28-year-old Christopher Brice Biggerstaff was arrested Thursday (December 1) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony counts of larceny of a firearm and forced breaking and entering. Biggerstaff was placed in jail in Morganton under $35,000 bond. A court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, December 2).
Commissioners will be sworn in and the organizational meeting will be held when the Catawba County Board of Commissioners meets in regular session Monday morning (December 5). Barbara Beatty and Dan Hunsucker will be sworn in after regaining their seats in the November election. In addition, Donna Hicks Spencer will be sworn in as Register of Deeds. Commissioners will hold their organizational meeting and elect a Chair and Vice-Chair. They'll also make several organizational appointments.
In addition Monday morning, Catawba County Commissioners will hear a presentation related to the Library Director of the Year Award which will be prestented to Library Director Suzanne White. The Catawba County Library System's Advanced Gardener Series is also the winner of the award for Best Program For Adults from the North Carolina Library Director's Association.
The 2015/2016 Audit/Financial Report will be presented during departmental reports. And there will be a Strategic Planning Broadband Discussion.
Monday's Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting gets underway at 9:30 a.m. at the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
20-year-old Rodney Tyler York of Main Avenue SW in Hickory was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Following the arrest, York was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Friday, December 2) under $3,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for February 6.
38-year-old Shawn Henry Mclean of SW Delwood Drive in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (December 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with three counts of violating a house arrest order. Mclean was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $140,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for January 3.
44-year-old Jerry Edward Killian of Gunpowder Road in Granite Falls was arrested Thursday (December 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine, and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substances. Killian was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for next Monday (December 5).
44-year-old James Robert Tewell of Starwood Drive in Mooresville was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with 34 counts of statutory rape, 35 counts of statutory sex offense, one count of rape of a child; adult offender, one count of sexual offense with a child; adult offender, five counts of second degree rape and five counts of second degree sexual offense. Tewell had previously been charged with one count of statutory rape.
On November 25 a report was filed with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office regarding a victim who reported that they'd been sexually assaulted between 2013-2016 by a family member. During the initial investigation, James Robert Tewell was charged with one count of statutory rape. The case was assigned to Detective Sergeant Amy Dyson of the Special Victims Unit. The child was taken to the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center where an interview was conducted. Several additional witnesses were identified and interviewed.
Tewell, who was being held in the Iredell County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,0000 secured bond, was served with the new charges and given an additional $500,000 secured bond. He has District Court dates scheduled for next Monday (December 5) and December 21).
29-year-old Steve Allen Woody of Park Lane Drive in Morganton was arrested Thursday (December 1) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree burglary.
On Thursday, November 25, at approximately 12:50 a.m., deputies with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Zion Baptist Church Parsonage in reference to a burglary. When the deputies arrived, they spoke with the homeowners who told them an unknown white male had entered their residence through the basement. Once inside the residence, the male entered their bedroom while they were sleeping and they were awakened.
A brief encounter occurred in the bedroom and the male ran out of the residence and sped away in a passenger vehicle. Deputies cleared the interior of the residence and completed a report. The Criminal Investigations Division was assigned the case. After a short time, investigators developed a suspect in the case.
Yesterday (Thursday, December 1), at approximately 8:15 a.m., the Burke County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search at 1066 Park Lane Drive off Piedmont Road. The suspect, Steve Allen Woody, was arrested at the residence. He was placed in jail under $250,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (Friday, December 2).
Unemployment rates did not change much in the Greater Hickory Metro area according to the latest report. All but one area county's jobless rates remained the same as in the previous month.
The latest report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division, which was released this week, details the unemployment numbers from the month of October.
Catawba County's unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent, the same as in September. Alexander County saw it's jobless rate drop to 4 percent even, down from 4.1 percent in the last report. Burke County's unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, same as in September, and Caldwell County's jobless rate remained steady at 5 percent even.
The unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is 4.7 percent, the same as in the last report. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton has the 8th lowest unemployment rate among 15 MSAs.
The statewide unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, up from 4.8 percent in the September report. Unemployment rates increased in 44 of North Carolina's counties, decreased in 22, and remained unchanged in 34. Robeson County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 percent, while Buncombe County had the lowest at 3.6 percent.
