There was a motor vehicle accident in Catawba County at around noon Monday afternoon (February 26) that resulted in a fatality. According to information from local fire officials and the NC Firefighters Twitter feed, the accident happened at Oxford School Road and Highway 70.
The N.C. Highway Patrol told WHKY 92-year-old Frank Glen Arthur Jr. of Lenoir was killed in the crash. He was reportedly traveling east in a 2004 Nissan Maxima on U.S. 70 East when he attempted to make a left turn onto Oxford School Road. The tractor-trailer was traveling west on 70 when it collided with Mr. Arthur’s vehicle on the driver’s side, pushing it into a ditch. Mr. Arthur was pronounced dead on the scene.
The Catawba and Claremont Fire Departments were among the agencies to respond.
Authorities are seeking a suspect from Caldwell County who allegedly stole items from store in Stony Point. 45-year-old Scott Edward Cook of Peach Tree Lane in Granite Falls is the suspect wanted by police.
On Thursday February 8, 2018 deputies responded to the Dollar General Store located at 5159 Taylorsville Highway, Stony Point. Upon arrival deputies were told two males and a female entered the store and clerks noticed the three subjects were acting suspiciously.
The three people stayed in the store for several minutes, they left without buying anything. One of the store clerks suspected the people of shoplifting. She walked to the parking lot and wrote down the tag number of the gray Volkswagen passenger car the suspects got into. The clerk then looked at security camera video footage and discovered one of the men removed laundry detergent from the shelf, placed the container of detergent in the front of his pants, and then left the store without paying for it.
This case was forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Division. Detectives learned the gray Volkswagen came registered to a couple who live in Granite Falls. Detectives discovered the car was being driven by Scott Edward Cook who in a family member of the registered owner of the car. Detectives also learned the names of the other people who had in the store the same time as Cook. It was determined that Cook was the only person who had stolen anything from the store.
A warrant was sworn out against Cook for one count of Misdemeanor Larceny. The warrant for his arrest is outstanding and anyone with information on the whereabouts of Cook is asked to contact the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180 or Iredell County Crimestoppers at 704-662-1340.
77-year-old Janet Johnson Huie of Harmony Highway in Hamptonville was arrested last Wednesday (February 21) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with 24 felony counts of forgery of endorsement and one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.
According to a news release issued today (February 26), on Monday August 14, 2017, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding an individual obtaining property by false pretense. Detective Sergeant D.R. Getz with the Economic Crime Unit was assigned to follow up on the case.
According to the incident report, the victim found twenty five checks which had been drafted from his personal checking account written for a total of more than $57,000. The victim told Sergeant Getz he believed a family member was responsible for taking the funds but she had given the funds to her grandson.
Detectives were able to get copies of the forged checks and other documents. They interviewed the suspect, where she reportedly admitted to taking the checks and forged the victim’s signature. Following her arrest last Wednesday, Huie was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center, her bond was set at $60,000 unsecured. She's scheduled to appear in District Court April 9.
40-year-old Robert Warren Perkey Jr. of Ruritan Club Road in Hudson was arrested Friday (February 23) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Perkey was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled today (February 26).
The N.C. Department of Transportation recently awarded three contracts to improve road conditions on Interstate 40 in Burke and Buncombe Counties.
All of I-40 in Burke County from the McDowell County line to the Catawba County line will be repaved by Maymead Inc. of Mountain City Tenn., for $36 million. The work may begin March 5 and finish by July of 2020.
Pavement and bridge rehabilitation from the Haywood County line to mile marker 44 in Buncombe County will be conducted by Harrison Construction of Knoxville for $10.4 million. The work may begin on March 16 and should conclude by November with nearly all work being done at night.
Six sets of bridges — 12 in total — between the I-40/I-26/I-240 interchange and the Hendersonville Road exit in Asheville will be rehabilitated by GLF Construction of Miami, Florida for $8.6 million. Work could begin as early as today (February 26) and should wrap up by October of 2019, with nearly all work being done between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m.
These are three of 16 road and bridge projects recently awarded by the NCDOT. Per state law, they went to the lowest qualified bidder for each project. The contracts are worth $138.6 million, $1.8 million less than engineer estimates.
33-year-old Benny Ray Prestwood of Zacks Fork Road in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (February 24) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with felony counts of breaking and entering and attempted larceny. Prestwood was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A Superior Court Date is April 30.
33-year-old Dallas Christopher Hopkins of Highway 10 West in Newton was arrested Sunday (February 25) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged with felony flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. In addition, Hopkins is charged with driving while license revoked, fail to heed light or siren, unsafe passing, reckless driving to endanger, drive left of center, injury to personal property, and failure to appear. Hopkins was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. District Court dates were scheduled today (February 26), March 13 and March 16.
34-year-old Louis Eurique Augiar-Aparico of NE Nuway Circle in Lenoir was arrested Sunday (February 25) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Augiar-Aparico was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (February 26).
