28-year-old Brandon Scott Scronce of North Cedar Street in Lincolnton was arrested last Friday (September 15) by Lincolnton Police Officers. He's charged with felony attempted breaking and entering, communicating threats, domestic criminal trespassing, misdemeanor larceny, and possession of stolen goods.
On Friday, at approximately 10:30 a.m., the Lincolnton Police Department received a breaking and entering in progress call to a residence on the 1000 block of East Catawba Street. The victim was familiar with the suspect as her ex-boyfriend. The female victim was present in the residence with her small children. Officers arrived and located the suspect, identified as Brandon Scott Scronce, on the back porch of the residence. He was taken into custody without any further incident.
Scronce initially did not receive a bond due to the fact that the charges were domestic violence related. He was placed in the Lincoln County Jail and was scheduled to appear in court Monday. Scronce is not currently listed as an inmate in Lincoln County.
19-year-old Jontavius Javez Littlejohn was arrested Monday (September 18) by Lincolnton Police Officers. He's charged with one count apiece of attempted common law robbery, second degree kidnapping, assault on a female, felony flee to elude arrest, reckless driving, no operator’s license, larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny, interfering with electronic monitoring device, and two Failure to Appear warrants.
On Monday, just before noon, Officers with the Lincolnton Police Department were called to the area of 306 West Main Street, the Charles R. Jonas Library, in reference to an assault on a female and attempted robbery.
Officers made contact with the victim and witnesses to gather a description of the suspect. According to a news release, video surveillance confirmed the suspect was Jontavius Littlejohn. The video footage gave Officers a clear description of what Littlejohn was wearing and the vehicle he was driving to include the registration plate number.
Officers then began searching for the vehicle and located it a short time later on East Main Street. A chase then ensued south on U.S Highway 321. The suspect traveled in excess of 100 mph before stopping and surrendering to Lincolnton Police Officers.
Littlejohn was placed in jail under $270,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for October 9, a District Court date is set for October 10.
The Iredell County Sheriff's Office is seeking assistance in locating a suspect in a business break-in.
On Sunday (September 17) the Southern Farm Supply Store on West Memorial Highway in Union Grove was broken into. The unidentified male suspect busted out the front door to gain entry into the business. The man then ran in a straight path to where an Oregon Battery Powered Chain Saw was sitting along with an Oregon Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer was sitting. The thief took the two items and then left the building and drove off in an unidentified vehicle.
The suspect is a slender white male with what appears to be a cast or medical boot on his right ankle. The suspect is also wearing what appears to be a western style boot on his left foot. The Criminal Investigation Division of the Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for assistance in identifying the man. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180 or Iredell County Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340.
A Burke County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Deputy and a school official dealt with an incident involving a juvenile and a firearm on school property at Table Rock Middle School in Burke County Tuesday morning (September 19).
The incident involved a sixth-grade student who brought an unloaded weapon to the school. The student retrieved the gun from his parents’ vehicle the previous night. Students who saw the weapon promptly reported it to school administrators and to the school Resource Officer, who was on campus at the time. The Officer immediately secured the weapon.
No shots were fired and there were no injuries. The school’s principal, Jennifer Hawkins, sent a message to all students’ parents informing them of the situation and assuring them that all students and school personnel were safe.
Juvenile Authorities are conducting an ongoing investigation.
18-year-old Robert Dijuan Nelson, Jr. of 10th Avenue Drive was arrested early Sunday morning (September 17) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Events leading to his arrest began at about 7:30 a.m. on August 21 when Hickory Police performed a health check at an address on 2nd Street S.E. Nelson was found on the scene in a 2006 black Chevrolet Suburban. Nelson left the scene after he was checked by E.M.S. Later that day, at about 3:15 p.m., Police responded to a stolen vehicle report on 18th Avenue N.E. The vehicle was found at Tedder Recovery in Hickory after it was towed from the 2nd Street S.E address. Warrants for Nelson’s arrest were issued the next day.
