30-year-old Derek Dwayne Calloway of Hartland Road in Lenoir was arrested Sunday (December 10) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and obtaining property by false pretense. Calloway was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (December 11).
36-year-old Sterling Dion Dula of Miller Hill Road in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (December 9) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine, uttering a forged instrument, and obtaining property by false pretense. Dula was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for December 11, a Superior Court appearance is scheduled for January 8.
34-year-old Timothy Wayne Bolick of Lick Mountain Road in Hudson was arrested Friday (December 8) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling or moving vehicle. Bolick was given a custody release, he's scheduled to appear in Superior Court January 8.
Schools systems across the Hickory Metro area have announced delays this morning (December 11) due to the potential for difficult travel conditions.
Alexander County Schools, Burke County Schools, and Hickory Public Schools are all on a two-hour delay for students and staff. Catawba County Schools are on a two-hour delay for students, staff should consider safety before reporting. Caldwell County Schools are on a two-hour delay for students, no instructions are given as far as staff is concerned except to please exercise caution when traveling. Newton-Conover City Schools are on a one-hour delay for students, staff reports at regular time.
The National Weather Service has Issued a winter storm warning for much of western North Carolina, including Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties. The latest forecast, issued this afternoon (December 8), is calling for 6-10 inches of snow. The warning is in effect until 12 noon Saturday (December 9).
Snow began falling before noon in parts of the region. There were reports of slick roads in the Hickory Metro, with secondary roads reported to be more hazardous.
Due to the weather, Pancakes with Santa presented by Christ alive church in Newton has been postponed until Saturday, December 23.
Click “weather” at this website for updates 24 hours a day.
24-year-old Carlos Enrique Contreras of Carpentersville, Illinois was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers Wednesday (December 6) as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. He also faces charges for assault on a government official and resisting a public officer. Contreras was wanted in Kane County, Illinois for aggravated battery on a peace officer.
He was served the fugitive warrant at the Catawba Co. Detention Facility, where he has been in custody since October 11 of this year. Bond on the fugitive warrant was set at $20,000, secured; however, the Catawba County website indicates that he is currently being held without bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday (December 7) in Newton.
21-year-old Sherie Antoinette McCorkle of 7th Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6 p.m. yesterday on one felony count of larceny by servant or other employee and to two misdemeanor counts of failure to appear. She was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of no operator’s license and hit & run with property damage.
She was arrested after Hickory Police responded to a reported larceny by employee at the Dollar General on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. McCorkle was taken into custody without incident. The failure to appear warrants were issued in January of this year and the other charges were from warrants issued in December of 2016 in Gaston County.
Following her arrest, McCorkle was processed at the Hickory Police Department and released under a $4,500 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton with a court date in Gastonia set for January 11.
33-year-old Ronald Piper Vicente of 9th Street Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (December 8) on one felony count each of possession of schedule I and schedule II controlled substances, plus one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Piper was taken into custody without incident at about 4:15 a.m. today at a grocery store on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $8,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
32-year-old Jamie Elizabeth Houston was arrested Thursday (December 7) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture schedule I controlled substance. Houston was placed in jail in Morganton under $6,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (December 11).
20-year-old Breanna Rose Beal of Reepsville Road in Lincolnton, 23-year-old Daisy Karina Holmes of Millers Park Lane in Vale, and 18-year-old Jacob Gavin Richard of Calloway Lane in Lincolnton were all arrested this morning (December 8) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. Beal was charged with one felony count of possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Holmes was charged with one felony count each of possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances. She was also charged with a misdemeanor count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and displaying a fictitious registration plate. Richard was charged with one misdemeanor count of possession of schedule VI controlled substance.
The three suspects were arrested at approximately 1 a.m. today as a result of a surveillance operation which led to a traffic stop where methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were seized. Detectives were conducting a surveillance operation when they noticed a vehicle, occupied by three subjects, driving erratically north on the Gastonia Hwy. The officers followed the vehicle for some time but had several vehicles in between them and the vehicle. Once detectives were able to safely stop the car, they conducted a traffic stop on South Generals Blvd near East Main Street in Lincolnton.