28-year-old Jessica Keri Price of South Mulberry Street in Statesville was arrested Saturday (February 24) by Newton Police Officers. She's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine along with misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia. Price was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $5,900 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (February 26).
28-year-old Terrell Lee Mitchell Jr. of Hickory, was sentenced to serve an active prison term of nine to 13 years during Catawba County Superior Court on Friday (February 23).
The Honorable Mark E. Powell, Superior Court Judge from Henderson County, imposed the sentence for Mitchell, who was convicted of possession of firearm by felon, discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle and habitual felon status on Dec. 6, 2017. Sentencing was deferred until the week of January 2, 2018, but Mitchell did not show for court that week, leading to a charge for felony failure to appear.
During Friday’s court session, Mitchell pleaded guilty to the felony failure to appear charge and admitted status as a habitual felon, adding additional time to the sentence imposed by Judge Powell. Mitchell’s prison sentence was enhanced by prior felony convictions for possession of cocaine (November 2006, August 2012) and accessory after the fact to common law robbery (November 2009), all in Catawba County.
Officers from the Hickory Police Department conducted a property check at a location off N.C. 127 in Hickory on June 18, 2017. While in the parking lot, the officers heard five consecutive gun shots coming from the parking lot of a nearby lounge. They exited their patrol cars with weapons drawn and took cover. An employee of the lounge directed the officers to a vehicle and pointed out Mitchell as the shooter.
A consent to search the vehicle resulted in the seizure of a .38 Special revolver with five spent shell casings from the passenger area where Mitchell was sitting. The gun found by the officers was reported stolen. Mitchell fired the shots into a vehicle that left the parking lot at a high rate of speed. That vehicle was not located.
Mitchell’s charge for possession of a firearm by felon stemmed from a prior conviction in December 2013 for inciting a riot. Carlos De Los Santos investigated the cases for Hickory Police Department, and Kyle Smith handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.
The victim in a fire that happened early yesterday (February 22) in Burke County has been identified as 35-year-old Janet Eloise Murphy. An autopsy showed that Ms. Murphy died of smoke inhalation.
The fire was reported at 5:13 a.m. Thursday at 915 Airport Rhodhiss Road in the Drowning Creek Community of Burke County. The Icard Fire Department responded along with mutual aid from the Drowning Creek, Rhodhiss and Long View fire departments. Upon arrival, Firefighters discovered the singlewide mobile home fully engulfed in fire.
Neighbors told fire officials that only one person lived at the residence. A neighbor was injured while attempting to make entry. That person was treated and released from a local hospital. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within an hour.
During secondary search operations, firefighters found Ms. Murphy’s body. Her identity was not released until today, pending identification by the Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Burke County Fire Marshal’s Office, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office and the S.B.I. were called in to conduct an ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire. The S.B.I.’s involvement is standard practice when a fire fatality occurs.
50-year-old Jonathan Chad Ward of 1st Street NW in Hickory was arrested this morning (February 23) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon.
Shortly before 1:30 this morning a Hickory Police Officer conducted a traffic stop in the area of 52 14th Street SE. During a search of the vehicle a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson M&P Shield handgun was found below the driver's seat where Ward was seated. He was arrested without incident.
Following the arrest, bond for Ward was set at $2,500 secured. He was not listed as an inmate as of this afternoon. A District Court date is set for Monday (February 26) in Newton.
Extra security was called to Freedom High School in Morganton this morning (February 23) as the result of a widely circulated social media post implying the possible threat of violence. The school was not placed on lockdown. No actual threat was specifically directed at Freedom High School or any other Burke County school. The content of the social media post was as follows: “Careful, Don’t come to school friday 2-23 you’ll see why :)”.
A statement was distributed to parents by Larry Putnam, Superintendent of Burke County Public Schools. Mr. Putnam was at the school this morning, along with the Assistant Superintendent.
Mr. Putnam’s message states that the social media post originated in Florida and was shared in Missouri before eventually making its way to Burke County and to schools in other counties and states across the nation. Authorities responded to Freedom High School this morning after a student from Freedom shared the social media post with the administration around midnight last night.
Mr. Putnam asked that anyone who sees a similar social media post should screenshot it and report it, but do not share it as that only adds to the panic and can be a distraction from legitimate threats. He said that Burke County Schools will continue to work with law enforcement, who will investigate, make arrests and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
32-year-old Keith Roger Boughton, Jr. of Glen Hollow Court N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:30 a.m. yesterday (February 22) on one felony count of possession of marijuana.
His arrest dates back to an incident on December 4 of last year when Hickory Police stopped a passenger vehicle for a revoked registration on the 800 block of 6th Street N.E. During the stop, Police found 78.1 grams (about 2.75 ounces) of marijuana. The driver, Keith Boughton, was initially arrested on that date.
He was re-arrested yesterday without incident at his residence. Boughton was processed at the Hickory Police Department and later released under a $5,000 unsecured bond. He was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today in Newton.
