Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers apprehended a man wanted in connection with the kidnapping of his ex-girlfriend twice within the last three months.
21-year-old Jacob Allen Houser of Hines Circle Road in Stanley is charged in connection with both incidents. He's charged with first degree kidnapping, breaking and entering with intent to terrorize or injure the occupant, assault on a female, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felonious restraint, and resisting a public officer. Houser is also charged in connection with an incident in July, those charges include one felony count each of 2nd degree kidnapping, first degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, and assault by strangulation inflicting physical injury.
On Thursday (October 20) at approximately 6 p.m. officers found Houser hiding in the attic of a relative’s home on Hines Circle Road. Officers had been looking for Houser since Wednesday morning when he allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home at 178 Cowan’s Ford Road, assaulted a man at the residence then carried the woman to a waiting vehicle, before fleeing the scene. The victim, 22-year-old Kaitlin Victoria Greene, was found safe and interviewed about the incident.
Houser was also wanted in connection with an incident on July 16 when deputies were dispatched to the Cowan’s Ford Overlook after a passing motorist reported a man was assaulting a woman at that location. The motorist told officers he was driving past the Overlook when he spotted a woman in distress. The woman was screaming and waving her arms as the man was screaming at her. The man then ran to the edge of the hill at the overlook and disappeared over the edge. The victim in that case was also Kaitlin Victoria Green, she said she'd been kidnapped from her home.
Houser also has outstanding charges from Iredell and Mecklenburg Counties. He was placed in jail under $759,945 secured bond.
A jury has found 57-year-old William Eugene Murphy not guilty in his second double-homicide trial in Caldwell County Superior Court. The 11-week trial came to an end today (Thursday, October 20).
Murphy was found innocent of committing the November 1990 murders of Mark Randall Secreast and his wife, Jeanie Barlow Secreast, inside their Caldwell County home. The case was investigated at that time, but not solved. Murphy was arrested and charged with the murders in April 2010.
The trial started on August 8. It included four weeks of jury selection prior to opening statements from Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Mathews and Defense Attorney Lisa Dubs. It was the second trial for Murphy in ten months after the first ended in a mistrial.
The 12-member jury deliberated over a three-day period following closing arguments from Prosecutor Michael Van Buren and Dubs on Monday and Tuesday. The jury delivered its verdict to the Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, around 2:30 p.m. today.
Murphy’s first trial ended on February 10 when the jurors were deadlocked six-to-six after five hours of deliberation, prompting the Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, to declare a mistrial.
38-year-old Christopher William Webb was arrested today (Thursday, October 20) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony manufacturing schedule II controlled substance. Webb was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A court date is set for December 12.
The Hickory Driver License Office will temporarily close for equipment installation and renovations on Thursday, October 27. It is scheduled to re-open on Monday October 31, at 8 a.m.
The Hickory office, located at 1158 Lenoir-Rhyne Blvd. S.E., is one of 25 driver license offices across the state to undergo a new office design that will include the installation of new cubicles and ergonomic bench seating to increase customer comfort, as well as new informational posters. The office floor will also be refurbished.
As part of the second phase of state DMV office upgrades, renovations will be completed in 50 of the state’s 113 driver license offices by the end of November. DMV now offers driver license renewals and many other services online. Customers are encouraged to check the official DMV website at www.ncdot.gov/dmv and click “Online Services” to see if their driver license needs can be met online.
During the Hickory closure, customers who need in-office services can visit other offices located in the region and are encouraged to call them to make an appointment. Other offices in the region include the Newton location at 1033 Smyre Farm Road, their phone number is (828) 466-5516. The Hudson office at 309 Pine Mountain Road, their number is (828) 726-2504. The Statesville Office at 905 Carolina Avenue North, the phone number at that location is (704) 878-4220.
The Lenoir Police Department is investigating the deaths of two people who were found in a residence on Clearfield Place. 74-year-old Johnny Ben Church and 74-year-old Gwyn Lee Kirby, who both listed 2470 Clearfield Place in Lenoir as their address, were both found in that home deceased.
