60-year-old Michael William Murphy of McBride Street and 35-year-old Latonya Denise Brown of Abney Court, both from Charlotte, were both arrested Tuesday (November 23) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. Murphy is charged with one felony count each of possession of stolen goods, presenting fictitious identification while committing a felony, obtaining property by false pretenses, identity theft, trafficking in stolen identities, and two counts of conspiracy. Brown is charged with one felony count each of possession of stolen goods, obtaining property by false pretenses, and two counts of conspiracy.
They were arrested for allegedly using fake identification to buy more than $21,000 worth of zero turn mowers and a box blade from a Lincoln County merchant. The suspects reportedly went to Al Lane Motorsports on Highway 27 East on Saturday (November 19) where they purchased two Kubota zero turn mowers and a Land Pride box. They also ordered a third zero turn mower.
Detectives were notified by CMPD that the suspect vehicle, a silver Nissan truck with a Florida license plate, had been seen in Charlotte around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Detectives, patrol deputies and a DMV officer set up a sting operation around the location of Al Lane Motorsports Tuesday where the suspects were supposed to pick up a third mower they had ordered. The stolen mowers had been advertised on Craig’s List and detectives worked with CMPD to contact the suspects.
Sheriff’s Captain Tim Johnson and Detective Kelly Paris were enroute to Charlotte Tuesday to check out the lead in the case when they noticed the truck used in the Saturday incident traveling the opposite direction on Highway 16. The officers turned around and followed the vehicle north on Highway 16 then west on Highway 73. A traffic stop was made near the intersection of Highways 27 east and Asbury Church Road. The two suspects were taken into custody without incident.
Investigators located the stolen merchandise in a storage building in Charlotte. The stolen goods were returned to Lincoln County. Investigators say one of the stolen identities used in the illegal purchase belonged to a retired 30 year veteran law enforcement officer in Texas.
Murphy was jailed in the Haven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond, Brown's bond was set at $30,000 secured.
Both suspects were scheduled to appear in court today (Wednesday, November 23). The two people are also being investigated in connection with similar incidents in Greensboro, Cleveland County, and several other locations.
35-year-old Justin Daniel Price of Matheson Avenue in Charlotte has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. He was wanted in Austin, Texas on a charge of assault by strangulation.
Price was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled this past Monday (November 21) in Newton. His next Catawba County court date on the fugitive warrant was set for January 23, 2017 with another appearance on D.W.I. and other traffic charges set for January 12. In addition, Price will appear on a fugitive warrant in a Mecklenburg County courtroom on November 29.
30-year-old Daniel Lashawn Wright of Redmond Drive in Hudson was arrested Tuesday (November 22) by Granite Falls Police Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, assault on a female, and communicating threats. Wright was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under no bond. No court date was listed.
45-year-old Bryan Keith Kelley of Hilferty Road in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (November 22) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with single counts of larceny, breaking and entering, and larceny after breaking and entering, and two counts of possession of stolen goods. All of the charges are felonies. Kelley was confined in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. He's scheduled to appear in Superior Court next Monday (November 28).
32-year-old Keith Lee Clontz of Highway 16 South in Newton and 31-year-old Hayley Danielle Hoyle of Little Street in Lincolnton were both arrested last Friday (November 18) by Lincolnton Police Officers. Clontz was charged with two felony counts of intentional child abuse resulting in physical injury. Hoyle was charged with two misdemeanor counts of allowing child abuse resulting in physical injury.
According to a news release issued yesterday (Tuesday, November 22), on Wednesday, November 9, a report was taken by the Lincolnton Police Department in reference to a referral case by Lincoln County Department of Social Services concerning physical child abuse of toddlers. The victims in the case were two nine-month-old twin boys who both sustained serious physical injuries that resulted in their hospitalization.
The case was investigated by the Lincolnton Police Department with assistance from the Lincoln County D.S.S. and the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center. As a result of the investigation, Clontz and Hoyle were charged.
Hoyle is the mother of the two children. Clontz was her boyfriend at the time of the abuse. His bond was set at $150,000 secured. He made his first court appearance Monday (November 21), his next District Court date is December 5. Hoyle's bond was set at $30,000 secured. She did post that bond and is currently out of jail. Hoyle is scheduled to appear in District Court December 5.
Shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday (November 22), multiple fire departments responded to a reported structure fire at the Economy Inn on 1503 Bethel Road in Morganton.
Multiple fire departments responded including Chesterfield, Drexel, Icard Lovelady, Oak Hill and Salem out of Burke County assisted as a county wide all-call was performed for all available manpower to respond to the Economy Inn.
The Conover Fire Department responded with an engine and a truck to assist with aid. The hotel was evacuated. There have been no reports of any injuries related to the fire. The cause of the fire was unknown, it is currently under investigation.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Burke County Narcotics Task Force and Morganton Public Safety held a one day warrant roundup last week. The operation resulted in more than 20 arrests.
Among those arrested was 26-year-old Nathaniel David Meise of Tallent Road in Morganton. He's charged with felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine and larceny, along with a misdemeanor count of larceny. Bond for Meise was set at $111,000 secured. He has court appearances scheduled for December 6 and December 12.
24-year-old Chelsea Nicholle Martin of Valdese Avenue in Valdese was also arrested during last week's roundup. She's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Martin's bond was set at $3,000 secured. She's scheduled to appear in court December 12.
47-year-old Michael Brenton Leonard, of the same Valdese Avenue, Valdese, address as Martin, is also charged with felony possession of meth and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was also set at $3,000 secured. He's got a December 12 court appearance scheduled as well.
A total of 27 warrants were served on 21 individuals.
A fire that started Monday evening (November 21) six miles east of Blowing Rock in Watauga County, has forced some residents to evacuate. As of the most recent update, late Tuesday (November 22), the Horton Fire had burned 700 to 800 acres. According to the website wildfiretoday.com, the fire is burning in steep, heavily wooded country, and has threatened more than 50 homes.
The Chestnut Knob fire at South Mountains State Park in Burke County is now reported to be 65% contained. The wildfire now covers 6,435 acres, a very slight increase from the previous report. There are now 257 personnel fighting the fire, down from 352 on Monday.
The Florida Green Team, which is leading the operation at South Mountains State Park, is monitoring weather conditions. Moderate winds and continued low humidity has the potential to cause reburn and increase fire activity.
Wildfires continue to burn throughout North Carolina, there's a new fire that started last night (Monday, November 21) in the Watauga County town of Blowing Rock, which borders Caldwell County. Evacuations were necessary due to the fire.
Various published reports say the fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. near Sampson Road and Watson Drive. As the fire began to approach homes, officials continued to issue evacuation orders.
The brush fire reportedly moved into the woods, as of earlier today it had spread to several hundred acres and was growing. Fire crews were going door-to-door to warn residents in the area. WHKY-TV's Fentress Chestnut will have a report on this fire and the latest on the Chestnut Knob fire in Burke County on tonight's WHKY-TV News at 5:30 and 10:00.
Morganton Public Safety Officers arrested 29- year old Cody Garrett Chadwell yesterday (November 21).
He’s charged with four counts of failure to appear and driving with an expired registration.
Chadwell is currently serving time on a long list of charges dating back to May 2008. Some of those charges include, felony forced breaking and entering, probation violation, possession of a weapon by a felon and stealing a vehicle.
Chadwell’s next court date is December 14, 2016 in Burke County. The total bond amount for the current charges is $4,500.
Morganton Public Safety Officers arrested 38- year-old Melania Ramsey yesterday (November 21, 2016).
Ramsey is charged with possession of a schedule ii substance.
She was given a $4,000 bond; her court date was scheduled for today (November 22, 2016).
Morganton Public Safety officers arrested 39- year- old Jason Shea Ali today (November 22, 2016).
He’s charged with larceny, forgery of a credit card, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, credit card fraud, possession of a schedule ii substance, and driving while license revoked.
He was placed under a $35,000 bond, he had a court date listed for today, Ali was previously arrested on September 6, 2016.
20- year- old Jonathan Andrew Wyatt of Hickory was arrested yesterday (November 21, 2016) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers.
