34-year-old Jordan Daniel Newman of Slope Tier in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (January 15) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and two counts of failure to appear. Newman was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $13,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (January 17).
A Forsyth County man received a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison following a guilty plea in a sex offense case. 37-year-old Jamie Walter Merritt of Tobaccoville, N.C., was sentenced to serve an active prison term of 20 to 25 years following his conviction for three counts of first-degree statutory sex offense during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday (January 15).
The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, imposed the sentence for Merritt, who will serve the term in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections after pleading guilty to the offenses.
The defendant’s sentence will run concurrent with a 12-year prison term he is serving for a similar conviction in 2016 from Davie County, extending it by eight years. In addition, Merritt will have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life and is subject to lifetime satellite-based monitoring.
Investigation of the offenses began in 2015 when Merritt reported his activity to investigators with Claremont Police Department. The investigation showed that Merritt and a female co-defendant used Benadryl to drug a then-10-year-old female victim and touch her inappropriately. Merritt also admitted that he engaged in oral sex with the child. The events occurred on three occasions in September 2010.
The co-defendant’s case is pending.
A Burke County man will spend six to eight years in prison following a conviction in Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (January 15) for trafficking methamphetamine.
40-year-old Andrew Thomas Watts of Morganton was given the active prison term by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, following his guilty plea. The defendant will serve the sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections and also must pay a mandatory fine of $50,000.
Officers with Morganton Department of Public Safety stopped a vehicle for displaying a fictitious tag on November 7, 2017, after previously being notified by the Burke County Narcotics Task Force that the defendant had just received a large quantity of methamphetamine.
As they approached the vehicle, officers saw drug paraphernalia and conducted a search of the vehicle and its occupants, locating methamphetamine in Watts’ possession. The drugs were sent to the N.C. State Crime Lab for testing and verification that the substance found was methamphetamine.
The case was investigated by the Morganton Department of Public Safety with assistance from the Burke County Narcotics Task Force. Lance Sigmon prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
A vehicle crash occurred on Interstate 40 in Burke County this afternoon. According to published reports, the accident involved one vehicle and happened in the eastbound lanes near exit 100, which is Jamestown Road. The reports say at approximately 12:45 p.m. the vehicle ran off the road and landed underneath the bridge at exit 100. Both eastbound lanes remained open following the crash. No additional details were released.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives say a man reported missing, 23-year-old Trevor Alan Drennen of Lincolnton, has been located. Deputies were notified today (January 15) by a family member that contact was made with Drennen and he is in good condition. Drennen was removed from NCIC as a missing person this morning.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received the missing persons report regarding Mr. Drennen Monday (January 14). Officers were told that Mr. Drennen had not been heard from or seen since January 10, 2019. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said they'd like to thank everyone for their help in bringing this case to a successful close.
38-year-old Calvin Wayne Davis of Saint James Church Road in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before midnight last night (January 14) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He was arrested after Police found 1.1 grams of methamphetamine in a 2000 Acura in the parking lot at a pool hall on Highway 70 S.E. Davis was the owner of the vehicle.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. Davis was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.
38-year-old Misti Dawn Metcalf of Wayne Street in Claremont was arrested by Hickory Police at 9:40 last night (January 14) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and on misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
She was arrested when Police responded to a report of drug activity in the parking lot at a convenience store on 2nd Avenue N.W. During the incident, Officers found one gram of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Metcalf was taken into custody without incident at the store. Another person in the vehicle was issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Metcalf was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
27-year-old Allen Davis Coffey of Abington Road in Lenoir was arrested Monday (January 14) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of larceny and possession of stolen property. Coffey was given a custody release, he has a Superior Court appearance March 4.
Vidal Sipe has been named as the new chief of the Newton Police Department. Sipe was selected as police chief after an extensive assessment process that included interviews of candidates from across North Carolina. An announcement of his hiring was made to city staff, city council members, and the officers of the Newton Police Department on Monday (January 14). Sipe assumes the position of former Newton Police Chief Don Brown, who was elected sheriff of Catawba County in November.
Sipe has been employed by the Hickory Police Department since 2000. His most recent position there was as captain and commander of the department’s Support Services Division, where he directed and oversaw 116 sworn officers and 36 civilian staff. Prior to his employment with the Hickory Police Department, Sipe served in the United States Army and Army Reserve, where he obtained the rank of sergeant first class.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from American Military University and an associate degree in criminal justice technology from Catawba Valley Community College. He is a graduate of the North Carolina Justice Academy Management Development Program and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.
Newton City Manager Todd Clark said he was impressed by Sipe’s proven track record of forging relationships with the communities he serves, which is essential to community policing. Sipe is a native of York, Pennsylvania. He lives in Hickory with his wife of 20 years, Michelle. He has four children. Sipe will begin at the Newton Police Department on February 4.
30-year-old Christy Lynn Owens Rodriguez of Evanbrook Court in Lenoir was arrested Monday (January 14) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Owens was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (January 17).
23-year-old Austin Lane Ervin of Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (January 14) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. In addition, Ervin is charged on a bill of indictment with larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Ervin was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (January 17).
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, one significant project on Interstate 40 in Burke County is heading into the next phase. NCDOT officials were scheduled to shift westbound traffic from the existing lanes to a new bridge on I-40 over Berea Church Road tonight (January 15).
Crews were planning on limiting westbound traffic to a single lane during non-peak hours today in advance of the shift. A nighttime lane closure will be needed as well for westbound vehicles, and possibly eastbound traffic, heading into Wednesday morning (January 16).
NHM Construction, the contractor on this project, has been working on this bridge project since August of 2017 and anticipates completing the work in March of 2020. The crews are more than halfway through replacing the east and westbound bridges.