Wednesday (October 19) at 4:04 p.m. the Lenoir Police Department was contacted by Caldwell County EMS regarding the discovery of the bodies. Officers arrived at the residence and secured the scene. A news release from the Lenoir Police Department says the victims appear to have died from unnatural causes and autopsies will be performed on both victims. No further information is available at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation are asked to contact The Lenoir Police Department at 828-757-2100 or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers at 828-758-8300. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
Hickory Police are investigating a shoplifting incident at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. At about 3:45 yesterday afternoon (October 19), a male and a female carrying a large bag entered the store. The two went to the sporting goods section where they pulled the anti-theft locks off archery equipment and other merchandise and placed some of the items in the bag.
After the subjects split up, a Loss Prevention Officer confronted the female and recovered the items in the bag. Those items were valued at $420. The Officer was not able to detain the suspect. The Officer then confronted the male subject, but was not able to detain him. The male suspect is thought to have left the store with knives that he did not pay for.
Anyone with information regarding the incident should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.
27-year-old Jessica Michelle Crowe of College Avenue SW in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (October 19) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged with felony breaking and entering. Crowe was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $3,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (October 21).
49-year-old Carl David Everhart of Everhart Court in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (October 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony speeding to elude arrest. Everhart was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for November 8.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the alleged kidnapping of an eastern Lincoln County woman for the second time since mid-July.
At around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday (October 19) the Lincoln County Communications Center received a call from a resident on Cowan’s Ford Road. The caller said that a man broke into the residence, assaulted him and kidnapped 22-year-old Kaitlin Victoria Greene of Cowan’s Ford Road in Stanley.
The suspects are identified as Jacob Alan Houser, a white male and ex-boyfriend of the victim, who already faces a number of charges in connection with the first alleged kidnapping and a black male accomplice. The accomplice remained in the vehicle while Houser allegedly went inside the residence and forcibly brought Ms. Greene out of the home and placed her in the car. They fled the scene in a black vehicle believed to be a Honda Civic.
Houser was wearing a white shirt, khaki shorts, dark hat and black shoes. The second suspect was described as wearing an orange shirt, blue jeans, with black hair and a short black beard. Deputies searched a number of areas in and around Old Plank Road in Stanley, where Houser lives but did not locate him. However, Ms. Greene was located safe and officers also found Houser’s accomplice.
Houser faces charges in connection with the Wednesday incident including felony first degree kidnapping and felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The case is still under investigation and further charges are pending. The accomplice was not named by authorities and the charges against him, if any, were not included in the information released by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
The first incident occurred on July 16. On that date deputies were dispatched to the Cowan’s Ford Overlook after a passing motorist reported a male was assaulting a female at that location. The motorist told officers he was driving past the Overlook when he spotted a female in distress. The female was screaming and waving her arms as a male subject was screaming at her. The male then ran to the edge of the hill at the overlook and disappeared over the edge. The victim in that case was also Kaitlin Victoria Greene, she told police she had been kidnapped from her home. Houser was charged with multiple offenses in connection with that incident.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jacob Allen Houser is asked to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202.
24-year-old Laurin Brooke King of 28th Street SW in Hickory was arrested by Long View Police Officers. She's charged with possession of stolen goods or property, and possession of drug paraphernalia. King was jailed this morning (Thursday, October 20) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court date is set for next Monday (October 24).
One-stop early voting starts today (Thursday, October 20) for the November 8 general election. Early voting takes place today through Saturday, November 5.
One-stop early voting will be offered at the following five locations in Catawba County: The Newton Main Library (in lieu of the office), at 115 West C Street in Newton. The Highland Recreation Center at 1451 8th St. Dr. NE in Hickory. The Southwest Library at 2944 South NC Hwy 127 in Hickory. The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Library at 9154 Sherrills Ford Road in Terrell. And Conover Station at 403 Conover Station SE in Conover. If you vote in another county check your Board of Elections website for early voting information.
Catawba County early voting sites will be open every day from October 20 through November 5 during the following times: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. A full list of locations and voting hours at each location may be found online at the Catawba County Government website, www.catawbacountync.gov/elections. Early voting will not be offered at the Board of Elections office.