He was taken into custody without incident at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday at a convenience store on Springs Road N.E. Nelson was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $27,500 secured bond. Nelson faces additional charges for a felony probation violation, resisting a public officer (two counts), simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and a parole violation. A District Court date was scheduled yesterday (September 18) with additional court dates on September 21, October 9 and October 10, plus a Superior Court date on November 8.
61-year-old Herbert Vernal Stanback of Winston-Salem was given an active prison term of six-to-nine years during Catawba County Superior Court on Monday (September 18). Stanback pleaded guilty to breaking & entering and larceny. He was also convicted as an habitual felon. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Forrest D. Bridges, Superior Court Judge from Cleveland County. Stanback’s sentence will begin at the end of his current sentence, which is set to expire in 2024.
Stanback’s prison term was enhanced by prior felony convictions for larceny of a motor vehicle in Mecklenburg County (October 1985), escape from a state prison in Mecklenburg (October 1990) and larceny in Union County (December 2004).
In early January 2015, Stanback broke into a local car dealership and removed Michelin and Cooper tires valued at more than $6,400, along with a 2015 model vehicle. The incident was similar to others that occurred at other Hickory dealerships in September and November of 2014.
Along with the Hickory Police Department, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles became involved in the investigation as the result of other, similar crimes in North Carolina’s Triad. Prior to his plea in Catawba County, Stanback pleaded guilty to similar charges in Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph and Surry counties.
Kyle Smith prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
A Newton teenager facing a murder charge in Catawba County will not face the death penalty.
Prosecutors for the State announced during Catawba County Superior Court today (September 19), that they will not seek capital punishment for 16-year-old Lennon Riley Henderson for the August 5, 2017, death of 40-year-old Harry Lewis Bruner Jr.
The law does not allow the State to pursue the death penalty for Henderson because of his age. He is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the case.
The North Carolina Department of Justice has issued a warning regarding hurricane damaged vehicles. In a news release issued Monday (September 18), NCDOJ warned consumers that vehicles that have been totally or partially submerged often show up for sale on new and used car lots, after extensive cleaning that makes it hard for buyers to detect damage. Under North Carolina law flood damage must be disclosed in writing, but title paperwork is sometimes unlawfully altered to remove any mention of flood damage.
To avoid buying a flood-damaged car: Ask the seller directly if the car has been damaged in any way, including by storms or flooding. Consider getting a complete vehicle history report. Visit vehiclehistory.gov for a list of approved providers. Request a copy of the title for any used car. Check the date and place of transfer to see if the vehicle comes from a state that recently experienced flooding. Flood damage will only be disclosed on the title if the insurance company officially declared the car totaled. Have the car examined by an independent mechanic of your choice before you buy. Avoid buying a car over the Internet if you haven’t seen it in person, especially if it is being sold in an area that recently experienced flooding.
Check for rust and mud in the trunk, glove box, and dashboard and beneath the seats. Look for rusty brackets under the dash and carpet, discolored upholstery, and mismatched carpet. Test electronics like headlights, windshield wipers, turn signals, power outlet, and radio. Run the heater and air conditioner, and look in the vents for signs of water or mud. Make sure all gauges on the dashboard are working accurately.
If you believe that you may have unknowingly purchased a flood-damaged vehicle or want to report auto repair problems, contact our Consumer Protection Division by phone at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina. Consumers can also get tips on auto damage disclosure and file a consumer complaint online at ncdoj.gov.
Catawba County has been awarded a $414,109 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to expand Riverbend Park by more than 200 acres and 1,900 feet of Catawba River shoreline, bringing the park’s overall size to approximately 689 acres and 5,200 total feet of shoreline.
Park patrons will be able to access the park’s new property by late summer 2018. Landowner Byron Bean offered 209 acres adjacent to Riverbend Park to the County earlier this year in memory of the late Harriet H. Bean. Mr. Bean and family desired for the land to be used for health, recreation and educational purposes.
Appraised at $1.2 million, the land was sold to the County for $400,000 with the balance of the appraised value considered a donation. The PARTF grant provides for the entire purchase price and associated surveying and legal fees.
