The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office named its law enforcement officers of the year last night (December 7).
The sixth annual “Sergeant John H. Howell II Memorial Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award” went to Detective Frank Runyon, a nine-year veteran, who began his career at the Sheriff’s Office in 2007 as a full time Civil Officer. He moved to the patrol division in 2008 and was promoted to Detective in 2013. He serves as treasurer of the local Fraternal Order of Police. This year, he coordinated an effort to raise thousands of dollars for the family of fallen Shelby Police Officer Tim Brackeen.
The sixth annual “First Sergeant Thomas R. Taylor Detention Officer of the Year Award” was presented to Detention Officer Robert Hooks, Jr. Officer Hooks is a five-year veteran of the Detention Center. He was hired in 2011 after a stint in the Navy. Officer Hooks studied Criminal Justice at Western Carolina University. On Thanksgiving Day of this year, Officer Hooks discovered an unresponsive inmate in a holding cell. He and other detention officers started C.P.R. until E.M.S. arrived, potentially saving the inmate’s life.
Permanent plaques are displayed in the lobby at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office honoring each annual award recipient.
17-year-old Sulayman Admeer Williams of 23rd Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police late Tuesday night (December 6) on one felony count of breaking & entering a motor vehicle, plus misdemeanor counts of breaking & entering a building, larceny and damage to real property with willful & wanton injury.
Williams was taken into custody without incident at about 11:55 p.m. Tuesday on the 200 block of 26th Avenue N.E. He was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $3,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today (December 8) in Newton.
50-year-old Joseph Tyrone Dillard of 3rd Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early Wednesday morning (December 7) for a felony probation violation. He is on probation following a February 2016 conviction in Catawba County for felony speeding to elude arrest.
Dillard was taken into custody without incident at about 45 minutes past midnight yesterday on 4th Street S.W., about two blocks from Hickory Police headquarters. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,500 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for December 12 in Newton.
56-year-old Joel Nicholas Baker of Freezer Locker Road in Hudson was arrested Wednesday (December 7) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of selling methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substances. Baker was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, December 8).
36-year-old Joshua Lee Parsons and 41-year-old Tabitha Rae Deaton, both of the same Rockfall Lane, Newton, address, were both arrested Wednedsday (December 7) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. Parsons is charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession of schedule II controlled substance. Deaton is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. Parsons was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond, Deaton's bond was set at $3,000 secured. Both suspects were scheduled to appear in District Court today (Thursday, December 8).
38-year-old Brandon Shawn Pendley was arrested Wednesday (December 7) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony forced breaking and entering. Pendley was placed in jail in Morganton where bond was set at $155,000 secured. A court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (December 12).
27-year-old Katie Ann Hayes was arrested Wednesday (December 7) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with five felony counts apiece of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods. Hayes was placed in jail in Morganton under $72,000 secured bond. She's scheduled to appear in District Court Friday (December 9) and next Tuesday (December 13).
31-year-old Crystal Nicole Randleman of Stratford Lane in Denver was arrested Wednesday (December 7) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with one felony count of possession of methamphetamine along with misdemeanor counts of larceny and possession of stolen goods. Randleman was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $6,000 bond. A District Court date was scheduled for today (Thursday, December 8).
34-year-old Jason Travis Shook of Houston Mill Road in Conover was arrested Wednesday (December 7) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Shook was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $3,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, December 8).
On Tuesday evening (December 6), a report was filed with the Lincolnton Police Department concerning a teenaged runaway. Police were told that 13-year-old John David Charles had run away from home. Charles is described as a black male, 5’07”, 130 lbs., with a slim build. Charles is a frequent runaway who has had juvenile runaway pickup orders on him in the past.
Charles is known to frequent Betty Ross Park, City Park, the Lincolnton Rail Trail, the Lincolnton Public Library, and the Christian Ministry Soup Kitchen. Additionally, Charles is known to frequent the areas of E. Pine Street, Mauney Drive, and the Oaklawn communities.
Charles is also entered NCIC as a runaway. If anyone locates Charles, please contact the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900 or contact 9-1-1.
At about 10:30 this morning (December 7), a pedestrian, 72-year-old Vione Mae Miller of Hickory, was struck by a passenger vehicle while attempting to cross Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. The incident occurred on the 400 block of Highway 70, in the general vicinity of Auto Master and U-Haul Self Storage.
Ms. Miller sustained critical injuries as a result of the collision. She was transported by Catawba County E.M.S. to Frye Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased.
The Hickory Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit is conducting an ongoing investigation into the collision. No further details are available.
31-year-old Alexis Joel Adorno Diaz of Conover, was given an active prison sentence of at least five years for pleading guilty to trafficking methamphetamine. The guilty plea was entered on Tuesday (December 6), during Catawba County Superior Court.
Diaz will serve his prison term of five to seven years in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections after being sentenced by the Honorable Timothy S. Kincaid, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County. In addition to the active prison sentence, Diaz also was assessed a mandatory $50,000 fine.
In November 2015, investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search and investigation regarding the sale and distribution of methamphetamine at Diaz’s residence. During the search, investigators located crystal methamphetamine in the refrigerator.
The substance was sent to the North Carolina State Crime Lab and tested positive for a trafficking amount of methamphetamine.
Michael Hicks was the lead investigator for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Sean Baetjer and Wes Hawn prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
29-year-old Teresa Shipes Hoyle of Hudson Poultry Road in Iron Station was arrested yesterday (December 6) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count of larceny, two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses and one misdemeanor count of larceny.
