46-year-old Donald Eugene Blankenship of Newton was arrested by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with indecent liberties with a child and two counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
On Wednesday (January 11) the Newton Police Department, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Hickory Police Department, executed a search warrant at 625 East 11th Street in Newton, the home of Donald Eugene Blankenship. The search warrant was executed as a result of an investigation and the arrest of 33-year-old David Lee Perkins, formerly of Newton, in December of 2016. Perkins was arrested in Joplin, Missouri and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor for crimes that occurred in that jurisdiction.
During the investigation in Missouri, it was discovered that Perkins was also possibly involved in the same type of activity at the East 11th Street home of Blankenship. Perkins owns that home. Officers searched the residence and seized evidence related to the crimes of indecent liberties with a child, and sexual exploitation of a minor in which they allege Blankenship was involved.
Blankenship was arrested and charged, the case is currently still under investigation with additional charges pending.
25-year-old Cory Austin Barrett of North Davis Avenue in Newton was arrested today (Friday, January 13) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts of break or enter a motor vehicle, three counts of misdemeanor larceny, and reckless driving. Barrett was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,000 bond. He's scheduled to appear in District Court February 6.
The City of Hickory will close its offices on Monday (January 16) in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, but garbage and recycling pick-up will continue.
The City of Hickory offices will re-open on Tuesday, January 17 at 8:30 a.m. The Hickory Public Library, the Patrick Beaver Memorial main facility and the Ridgeview Branch, will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday. The library will reopen at its regular hours on Tuesday. The administrative offices, all recreation centers, and the skate park will be closed on Monday. City parks are open 365 days a year.
In honor of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) will host the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration Monday at 10 a.m. in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium. This year’s guest speaker is Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. Dr. Hendricks is the author of the bestselling book, The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted.
Immediately following the presentation, attendees are invited to participate in the annual NAACP March sponsored by the Hickory Branch of the NAACP. The march will begin at 11 a.m. in front of P.E. Monroe Auditorium and extend approximately two miles to the Ridgeview Recreation Center. The event will conclude with entertainment and light refreshments at the recreation center.
All events are free and open to the public.
25-year-old Jonathan Wayne Shawver was arrested this morning (Friday, January 13) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony forced breaking and entering. Following the arrest, Shawver was placed in jail in Morganton under $5,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for next Friday (January 20).
52-year-old Robert Junior Fox was arrested Thursday (January 12) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony possession of stolen goods. Fox was placed in jail in Morganton under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, January 13).
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office has released an update on a homicide investigation in Statesville. On Tuesday (January 10) the body of 80-year-old Hugh Lee Moose was found inside a residence at 577 Shiloh Road in Statesville. Sheriff Darren E. Campbell announced Thursday (January 11) that he received confirmation that the cause of death was due to a gun shot.
The investigation is continuing into this case, Detectives are attempting to identify a man seen between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on foot in the area. He is described as a white male, about 5’10 tall, between 25 and 35 years of age. He was wearing light brown Carhartt-style overalls with a dark colored backpack. The man was last seen on a side road off of Shiloh Road.
Anyone with information regarding the case should call the Sheriff’s Homicide Hotline at 704-928-9804. Callers may remain anonymous.
47-year-old Christopher Alvin Sanford of East Sumner Street in Lincolnton was arrested Thursday (January 12) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and driving while license revoked. Sanford was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $30,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, January 17).
56-year-old Regina Faye Hunt of Campground Road in Denver was arrested Wednesday (January 11) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of larceny and possession of stolen goods.
The charges are in connection with the theft of diamond rings from a Lincolnton business. Walter Hugh Belfield of Mooresville reported on January 6 that two diamond rings were stolen from the business he owns at the intersection of Highways 27 and 150 East of Lincolnton. Detective Kelly Paris said a woman known to Mr. Belfield as Regina Faye Hunt entered the business and took two diamond rings valued at $2,025.
When the owner realized the rings were missing he contacted Hunt by telephone and confronted her about the theft. Belfield told officers the woman admitted to having the rings and that she would keep them in a safe place. The rings were never returned and warrants for her arrest were issued on Tuesday (January 10).
Hunt was taken into custody without incident at her residence and transported to the Lincoln County Magistrate’s Office. She was served with the charges and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $3,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for February 2. One of the rings stolen in this incident was recovered at the time of arrest.
40-year-old Harold Thomas Messer Jr. of Laurel Street in Valdese, 21-year-old William Austin Blankenship of Linker Lane in Stony Point, and 41-year-old Aimee Jo Cook of Devenshire Drive in Taylorsville, were all arrested Wednesday (January 11) by Officers with the Burke County Narcotics Task Force. Messer is charged with felony counts of second degree forced burglary, larceny by trick, and possession of stolen goods. Blankenship is charged with two counts of misdemeanor probation violation and one count of misdemeanor failure to appear. Cook is charged with misdemeanor failure to appear.