The driver gave consent to search the vehicle and more than six grams of methamphetamine, digital scales, marijuana, and a pipe were seized from persons inside the vehicle. The driver and two passengers were arrested for the illegal narcotics seized. Once at the magistrate's office, the driver admitted to having additional meth hidden in her clothing. The meth seized had a street value of $450 to $700 depending on how it was packaged and sold.
Beal received a $10,000 secured bond. Holmes received a $12,000 secured bond. Richard's bond was set at $3,000 secured. A first appearance in Lincoln County District Court was scheduled for today for all three suspects.
Due to a threatening phone call, South Caldwell High School has been evacuated to the Granite Falls Recreation Center. Car drivers have been released for the day, but all other students have been transported to the Granite Falls Recreation Center. Parents may pick up students at the Recreation Center, or -- when the facility is cleared by local law enforcement -- the students will be returned to the school.
Parents will receive an alert notification when the facility has been cleared for regular operations.
Hickory Public Schools will close early, today (Friday, December 8) due to impending weather conditions. Hickory High and middle school students (Grandview and Northview) will be released at 12:30 p.m. today. HCAM students will be released at 1:30 p.m. All elementary & primary students will be released at 1 p.m. All after-school activities and games are cancelled.
In addition, due to snowy weather conditions, Caldwell County Schools will release 1.5 hours early today.
28-year-old Jim Xiong of Sedona Drive in Nebo was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:25 a.m. yesterday (December 7) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
He was arrested after Hickory Police responded to an address on 14th Avenue S.W. in reference to a possible stolen vehicle at that location. Upon arrival, Jim Xiong was found inside the stolen vehicle.
Xiong was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
44-year-old Scott Walter Curtis of 20th Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested yesterday (December 7) by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers for felony disseminating obscenity.
Curtis was the choral director at South Caldwell High School. His position with the school was terminated yesterday and he was arrested a short time later.
Following his arrest, Curtis was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled Monday (December 11) in Lenoir.
Additional charges are possible.
A Newton man will spend a minimum of six years in prison after being convicted of five counts of indecent liberties with a child during Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday (December 6). 47-year-old Donald Eugene Blankenship was given an active prison term of six to 12 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Julia Lynn Gullett, Superior Court Judge from Iredell County.
In addition, Blankenship will be required to register as a sex offender for a period of 30 years and be subject to satellite-based monitoring upon his release from prison. Blankenship’s offenses involved three different children ranging in ages 6 to 14.
The first offense occurred with a then-6-year-old male victim in July 2010. The victim was the child of a family friend who was left alone with the defendant. The act involved fondling of the boy and Blankenship having the child touch him. Another offense in June 2012 involved a then-14-year-old female who was touched inappropriately by Blankenship. An 11-year-old female was the victim of the third offense during the summer of 2012. Blankenship also inappropriately touched her.
Blankenship’s offenses came to light following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into an acquaintance of his living in Joplin, Mo. That investigation, which also included work by the Joplin Police Department, found that the subject in Missouri sent child pornography electronically to Blankenship. This led to the investigation of Blankenship by the Newton Police Department.
During an interview with investigators from Newton Police Department, Blankenship admitted to receiving and downloading child pornography, and that he had inappropriately touched children in Catawba County.
Spencer Cline led the investigation for Newton Police Department with assistance from the FBI and Joplin, Mo., Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Michael Van Buren prosecuted the case for the State.
40-year-old Carma C. Jurney of North Ellis Road in Salisbury and 47-year-old David T. Watson of Miller Farm Road in Statesville were arrested Tuesday (December 5) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Jurney is charged with two counts of possession of schedule II controlled substance, and single counts of possession of schedule III and IV controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia. Watson is charged with driving while license revoked.