The expansion allows for the addition of five to 10 miles of multi-use, natural surface trails to Riverbend’s existing 12-mile trail system, which will wind through the new property’s mature forests, rolling hills, open meadows, and variety of natural habitats that range from riparian corridors to upland forests. The property also provides expansive views of Barrett’s Mountain, the Brushy Mountains, and the Catawba River.
Located next to the Oxford Dam at 6700 Highway 16 North in Conover, Riverbend Park offers environmental, educational, and passive recreation opportunities year-round. One of the largest non-state parks in North Carolina, Riverbend Park is known for trails that can accommodate hikers and mountain bikers, a two-acre fenced dog park, kayak and canoe access to the Catawba River, miles of shoreline and a three-quarter-acre pond for fishing, a 1,000-square foot meeting facility, exceptional bird watching, and a diverse natural habitat.
Since 1997, Catawba County has received nearly $900,000 in PARTF grant funds to support the creation and enhancement of Riverbend Park, as well as the creation of Bakers Mountain Park on 189 acres in the Mountain View area.
Riverbend Park anchors Catawba County’s four-park system, which includes the County’s highest elevation point at Bakers Mountain Park, a second dog park at St. Stephens Park in Hickory, and the soon-to-be-developed Mountain Creek Park on 589 acres in the Sherrills Ford area. Catawba County Parks are open six days a week (except Wednesdays) and on most holidays. For more information about the Catawba County Parks system, visit www.catawbacountync.gov.
31-year-old Preston Sentel Woods of South Derby Avenue in Newton was arrested Monday (September 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with being an habitual felon and with fail to report a new address as a sex offender. Woods was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for Monday.
37-year-old Jeremiah Tywon Wiseman of SW Realty Street in Lenoir was arrested Monday (September 18) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Wiseman was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Monday.
Investigators with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office are looking for a missing person. 25-year-old Caitlin Briana Taylor was last seen around August 7 in the Connelly Springs Road area of Caldwell County. She is a white female, 5'7", 120 pounds. If you know where to find Caitlin, call Detective Minor at 828-759-1554. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300 and you could be eligible for a cash reward.
34-year-old James Andrew Pitts of Old North Road in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (September 16) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering, misdemeanor counts of larceny and injury to personal property, and failure to appear. Pitts was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $11,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for November 20.
48-year-old Scott Eugene Dellinger and 27-year-old Randi Dawn Jeune, both of the same Dale Street, Newton, address were arrested Monday (September 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. Dellinger is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, Jeune is charged with possession of heroin. Dellinger was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond, Jeune's bond was set at $8,500. They were both scheduled to make District Court appearances today (September 19).
58-year-old Harvey Lee Clemons of Martin Lane in Claremont was arrested by Hickory Police at 7:40 last night (September 17) on one felony count of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Clemons’ arrest comes in connection to a reported armed robbery yesterday. Hickory Police responded to the Save More store on 1st Avenue S.W. The victim told Police that a black male said he had a weapon and demanded cash from the register. The suspect left the business before obtaining any property.
Harvey Lee Clemons, who matched the suspect description, was spotted by Police on the 1500 block of 3rd Avenue S.W. where he was taken into custody without incident. According to H.P.D.’s arrest report, he was armed with “personal weapons” at the time of his arrest.
Clemons was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $20,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
31-year-old Michael Harrison Lowman of Rector Street in Valdese has been arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff's Officers on two counts of second-degree exploitation of a minor and one count of indecent liberties with a child.
On Friday (September 15), the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children contacted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s (S.B.I.) Computer Crimes Unit regarding a social networking and dating app or website. On the site were images involving what was believed to be a minor child and an adult. The images were of a graphic nature and depicted juveniles in a state of undress.
The S.B.I. contacted the Burke County Sheriff’s Office and representatives of the local Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. The subsequent investigation led law enforcement to Michael Lowman.
S.B.I. Agents and Burke County Sheriff’s Officers interviewed Lowman and other residents of the Rector Street home. The interviews provided Investigators with probable cause to seize Lowman’s cell phone. Evidence was obtained, including a number of images that were defined as child pornography under North Carolina state law.
