. He was armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest.
Mayfield was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $20,900, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
41-year-old Christopher David Leatherman of Highway 10 West in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (May 9) on a charge of common law robbery.
He was arrested in connection to a robbery Saturday (May 6) at the LifeWay Christian Store on Highway 70 S.E. Officers responded to the call shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday.
After the suspect was in the store for a short period of time, he approached the register and requested money. No weapons were displayed. The suspect then left on foot.
Through the use of social media, Officers identified the suspect as Christopher David Leatherman. Warrants for his arrest were issued on Sunday (May 7).
Leatherman was taken into custody without incident at his nearest relative’s address in Denver, N.C. He was served with multiple outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest. Those include shoplifting, breaking & entering, breaking & entering a motor vehicle, larceny, possession of stolen goods and obtaining property by false pretense.
Leatherman was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $293,700 secured bond. A District Court appearance on most of the charges was set for today in Newton, with another court date on the shoplifting charge coming up on June 5.
23-year-old Matthew Alan Honsaker was arrested Tuesday (May 9) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to a motor vehicle. Honsaker was previously charged with possession of schedule II controlled substance. He was placed in jail on both charges under a total secured bond of $15,000. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (May 12).
A Special Meeting of the Hickory Historic Preservation Commission will be held next Wednesday (May 17) at 5:30 p.m. at the Council Chambers in City Hall, 76 North Center Street in Hickory.
The purpose of this meeting is to move the Commission’s monthly meeting for May to an earlier date in the month. A public hearing will be held regarding a Certificate of Appropriateness.
The certificate has been requested by Youssef Amrani to construct an outdoor dining area with fireplace and trellis, as well as, replace an existing window with a new door at the front of the building located at 74 8th Street SE, Suite 108, which is the BOCA restaurant at Moretz Mills.
32-year-old Justin Todd Davis was arrested Tuesday (May 9) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He was charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Davis was placed in jail in Morganton, his total bond on the drug count filed Tuesday and previously filed charges is $154,000 secured. A District Court appearance is scheduled for May 24.
39-year-old Falando Mckinley Francis was arrested Tuesday (May 9) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule I controlled substance. Francis was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for July 10.
27-year-old Markeece Romell Torrence of 1st Street SE in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (May 9) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of selling cocaine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver cocaine. Torrence was arrested without incident just before 9 p.m. Tuesday at an address on F Avenue SE in Hickory.
Torrence was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $180,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (May 10).