She was arrested after Detective Lt. Matt Lykins took a report Monday (December 5) from a female victim who lives on Hudson Poultry Road. The victim had information regarding the theft of a 14-karat gold marquise diamond wedding ring that was taken in 2014 and the theft of a Fender Stratocaster Squire Guitar, stolen last year.
The victim’s daughter, Teresa Shipes Hoyle, confessed to her that she was the one who took the items. Hoyle also told Detectives that she took the items to Boger City Pawn and received money for them. The pawned items were not recovered.
Hoyle was arrested and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today.
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (December 6). One citizen spoke during the public comment period to thank Council for recognizing Human Rights Day and the Bill of Rights Day. Another citizen spoke to recognize and remember Mr. Billy Sudderth, who recently passed away. Mr. Sudderth was very involved in community activities and projects.
Minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda were approved unanimously. The items approved on second reading included the acceptance of a pair of measures involving temporary construction and permanent easement. In addition, Council accepted a bid and awarded a contract to Hickory Sand Company for sanitary sewer improvements for the Central Business District Rehabilitation Project.
City planner Cal Overby presented a voluntary contiguous annexation request for 3810 16th St NE. The annexation was approved unanimously.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating 15-year-old Madison Olivia Burnette.
Detective Justin Link said a missing person’s report was filed yesterday (December 6) concerning Ms. Burnette’s whereabouts. She was last seen at her residence in Lincoln County around noon on November 25. She left the residence with two females in a black Honda. Ms. Burnette has been entered into the National Crime Information Center’s database as a missing person.
She is described as a white female with blond hair and hazel eyes. Ms. Burnette is 5’4” inches tall and weighs about 100 pounds. She also has a tattoo of an infinity symbol on her left forearm.
Any with information regarding the whereabouts of Madison Olivia Burnette should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton / Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.
31-year-old Brandon Keith Lowman was arrested Tuesday (December 6) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony breaking and entering to a motor vehicle. Lowman was arrested at an address on Mount Harmony Road in Connelly Springs. He was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A court appearance was scheduled for today.
More information has been released regarding the arrest of 35-year-old Amanda Kay Loftin of Cramer Road in Connelly Springs. She was arrested at about 1:30 a.m. yesterday (December 6) on felony counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and speeding to elude arrest, plus misdemeanor counts of D.W.I. and hit & run with property damage.
She was arrested after Police received information regarding a possible stolen vehicle, a gold Buick at the Days Inn on 13th Avenue Drive N.W. As Officers arrived, they saw Buick approaching Clement Boulevard from 19th Street Lane N.W. Police confirmed that the vehicle was stolen from Catawba County.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but it turned left on Highway 321 N.W. and did not stop. Police pursued the Buick into Rhodhiss where Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Deputies assisted and eventually took over the chase. Loftin, the vehicle’s driver and only occupant, lost control and crashed at 304 Duke Street in Granite Falls. E.M.S. responded to the scene, but Loftin refused treatment.
She was arrested and taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where she remains under a $52,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday with another court date on January 25.
On Loftin’s arrest sheet, Christopher Cook was listed as her nearest relative or acquaintance. He was also arrested by Hickory Police at the Days Inn less than six hours after Loftin was taken into custody. Cook faces multiple felony charges for B&E, larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle. It’s not clear at this time how or if the two cases are connected.
The man charged in connection with a fatal wreck in Catawba County Tuesday (December 6) made his first court appearance today (Wednesday, December 7). A Caldwell County pastor was killed in the accident.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said 43-year-old Michael Vanderburg was killed in the accident, which occurred at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 70. The crash occurred at the traffic light at the entrance to the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds in Newton.
According to Highway Patrol, a pickup truck ran a red light and crashed into the minivan. 31-year-old Zachariah Arthur Carl of Burns Drive in Newton was arrested by Highway Patrol and charged with second degree murder without regard, driving while impaired, fail to stop for a steady red light, driving while license revoked, and possession of an open container. Carl was initially jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond, that was increased to one-million dollars during today’s first appearance in District Court. The increase was due to a motion by District Attorney David Learner which was granted by Judge Wesley Barkley. Also during today’s court appearance, Adam Millsaps was appointed as counsel for the defendant.
A woman and two children who were in the minivan with Vanderburg were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries was not known. Vanderburg was the Pastor of Abundant Life Church of God in Hudson.
34-year-old Christopher Douglas Cook of 14th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about seven o’clock Tuesday morning (December 6). He's charged with felony counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering, possession of stolen goods or property and possession of stolen goods or property with larceny. He's also charged with misdemeanor counts of breaking & entering, resisting a public officer, injury to real property and injury to personal property. The warrants for his arrest were issued on November 8, November 24 and December 4.
He was arrested in connection to two break-ins at Hickory Sand on South Center Street. Tools were taken from the business on November 23 or 24 after a previous break-in earlier in the same week. Investigators believe Cook may be linked to several other vehicle theft and property theft crimes in the area. The investigation is ongoing.
Cook was taken into custody without incident at the Days Inn on 13th Avenue Drive N.W. He was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $34,500 bond. District Court dates were set for today (Wednesday, December 7), January 3 and January 10.
25-year-old Jonathan Scott Miller was arrested Tuesday (December 6) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of stolen goods. Miller was arrested on South Green Street in Morganton. Following the arrest, Miller was placed in jail in Morganton under $12,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for January 30.