The next step of this $8.5 million project is to remove the 60-year-old westbound bridge and build the new span heading toward Old Fort.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the driver of the vehicle in this photograph. The vehicle was involved in a breaking and entering that occurred on January 10, off of NC Highway 18 South. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500 or Morganton/Burke Crimestoppers at 828-437-3333. All Crimestoppers tips are anonymous, and anyone with information leading an arrest may receive a cash reward.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing man.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a report Monday (January 14) concerning a missing man. Officers were told that 23-year-old Trevor Alan Drennen of Arden Drive in Lincolnton has not been heard from or seen since January 10.
Drennen is described as a white male, 5 feet – 7 inches tall and weighing around 135 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes. Mr. Drennen will possibly be driving a black in color Honda Accord LX-S with North Carolina license plate TPC-6573. He frequents the Gaston County area.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Trevor Alan Drennen is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
61-year-old Eugenio Salgado Cabrera of Lama Lane in Lincolnton was arrested Saturday (January 12) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
Deputies were dispatched to the 4700 block of Lama Lane in Lincolnton on Saturday after the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call regarding a person being shot in the hand. Detective Richard Calhoun was dispatched to the scene and learned that the two men had gotten into an argument because one of the roommates was playing his music too loudly. A news release says Eugenio Salgado Cabrera asked Oscar Aguilera to turn down the music and Aguilera refused. Cabrera then reportedly went into a bedroom and got a .22 caliber rifle and shot Aguilera striking him in the wrist.
Cabrera was taken into custody without incident. According to the news release, Detective Calhoun interviewed Cabrera and received a full confession in the incident. Cabrera was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $9,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for January 29. Aguilera was treated at CHS-Lincoln and released.
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered Alexander County man. He is 23-year-old Paul Milton Simms, who is from the Taylorsville area. He is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.
Mr. Simms was last seen at the Ingram Planetarium on High Market Street in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. He is a white male; 6' 1" tall, weighing 185 pounds. Mr. Simms has long brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a camouflage coat.
Possible destinations include Myrtle Beach, S.C., Oak Island, N.C. and Hiddenite, N.C.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Paul Milton Simms should call the Sunset Beach Police Department at 910-253-7490.
22-year-old Adarion Decoda Parsons of Summerfield Circle in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police late Friday night (January 11) on one felony count each of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and larceny after breaking & entering, plus one misdemeanor count each of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.
He was arrested after Police located a suspicious person at a convenience store on Springs Road N.E. in Hickory. The suspect, Adarion Decoda Parsons, matched the description of the suspect from a vehicle break-in that was reported earlier. During the arrest, Officers found one gram of marijuana and 12 dosage units of Xanax.
Parsons was taken into custody without incident at the convenience store. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton, with another court date coming up on February 12.
58-year-old Barbara Ann Caldwell-Hooper of Roy Caldwell Street in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:35 Friday evening (January 11) on two felony counts of habitual larceny.
She was arrested after Officers responded Friday to a reported larceny at Sam's Club on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. One of the habitual larceny charges is from an arrest warrant issued on July 9 of last year.
Hooper was taken into custody without incident at Exit 119 on I-40 westbound in Hildebran. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. Appearances in District Court and Superior Court were scheduled today (January 14) in Newton.
The City of Lenoir Fire Department responded to a large structure fire on Virginia Street Sunday night (January 13). As of Monday morning (January 14), firefighters had the blaze under control and were monitoring the scene. The fire started Sunday afternoon at an old plant at 515 Virginia Street SW, off Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir.
The building was the former Broyhill Occasional plant. It is currently vacant, and a company was working to salvage materials and clean up the building. The Lenoir Fire Department (LFD) received the fire call at around 4:50 p.m., and 55 City of Lenoir firefighters responded. After arriving on scene, the LFD command staff asked the Lenoir Police Department to shut down Morganton Boulevard and Virginia Street to run fire hoses. Lenoir firefighters had the blaze under control and contained around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, and the majority of the crews returned to their stations around 1:30 a.m.
Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Hair said preliminary reports suggest the fire was started by workers using torches to cut steel pipe and beams out of the roof. Hair said he suspects some roof material may have caught fire and had been smoldering unnoticed when the contractors left. The majority of the fire was the roof burning, he said. The building is predominantly steel and concrete.
There were a few explosions during the incident caused by pressurized acetylene and oxygen tanks on site. The building’s roof also collapsed during the fire. Several agencies provided mutual aid during the incident. Hudson, Gamewell, and Valmead fire departments went on standby to respond to calls in Lenoir. Hudson responded to a couple calls in the Whitnel area during the fire.
Granite Falls Fire Department brought their fire drone to the scene and helped monitor the fire and locate hot spots. Gamewell Volunteer Fire Department brought an Air Truck to the scene to help refill air tanks. The City of Lenoir Public Utilities Department responded to ensure firefighters had good water flow, and the Lenoir Police Department responded to close roads and direct traffic.
Chief Hair said his crews will continue to monitor the scene while the property owner coordinates site cleanup. No one was injured during the fire.
41-year-old Shannon Neil Childs of 1st Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon (January 12) on two felony counts of larceny by anti-inventory device. He was also charged by the Catawba Co. Sheriff's Office with two counts of failure to appear on indecent exposure charges. Those charges are from 2017.
He was arrested in connection to incidents dating back to last year. On November 18, Police responded to a larceny call at the Target store on Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory. The suspect allegedly stole from the store on October 9, November 9 and November 11. The suspect was identified and warrants for his arrest were issued.
Childs was taken into custody without incident at the store. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $22,500, secured. An appearance in District Court on the larceny charges was scheduled today (January 14) in Newton. Childs will also appear in court on the indecent exposure charges on January 22.