The City of Morganton Water Resources Department plans to shut off water tonight (January 24) beginning at 10:00 to repair a faulty valve. One lane of North Green Street/Highway 181 was scheduled to be closed beginning at 1:00 p.m. in preparation.
The shut-off will affect North Green Street/Highway 181 from Independence Boulevard to the upper St. Mary’s Church Road/181 Intersection. Surrounding businesses and residences will be without water for an estimated 6 hours. For more information contact the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
35-year-old Richard Charles Cunningham, of Bluefield, West Virginia, will spend a minimum of just over three years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the December 2015 death of 32-year-old Matthew Lee Swanson. The Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, sentenced Cunningham to serve 38 to 58 months in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections during Catawba County Superior Court on Tuesday (January 23). Family members and law enforcement were in full agreement with the terms and conditions of the plea.
Officers from Hickory Police Department responded to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory during the early-morning hours of Dec. 6, 2015, to find Swanson unconscious on the floor of a back room. He was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center and later Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem where he died on Dec. 7, 2015. Cunningham was working as a bouncer at the business and had a confrontation with Swanson that escalated into a physical altercation. A witness told investigators she saw Cunningham strike Swanson six or seven times.
Investigators sought video surveillance from the establishment and were told initially that the cameras were not operational. However, that proved to be false, and surveillance was recovered on December 8, 2015. That footage showed the defendant and victim engaged in an altercation, with Cunningham delivering punch-like motions to Swanson while the victim was on the floor. The defendant went back to the front of the business and left a short time later.
The autopsy indicated that Swanson’s cause of death was hypoxic ischemic brain injury due to concussive/post-traumatic apnea due to blunt force injury of the head and acute ethanol intoxication. Carlos De Los Santos investigated the case for Hickory Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith handled prosecution for the State.
A scam has been reported in Burke County. The Burke County Sheriff's Office has received reports of people getting phone calls from a Sgt. Richard Manely who claims to be with the Sheriff’s Office. The person posing as a member of the Sheriff’s Office says he is calling about an outstanding warrant and says the matter can be cleared up by paying him money.
The Sheriff's Office wants to let the public know that this is a scam. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency would never call an individual requesting money to clear up a legal matter.
A shooting reported early this morning (January 24) is under investigation in Statesville. A 911 call was received at approximately 12:15 a.m. from Zarrie James, who said that he had been shot, and was in need of assistance. Mr. James was located on Garner Bagnal Boulevard near Wilson Lee Boulevard. EMS and Statesville Police Officers arrived at the scene.
Mr. James was transported to Baptist Hospital where he has undergone surgery. The investigation into this shooting is underway. A news release from the Statesville Police Department says there is no indication that the victim was randomly shot while driving, so the public should not be concerned for their safety while they drive to work or school today. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives have identified the body of a man found inside a burning car on Sunday (January 21). Following an autopsy at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem Monday (January 22) the victim was identified as 52-year-old Jimmy Wayne Brooks of Campbell Lane in Lincolnton.
The Lincoln County Communications Center received a report around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in reference to a vehicle fire. The North 321 Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and after firefighters doused the flames, they noticed the remains of a human body in the vehicle. The vehicle, a 1999 Pontiac Grand AM GT, was located in a vacant lot in the 2600 block of High Knoll Road.
The State Bureau of Investigations and the Lincoln County Fire Marshal’s Office were called in to assist Sheriff’s detectives with the fire investigation which is on-going. A cause for the fire has not been determined at this time.
More information has been released on the arrest of a woman on drug charges in Catawba County. 29-year-old Wanda Jo Rhyne was arrested Tuesday (January 23) by Maiden Police Officers. She was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of controlled substance in a detention center, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting a public officer.
In the early morning hours Tuesday, Maiden Police officers responded to a suspicious persons call near the intersection of Startown Road and West Maiden Road. Responding Maiden Police officers encountered and subsequently arrested 29-year-old Wanda Jo Rhyne. Rhyne attempted to use a false identity and was found to be in possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. A news release from the Maiden Police Department says Rhyne is a Lincolnton resident, the Catawba County "Who's In Jail" website lists her as a resident of Bristol, Virginia.
When Rhyne was transported to the Catawba County Detention Facility it was discovered that she was in possession of more meth, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, resulting in the possession in a detention center charge. She was jailed under $20,000 bond and was still incarcerated as of earlier today. Her next District Court date is February 6.