He was served two bills of indictments for resisting a public officer and assaulting his probation officer.
He was placed in jail under a $5000 bond, Wyatt was scheduled to appear in court today.
40- year- old Zachary Hayes Mitchell of Newton was arrested today (November 22, 2016) by Catawba County Sheriff’s officers.
He’s charged with selling heroin, two counts of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin.
He’s also charged with possession, manufacturing, selling, and delivering a controlled substance within 1000 ft of a school.
Mitchell was placed under a $30,000 bond. No court date is currently listed.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will help make Thanksgiving trips a little smoother by suspending most road construction activities on major routes across the state.
Most construction work that would require a lane or road closure along all interstates and N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 6 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, November 23), until midnight, Sunday (November 27). Most road or lane closures that are remaining in place for the holiday weekend are in central and eastern North Carolina, with the exception of lane closures on N.C. 294 in Cherokee County and U.S. 74 in Jackson County.
Travelers also need to be aware that more than 200 local roads in the eastern part of the state are closed or have lane closures due to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Remember here in western North Carolina, several forest fires could affect travel as smoky conditions may reduce visibility. Shifting fires and smoke could cause a road to be closed on short notice for safety reasons.
Drivers can get the latest update on travel conditions at ncdot.gov.
AAA Carolinas projects that 2 million Carolinians will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, with just under 1.4 million North Carolinians and 670,000 South Carolinians traveling. This represents a 1.9 percent increase over 2015. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as tomorrow (Wednesday November 23) to Sunday (November 27).
This year's increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. North Carolina's average price of gas is currently at $2.13 a gallon and South Carolina's sits at $1.99 a gallon, both under the national average of $2.14. Last year, North Carolina's average was $2.10 and South Carolina's was $1.91.
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving. The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive this Thanksgiving. The 1.2 million North Carolinians and over 600,000 South Carolinians planning a Thanksgiving road trip represents an increase of 1.9 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent, with 46,000 North Carolinians and 46,000 South Carolinians flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase only slightly this Thanksgiving, to 40,000 North Carolinians and 20,000 South Carolinians.
Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for motorists due to its five-day length and the heavy traffic caused by the high number of travelers on the road. Last year, the number of deaths on North Carolina highways during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend reached 22 people, while South Carolina highways saw nine traffic fatalities.
A fugitive wanted on a charge from Georgia was arrested in Catawba County. 19-year-old Jonathan Anthony Gordon, who is listed as a homeless person from Newton, was arrested Monday (November 21) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged on a warrant from Gwinnett County, Georgia, with probation violation. Gordon was on probation for burglary.
Following Monday's arrest, Gordon was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court in Newton today (Tuesday, November 22).
44-year-old Parrish DeWayne Burton of Burris Road in Conover was arrested Monday (November 21) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense. Burton was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, November 22).
29-year-old Brian Allen Sipe of Bumgarner Lane in Taylorsville was arrested Friday (November 18) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with solicitation of a child by computer or electronic device to commit an unlawful sex act and indecent liberties with a child.
On Friday, the Burke County Sheriff`s Office Criminal Investigation Division engaged in an undercover operation using social media. During the investigation, the identity of a suspect was discovered to be Brian Allen Sipe. Sipe traveled to a predetermined location for what he thought was to meet with a minor to perform sex acts. However, when he arrived he was taken into custody without incident by the online undercover investigator.
Sipe's bond was set at $25,000 secured, he did post bond following his arrest and is not currently being held in jail. A first court appearance for Sipe was scheduled for Monday (November 21).
The wildfire burning at South Mountains State Park in Burke County is now reported to be 50% contained. According to the latest update, despite continued low humidity, the Chestnut Knob fire did not expand much at all on Monday (November 21). It is estimated at 6,433 acres, only a slight increase from the previous day.
The Florida Green Team, which is in charge of fighting the fire at South Mountains State Park, was given approval by their agency to extend their assignment from 14 to 21 days. Crews are beginning to assess potential damage to trail areas and stream crossings. There are 352 personnel fighting the Chestnut Knob wildfire, 33 engines and seven dozers are being used.