If voting on Election Day, November 8, registered voters must cast their ballot at their designated precinct location. Specific precinct location information and sample ballots may be found online at the previously mentioned website.
Due to recent changes to election laws, photo identification will not be required to cast a ballot. If first-time voters do not provide identification information on their NC Voter Registration form, they will be asked to show ID the first time they present to vote. Accepted forms of identification are a current and valid photo ID, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
Absentee ballots may be requested by any registered North Carolina voter by November 1. Requests must be made in writing on an official State Absentee Ballot Request Form, which is available from the Catawba County Board of Elections office or online by going to the Catawba County Government website.
An early morning break on a 12-inch water main on Hopewell Road in Morganton and a second leak on an eight-inch line drained millions of gallons of water from the City of Morganton’s water system and has left some customers in the area with low water pressure.
Water Treatment Plant Supervisor Jason Green said he can’t be sure when the breaks occurred, but he thinks the leaks got worse sometime during the night. The water plant was able to keep up with the leaks while demand was low. However, when demand picked up this morning, the city’s main water tanks started losing volume.
Just after six o’clock this morning, when use started to peak, the water level in the Dale Circle and Valdese Avenue tanks started to drop dramatically. More than 15 feet of water in the tanks was lost in less than an hour, according to Green. At least three million gallons drained out of the water main before city workers could locate and isolate the leak.
In addition to the 12-inch line break on Hopewell Road, city workers also discovered a leak on one of the water lines feeding Morganton Heights. Green said he and other Water Resources staff were trying to determine why Morganton Heights’ pressure was still low, even after isolating the 12-inch break. The Distribution & Collection Supervisor started checking the lines feeding the shopping center and discovered a second leak.
The leak has been stopped. At last report, the main water tanks were starting to fill and water pressure at Morganton Heights was expected to return to normal.
Residents are still encouraged to conserve water where possible while the system recovers. The city water treatment plant produces and distributes an average of 8.8 million gallons of drinking water per day.
For more information, call the city’s Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
22-year-old Ashlyn Dawn Buckner of Herman Road in Claremont was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine resisting a public officer, shoplifting with concealment of goods, and failure to perform community service hours. Buckner was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,460 bond. District Court appearances are scheduled for November 9, 15, and 17.
26-year-old Destinee Knicole Jones of Herman Sipe Road in Conover was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony break or enter a motor vehicle and misdemeanor larceny. Jones was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $2,000 bond. A District Court date is set for next Tuesday (October 25).
24-year-old Edith Paige Johnson was arrested Tuesday (October 19) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture schedule II controlled substance. Johnson was placed in jail in Morganton under $15,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.
23-year-old Joshua Matthew Parkhurst of 9th Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:35 p.m. yesterday (October 18) on one felony count of hit & run.
His arrest stems from an incident on July 25 of this year. Parkhurst allegedly fled the scene after he rear-ended another driver on Highway 321 N.W., near Clement Boulevard N.W. The victim, a 59-year-old woman from Lenoir, was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center for treatment.
Witnesses gave information that led to Parkhurst’s identification. A warrant for his arrest was issued on October 13. He was taken into custody without incident at his residence yesterday. Parkhurst was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
A break on a 20-inch water main on Hopewell Road in Morganton has left customers without water service. The break occurred at six o’clock this morning (October 19). The cause of the break is unknown. Workers were able to isolate the break. As of 8:40 a.m., only about five customers were affected.
City workers shut off water service to the line this morning. Some customers in the Hopewell Road area will be without water service until repairs can be made. The repairs may not be completed until this evening due to the large size of the pipe.
Customers are asked to conserve water as much as possible today until the line is repaired.
For more information, call the city’s Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.
47-year-old Tracy Lynn Kaylor of Chester Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of receiving stolen property and probation violation. Kaylor was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday October 19) on the stolen goods charge, a Superior Court date is set for next Monday (October 24) on the probation violation charge.
37-year-old Michael Peter Blanch of Silver Springs, Florida, was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, and maintaining a place to keep controlled substance. Blanch was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, October 19).
46-year-old Denaita Jean Love of Shoups Grove Road in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (October 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with trafficking opium or heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin, possession of controlled substance on prison or jail premises, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Love was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, October 19).