A polygraph examination was conducted. Lowman admitted that he had downloaded and uploaded child pornography, and that he had taken immoral, improper or indecent liberties with minor children for the purpose of arousing or gratifying his sexual desire.
Lowman was a teacher at George Hildebrand Elementary School in Connelly Springs. He resigned from Burke County Public Schools and surrendered his teaching license at about nine o’clock this morning. His last day as a teacher in Burke County was Friday.
Lowman was arrested and jailed under a $250,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for today (September 18).
The investigation is ongoing. Additional charges may be pending.
55-year-old James Ward Moody of Morganton was given an active prison term of 33 to 100 months following his guilty plea to felony secret peeping and second-degree exploitation of a minor during Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (September 12). The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, imposed the sentence for Moody. The defendant also will be required to register as a sex offender.
Officers with Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in reference to the defendant secretly videotaping a 12-year-old girl while she was in the shower. The victim told officers when she got out of the shower a cell phone was set up on a shelf recording her. Moody demanded the victim return his phone to him once she discovered it. He forced her into a bedroom where she hid as she called her father for help.
The video showed Moody setting up the device in the bathroom and repositioning it to capture the victim undressing. A forensic download of Moody’s phone revealed pornographic videos and still images of naked juveniles performing sex acts with adults along with the video of the victim.
Isaac Propst was the lead investigator for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert handled prosecution for the State.
A Conover man will serve at least 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of trafficking opium/heroin by possession during Burke County Superior Court last Wednesday (September 13).
24-year-old Devin Andrew Yancey was given an active prison term of 11 to 15 years by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, following his plea. In addition, Judge Ervin assessed a mandatory fine of $50,000 for Yancey.
On April 8, 2016, a vehicle operated by Yancey was stopped for drifting back and forth across the center line by Officer Justin Walker of Morganton Department of Public Safety. While searching Yancey’s person for an arrest on active warrants for other charges, the officer discovered a large plastic bag of assorted pills in the defendant’s pocket. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up a small pill flask with more assorted pills. Nearly half of the pills turned out to be Oxymorphone, a Schedule II Controlled Substance.
Six months later, in October, Isaac Propst of Burke County Sheriff’s Office came into contact with concerned citizens who said they saw individuals inside a house where the owners were known to be out of town. The officer saw Yancey look out one of the windows and close the blinds quickly. Propst demanded Yancey and another individual come out of the house.
A search turned up a plastic bag and unlabeled bottle of narcotics, both containing whole pills and crushed white powder that tested positive as Oxymorphone. Scott Lanning and Aaron Moore of the Burke County Narcotics Task Force investigated the cases. Assistant District Attorney Lance Sigmon handled prosecution for the State.
18-year-old Ahmad Shaakim Smith of 1st Street NW, 18-year-old Robert Dijuan Nelson Jr. of 10th Avenue Drive SE, and 19-year-old Nicholas Troy Conley of 20th Street NE, all from Hickory were all arrested Sunday (September 17) by Hickory Police Officers. Smith is charged with felony counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule IV controlled substance. Smith is also charged with misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed gun, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Nelson is charged with felony possession of controlled substance, felony probation violation, and two counts of resist, delay, and obstruct an officer, and Conley is charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of possession of controlled substance.
On Sunday (September 17) at approximately 3 a.m., Hickory Police Officers responded to a convenience store on Springs Road NE after receiving a call in reference to a possible impaired driver. Officers found the vehicle in the business parking lot. The driver, Ahmad Smith, was in possession of 2.3 grams of marijuana and eight dosage units of Xanax. Two passengers, Nelson and Conley, were also charged.
Smith was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 secured bond. Nelon's bond was is $27,500 secured and Conley's bond was set at $1,500 secured. Smith and Conley were scheduled to appear in court today (September 18). Nelson has a court date October 10.
22-year-old Austin Lee Barnette of Kistler Lane in Granite Falls was arrested Sunday (September 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. Barnette was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (September 18).