35-year-old Jonathan Ray Bennett of Teague Avenue in Connelly Springs has been arrested by Hickory Police on one felony count each of obtaining property by false pretense and possession of stolen goods.
Bennett was taken into custody without incident at 3:10 this morning at a fast-food restaurant on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. According to H.P.D.’s arrest report, he was armed with a knife at the time of his arrest. Bennett was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for Monday (February 26) in Newton.
58-year-old Roger William Frenceschini of Hickory has been sentenced to eight-to-11 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter. The Honorable Carla N. Archie, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, handed down the sentence in Catawba County Superior Court Wednesday (February 21).
A Hickory Police Department investigation showed that Frenceschini stabbed 43-year-old Henry Maurice Hunsucker in the parking lot at a convenience store & car wash in Hickory on August 17, 2013. The autopsy report from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center showed that Mr. Hunsucker died from a single stab wound to the upper left chest.
During a canvass of the area on the same date, Hickory Police spoke to a witness who heard and saw an altercation between the defendant and the victim. The witness took a photo of Frenceschini at the scene before the defendant walked away. He later heard a cry for help and was able to point out the defendant when he saw him being interviewed by H.P.D. Officers.
When Frenceschini was questioned, he had dried blood on a finger and thumb, and twice tried to walk away from Officers. He was arrested later that day and has been incarcerated since that time.
An additional search of the area led to the recovery of a large knife with blood on it behind a wall at a nearby business. Testing by the North Carolina State Crime Lab matched D.N.A. on the knife to that of the victim. D.N.A. on the handle of the weapon matched the defendant.
Rob Burwell led H.P.D.’s investigation. Lance Sigmon prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
18-year-old Jonathan Andrew Carson of Maiden, will serve an active prison term of at least 16 years for sexual offenses involving two minor child victims.
Carson was sentenced to serve 16 to 24 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree sex offense and two counts of indecent liberties with a child during Catawba County Superior Court on Thursday (February 22) The Honorable Carla N. Archie, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, imposed the sentence for the defendant, who also will have to register as a sex offender for a period of 30 years.
Carson performed a sexual act on a 4-year-old boy and inappropriately touched him in October 2016. He also engaged in a sexual act with a 6-year-old girl and inappropriately touched her between December 2015 and January 2016.
Both children described the encounters during forensic interviews conducted by the Child Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County. The defendant admitted his culpability when interviewed by officers from Maiden Police Department.
Donna Hartman and Capt. Jamey Fletcher investigated the case for Maiden Police Department, with assistance from the Child Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County. Michael Van Buren handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.
38-year-old Donald Odell Kincaid Jr. of Morganton, will spend six to eight years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections after pleading guilty to felony flee to elude arrest and admitting his status as a habitual felon. The plea was entered during Caldwell County Superior Court on Thursday, (February 22), and was sentenced to the prison term by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.
Kincaid is a habitual felon based on prior Caldwell County felony convictions for second-degree burglary in 2001, flee to elude arrest in 2009, and maintaining a place to keep/store a controlled substance in 2011. That status enhanced the length of his prison sentence.
On Jan. 20, 2018, Officer Jorge Jarquin of the Lenoir Police Department noticed a vehicle driving on North Main Street in Lenoir that displayed a registration plate actually registered to a different vehicle. Officer Jarquin activated his blue lights for a traffic stop, but the vehicle, driven by the defendant, picked up speed and then crashed into a rock wall on Piedmont Drive.
The vehicle changed course and went back onto the roadway before striking a vehicle parked nearby. The defendant could no longer see out of the cracked windshield and operated the vehicle by hanging his head out of the driver’s side window. The vehicle ran off of the road for a final time and hit another parked vehicle along Piedmont Drive, deploying the front air bags. The defendant was arrested shortly thereafter. Kincaid’s driver’s license was revoked at the time of the crash.
The case was investigated by Officer Jorge Jarquin, Officer Jo Lo and Sgt. Brett Ingram of Lenoir Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer C. Mathews handled prosecution for the State.
Family Builders of Catawba Valley invites anyone interested in fostering or adopting a child to attend the resource family information meeting at 6:00-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13. The meeting will be held at the Family Services Center, 3050 11th Avenue Drive SE in Hickory, behind Catawba Valley Medical Center.
Resource families include family foster homes and adoptive homes. Specific information about becoming a resource family will be available at the meeting. Guests also will learn about required training for resource families and hear stories about the rewards of helping Catawba County’s children in foster care.
With 299 children in foster care in Catawba County, there is currently an urgent need for foster parents, especially those who can accept sibling groups and teenagers. For more information about the meeting, contact Megan Burns at Family Builders of Catawba Valley at (828) 695-4553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on all services offered by Family Builders of Catawba Valley, visit www.fostercatawba.com.
28-year-old Charles David Gilmore was arrested Thursday (February 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a weapon of mass destruction and failure to appear. Gilmore was arrested at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and placed in jail in Morganton under $31,000 secured bond. A District Court date is Monday (February 26).