On Wednesday a Burke County Sheriff’s Office deputy in the area of Excelsior Drive in Rutherford College community was stopped by a concerned citizen regarding a suspicious person and vehicles at 241 Excelsior Drive in Connelly Springs. The deputy’s investigation revealed individuals inside the residence may be wanted on outstanding warrants. The deputy and Burke County Narcotics Task Force officers found three suspects who were wanted on various charges at the residence. All three were taken into custody without incident.
All three suspects were brought to the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility. Messer's bond was set at $25,000 secured, Blankenship was given a $31,000 secured bond, and Cook's bond was set at $1,000 secured. Messer and Blankenship are scheduled to appear in court on February 13, Cook has a court date January 30.
30-year-old John Christopher Watts was arrested today (Thursday, January 12) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony trafficking heroin. Watts was placed in jail in Morganton under $75,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, January 13).
A job fair will be held Monday (January 16) at Comfort Inn & Suites in Statesville. The event will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday in the hotel’s third floor banquet room. The job fair is hosted by Comfort Inn & Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn in Statesville.
Open positions include guest service agents, night auditor, executive housekeeper, housekeepers, house person, servers, bartenders, line cooks, shuttle drivers and maintenance.
Comfort Inn & Suites is located at 1214 Greenland Drive in Statesville. Those attending should bring multiple copies of their résumés.
31-year-old Thomas Owen King of Henderson Park Drive in Huntersville was arrested Wednesday (January 11) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with breaking and entering a building, larceny of firearms, possession of stolen goods, obtaining property by false pretenses, and possession of firearms by a felon.
King has been charged in connection to a break-in at a Stoney Ridge Road, Lincolnton, residence during which $3,000 in firearms and ammunition were stolen. Deputies were dispatched to the break-in at the residence in the 3500 block of Stoney Ridge Road on January 2 at approximately 4:45 p.m. The owner told officers five guns and ammunition were taken in the break-in and a door was kicked open to gain entry.
Last Friday (January 6) Detective Justin Link received a call from a detective in Charlotte who stated a friend called him to run the serial numbers on some guns he purchased. The guns, which had been entered NCIC by Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies, came back as stolen from the Lincoln County incident. The purchaser told Detective Link that he bought the guns and some ammunition around 3:45 p.m. on the same day the break-in occurred. The guns were stolen and sold before the victim got home from work on January 2.
The man who purchased the guns said he has known Thomas Owen King for several years so there was no problem identifying the suspect. Three of the guns and an ammo box were recovered and returned to the victim. The location of the other two guns is unknown at this time.
King, who was being held in Iredell County on unrelated charges, was served the warrants Wednesday. He has since been moved to the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center where he is being held under a $30,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, January 12).
22-year-old Evin Elizabeth Campbell was arrested Wednesday (January 11) by authorities in Burke County. She was charged with felony larceny of a firearm. Following the arrest, Campbell was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Friday (January 13).
40-year-old Harold Thomas Messer was arrested Wednesday (January 11) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony second degree forced burglary. Messer was placed in jail under $25,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for February 13.
55-year-old Joseph Harlon Godfrey of Idlewood Drive in Granite Falls was arrested Wednesday (January 11) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree sexual assault. Godfrey was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled for today (Thursday, January 12).
29-year-old Brittany Nicole Brown of Walt Arney Road in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (January 11) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Brown was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, January 12).
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol reports at least one person was killed in a vehicle accident in Lincoln County Wednesday (January 11). According to published reports, the accident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. near the intersection of Highways 150 West and 27 West in Lincolnton. One fatality has been confirmed, according to the reports. The victim's name has not been released. No other information was available as of this morning (Thursday, January 12).
The Caldwell County Department of Social Services along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Gaston County Law Enforcement is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing teenage girl.
17-year-old Destany Shae Pritchard was last seen October 2, 2016 at the foster home where she lives in Dallas, NC. She has recently been seen on Facebook using two different names: Destany Pritchard and Destany Shae.
Destany is 5'7", 180 pounds, hazel eyes and long, colored blond hair. She is believed to be in the Charlotte area with a boyfriend and is considered an endangered youth. Destany left without her required medications placing her at risk.
Anyone having information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the Caldwell County Department of Social Services at 828-426-8280, the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office at 704-862-6681 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
On Wednesday morning (January 11), Statesville Police officers responded to the report of an armed robbery at KFC on Salisbury Road. Multiple officers and Investigators responded to the scene. Upon arrival, it was discovered that an employee who had just arrived at the business was confronted outside and brought inside the restaurant by a man armed with a handgun.
The suspect directed the employee to the office where he demanded money from the safe. The suspect then took bank bags containing cash and fled the scene in an unknown direction.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing a green jacket, grey pants and grey or brown shoes. He was wearing a ball cap over what appeared to be a black wig. The suspect was armed with a black handgun. The employee was not injured.
Officers searched the area, a K-9 track was conducted, but the suspect was not located. The investigation is ongoing at this time. Anyone who may be able to identify the suspect or may have information about this robbery, is asked to call Statesville Police at 704-878-3406, or Iredell Crime stoppers at 704-662-1340. Callers can remain anonymous.
48-year-old Sherri Yvonne King was arrested this morning (Thursday, January 12) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony trafficking heroin. King was placed in jail in Morganton under $50,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for February 13.