49-year-old Richard Henry Bilyou of Jenkins Road in Morganton was arrested Monday (January 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree burglary, two misdemeanor counts of injury to personal property, and one misdemeanor count of communicating threats.
On Sunday (January 21), at approximately 11:00 p.m., the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to 5624 Jenkins Road following a report of shots being fired. Deputies arrived at the residence and spoke to Arthur Harris about the incident. Harris explained his landlord, Richard Bilyou, had been yelling and threatening his family. Harris reported Bilyou was upset because they had not moved out quick enough, even though they had not been legally evicted.
After taking his family back inside, Harris said Bilyou began shooting down towards the residence. Bilyou came down to Harris’ residence and threw a propane cylinder through the glass of the front door. According to Harris, Bilyou took one or two steps inside his residence and immediately walked back outside. When deputies arrived, Bilyou had left the scene.
After the initial investigation, one deputy went to the magistrate’s office to secure warrants while other deputies stood by with Harris as he removed items from the residence. Warrants were issued against Bilyou, who was arrested the following day and confined at the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under $79,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court Tuesday (January 23). He has upcoming District Court dates February 13 and February 26.
36-year-old Terrie Patrice Williamson was arrested Monday (January 22) by Newton Police Officers. She's charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.
On Monday, Newton police responded to an apartment at 1326 North Frye Avenue, in reference to a stabbing. A man reporting the incident called for EMS assistance from a location outside of Newton. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Terrie Patrice Williamson, the suspect in the stabbing. The victim, 42-year-old Aaron Fitzgerald Rippy, of Conover, was not at the residence.
Williamson told officers that she and Mr. Rippy got into an argument, because Mr. Rippy was leaving and removing groceries from the apartment. Williamson stated that as Mr. Rippy was placing groceries into plastic bags, she was cutting the bags open. Officers noticed evidence of cut bags in the kitchen and bedroom. At some point during this altercation, Mr. Rippy was cut with the scissors on his arm. Williamson was placed under arrest for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and transported to the Newton Police Department for processing.
Williamson was then transported to the Catawba County Detention Facility where she was detained without bond due to this being a domestic violence case. She was scheduled to have a first court appearance yesterday in District Court in Newton. She was no longer listed as an inmate as of today (January 24), her next District Court date is February 5. Rippy was transported to Catawba Valley Medical Center where he was treated and released for minor injuries.
29-year-old Michelle Nicole Mathis of Water Street in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (January 22) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged on a bill of indictment with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods or property. Mathis was given a custody release and has a Superior Court date March 5.
The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, Richard Keith Purdue. Mr. Purdue is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.
Mr. Purdue is a 53-year-old white male. He is 5’5” tall and weighs 135 pounds. He has black, ear-length hair and blue eyes. Mr. Purdue was last seen at 1428 Little Valley Lane in Lincolnton. He was wearing black jogging pants and a dark blue hoodie.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Richard Keith Purdue should call Det. Kelly Paris at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-735-8202.
56-year-old David Alan Lillie of Hunawill Street in Claremont was arrested today (January 23) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with second degree forcible sex offense. Lillie was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (January 24).
18-year-old Derek Dwain Exline of Old Plank Road in Iron Station and 18-year-old Dax Moore Cranmer of Hickory Creek Drive in Denver have both been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to a residential break-in that occurred on December 14 of last year. They were charged with one felony count each of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and possession of stolen goods.
The incident took place at a residence on Highway 16 South in Stanley. Deputies responded to the call after it was reported that a back window had been broken and the back door kicked in. Electronic equipment and jewelry valued at more than $1,500 were stolen.
Fingerprints were collected and sent to the Gaston County Police Department for examination and entry in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System. On January 12, Detective Greg Hager received information that the prints were a match for Exline and Cranmer.
Both suspects were arrested and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center with bond for each set at $20,000, secured. Exline will appear in District Court on January 25, while Cranmer has a court date on February 8.
40-year-old Angle Dawn Deyton of County Home Road in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:20 p.m. yesterday on one felony count of conveying a message or weapon to a convict. The warrant for her arrest was issued in Burke County.