According to a news release issued Thursday (December 7), on Tuesday (December 5) Sgt. C.W. Bentley of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team conducted a traffic stop on a 2003 Dodge on Wilkesboro Highway. The driver of the vehicle, David Watson continued to travel several hundred feet prior to stopping in a business parking lot. Sgt. Bentley approached the suspect vehicle and advised Watson of the violation. During this time Bentley noticed a female passenger, Carma Jurney. According to the news release, Sgt. Bentley was familiar with the two individuals in the vehicle.
While speaking with Watson, Sgt. Bentley learned that there may be a syringe inside the vehicle. It was discovered that Jurney was in possession of marijuana and numerous prescription pills including hydrocodone, amphetamine, clonazepam, and subutex, which are illegal to possess without a prescription. No bond information was provided for either suspect. Jurney has District Court dates on January 11 and February 5. Watson has District Court appearances scheduled for January 8 and February 5.
55-year-old Leon Junior McDonald of 5th Street in Statesville was arrested Tuesday (December 5) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He was charged with felony failure to notify address change.
According to a news release issued yesterday (December 7), the Iredell County Sex Offender Unit was doing routine address checks on registered sex offenders and went to 1609 5th Street in Statesville for a compliance check on Leon McDonald. It was learned that McDonald had not been living at the listed address. During the investigation it was revealed that McDonald began living there in September, but left the address on the first of November. Officers learned that McDonald moved to a motel on West Front Street. He had not listed this new address with the Sheriff's Office.
McDonald was placed on the registry in 1998 for Attempted 2nd Degree Rape. He was arrested Tuesday and placed in jail under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for December 19. Prior convictions include: fail to report a new address, three counts of driving while impaired, injury to personal property, fail to register as a sex offender, first degree trespassing, second degree trespassing, attempted second degree rape, driving while license revoked and exceeding safe speed.
A Hickory man was found guilty of sex-related crimes involving a five-year-old boy, resulting in an active prison sentence of at least 25 years. The jury returned its guilty verdict for statutory sex offense with a child by an adult and indecent liberties with a child against 66-year-old Eugene Junior Nixon during Catawba County Superior Court on Thursday (December 7).
The Honorable Angela B. Puckett, Superior Court Judge from Stokes County, imposed a prison term of 25 to 35 years for Nixon. He will serve that sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections and will be required to register as a sex offender. Nixon also is to have no contact with the victim or the boy’s father.
Attorneys for the State and defense gave closing arguments Thursday morning, and the jury returned its verdict in about half an hour to wrap up the three-day trial. The jury watched three interviews the defendant gave law enforcement and heard testimony from the victim during the trial.
In May 2016, the defendant inappropriately touched the victim and had the boy touch him in multiple ways. Nixon was a friend of the family who was living with a relative of the victim at the time the offenses occurred. In addition to the inappropriate touching, the defendant performed sexual acts on the child.
Russ Boger led the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Child Advocacy Protection Center of Catawba County. Assistant District Attorney Jamie Adams prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.
40-year-old Jason Shea Ali was arrested Wednesday (December 6) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony maintaining a dwelling, vehicle, or place for controlled substances. Ali was placed in jail in Morganton under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (December 8).
The individual whose body was found at the scene of a fire in Burke County on Wednesday, November 29 in Burke County has been identified. The deceased is the homeowner, Carolyn Hollifield.
Firefighters responded to the scene on Windy Hill Drive in Morganton at about 2:23 that afternoon. A detached garage was on fire with about a quarter of an acre of woodland burning behind the garage. Firefighters found the body of a white female in her mid-60s behind the garage.
The Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed the victim’s identity as Ms. Hollifield. The cause of death has not been released; however, no evidence of foul play was found during the examination.
The fire was found to be accidental. It started outside with yard debris that had been cleared and spread to the garage and contiguous woodland behind the home.