Deyton was taken into custody without incident on the 400 block of Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. She was processed at the Hickory Police Department and then released under a $5,000 unsecured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for January 29 in Morganton.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, a 17-year-old female reported missing has returned home and is safe. Amy Jo Helms was last seen leaving her residence on Noles Circle sometime after 1:00 a.m. Monday (January 22). Detective Kelly Paris confirmed she returned home on Monday night. No other details were released.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting next week regarding a proposed project to improve traffic flow on East Broad Street between Vine Street and Signal Hill Drive in Statesville.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Statesville Fitness and Activity Center, 1875 Simonton Road, from 4 to 7 p.m. Interested citizens are welcome to attend the meeting at any time to ask questions and submit comments about the proposed design, as no formal presentation will be made. For residents who cannot attend the meeting, comments can be submitted in writing, by phone or email through Feb. 13.
Contact NCDOT Project Engineer Bryan Sowell for more information at email@example.com, (980) 552-4221, or P.O. Box 47, Shelby, N.C., 28151-0047. Information and materials can also be viewed as they become available online at http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings.
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Caitlyn Ridge at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 707-6091 as early as possible so arrangements can be made.
26-year-old Tiodomira Caudillo of Vickey Drive in Maiden was arrested Monday (January 22) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. Caudillo is charged with two counts of felony probation violation along with two counts of failure to appear on various traffic charges. The suspect was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $17,025 bond. District Court appearances are scheduled for February 2 and March 14, a Superior Court date is January 29.
38-year-old Jessica Dawn Provance of Arbor Springs Drive in Taylorsville was arrested Sunday (January 21) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession of controlled substance on prison or jail premises. Provance was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled for Monday (January 22).
29-year-old Wanda Jo Rhyne of Bristol, Virginia, was arrested by Maiden Police Officers. She was initially charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting a public officer, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. A charge of possession of controlled substance on prison or jail premises has since been added. Rhyne was detained this morning (January 23) in the Catawba County Detention Facility where bond was set at $20,000. A District Court date was set for today.
A suspect was in custody in Tennessee connection to a Burke County kidnapping. 31-year-old Robert Leroy Littleton III of Fleetwood, NC, is charged with the kidnapping of Carlton Lamaar Edmondson, he was being held without bond in Johnson County, Tennessee.
Last Friday (January 19), at approximately 11:15 a.m., the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) was contacted by the Valdese Police Department regarding a kidnapping. The family of Carlton Lamaar Edmondson reported to Valdese Officers they had received phone calls from an unknown person stating their son had been kidnapped. The caller was demanding money for the return of Edmondson.
Detectives with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office along with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) began following leads in the case. The investigation took Burke County CID and the SBI to Boone and then to Johnson County, TN. Investigators developed Robert Leroy Littleton, III as a suspect and Littleton was found in Mountain City, TN. After an interview with Littleton, he was arrested for the kidnapping of Edmondson in Burke County.
Investigators learned during the interview that Edmondson had been taken to a remote location in Tennessee, assaulted, and was left at that location. Edmondson had not been located as of earlier today (January 23). The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department was working the incident as a missing person. The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests and charges are pending. Littleton is being held in Johnson County under no bond pending extradition on a fugitive warrant for felony first degree kidnapping in North Carolina. He has a court date February 7.
32-year-old Antonio Lafayette Foster of James Street in Lincolnton was arrested Sunday (January 21) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one felony count each of speeding to elude arrest, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver schedule VI controlled substance, possession of schedule II controlled substance, and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. Foster was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of parole violation, failure to stop for a siren, possession of drug paraphernalia, displaying expired registration, and resist, delay and obstruct a public officer.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies were watching traffic on Car Farm Road Sunday when they observed a passing green Ford Escape displaying an expired license plate. Deputies followed the vehicle to Buffalo Shoals Road where they activated their emergency equipment. That’s when the vehicle attempted to flee the scene. Deputies pursued the vehicle on Buffalo Shoals to East Main Street where the suspect ran a red light. The State Highway Patrol and Lincolnton Police were notified about the chase that was heading west on East Main Street.
The suspect turned on to Huss Street in Boger City and traveled through several neighborhood streets before traveling back onto Main Street and striking a pickup truck. The driver made his way back through the adjacent neighborhoods before stopping in front of a relative’s residence on Arney Street. The driver jumped from the vehicle, leaving it in gear, which caused it to roll and crash into a utility pole. The suspect was captured as he tried to get in the door of the relative’s residence.
Inside the vehicle deputies located a white powder that tested positive for cocaine, a black bag containing multiple bags of marijuana, digital scales and more than $1,900 in cash. Foster was placed in jail on a no bond hold for the probation charge and a $50,000 secured bond on the other charges. No court dates were listed.