28-year-old Brandon Adolphus-Edward Bates of Woodland Lane in Charlotte was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (December 1) on one felony count of possession of cocaine. According to H.P.D.’s arrest report, Bates was arrested for possessing one gram of crack cocaine.
He was taken into custody without incident at about 2:15 a.m. today on the 500 block of Highway 70 S.W. Bates was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,500 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Vale woman. Deputies were dispatched to 6460 Sandburg Trail in Vale around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday (November 30), after the woman’s husband called to report her missing. 34-year-old Shelia Carver was reportedly at the residence around 7:00 p.m. when her husband and his two children went to Walmart in Cherryville and was gone when they returned.
Detective Dan Snellings said Ms. Carver, who was born in the Philippines and speaks limited English, is described as five feet tall and weighing 90 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, a black and white jacket and carrying a large gray pocketbook.
Carver may have friends in Statesville, Lincolnton and the Charlotte area.
Anyone with information about Ms. Carver’s whereabouts is asked to 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.
63-year-old William Howard Bonds of 1st Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 10:15 last night (November 30) on one felony count each of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and habitual larceny.
Bonds was taken into custody without incident at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $20,000 secured bond with an appearance in District Court scheduled today in Newton.
38-year-old Brandon Shawn Pendley was arrested Wednesday (November 30) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two felony counts apiece of breaking and entering and larceny, and one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Pendley was placed in jail in Morganton where bond is set at $135,000 secured. District Court appearances are scheduled for Friday (December 2) and next Monday (December 5).
39-year-old Michael Thomas Hiott of Statesville was arrested Tuesday (November 29) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony fail to notify change of address as a sex offender.
According to a news release issued yesterday (Wednesday, November 30), on October 18, Deputy Craig Bess received information that Michael Thomas Hiott was no longer living at 143 Shanna Lane in Statesville and was able to obtain statements to that effect. Deputy Bess obtained a warrant for Hiott's arrest.
On October 21, Deputy David Price verified that Hiott had not returned his registration letter to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. Hiott is required by law to return the registration letter to the Sheriff’s Office three business days after establishing a new residence.
On Tuesday, after numerous attempts to locate Hiott, deputies received information that he was traveling in a vehicle on Wilkesboro Hwy close to Scott’s Creek Road. A traffic stop was made on the vehicle and Hiott was taken into custody without incident. His bond was set at $5000 secured. A District Court appearance is scheduled for December 13.
29-year-old Justin Robert Cansler of Prince Street in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (November 30) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one count of felony larceny, one count of felony obtain property by false pretense, and two counts of misdemeanor larceny. Cansler was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $36,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, December 1).
30-year-old Eric Lee Miller of Ashe Street in Rhodhiss was arrested Wednesday (November 30) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Following the arrest, Miller was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, December 1).
27-year-old Colt David Everhart of Everhart Court in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police shortly before 8 a.m. yesterday (November 30) on one felony count each of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, deliver or possess a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property.
Events leading to his arrest unfolded as School Resource Officer Brandon Thomas was notified by Hibriten High School personnel of a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle was occupied by three males in the parking lot at the school, located at 1350 Panther Trail.
Upon further investigation, one of the males was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The seized drugs have an estimated value of $225, according to state guidelines.
Everhart was arrested and placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Facility under a $60,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Lenoir.
According to a press release from the Lenoir Police Department, Everhart’s arrest was the direct result of school personnel and the Officer working together to quickly identify suspicious activity on school grounds. Anyone with information relating to this or any other crime should call Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300 or Lenoir Police at 828-757-2100.
24-year-old Echo Danielle Camp of 35th Street NE in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (November 30) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver meth and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Camp was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, December 1).
29-year-old Justin Matthew Wilson, 46-year-old Eugene Edward Stafford, 52-year-old Shirley Luann Abee, and 31-year-old Kimberly Necole Freeman were all arrested by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. All four suspects are residents of an apartment complex on Cherrywood Road in Hudson, Wilson and Freeman list the same apartment number, and Stafford and Abee list a different apartment number at the same complex. Wilson is charged with armed robbery with a dangerous weapon. Stafford, Abee, and Freeman are all charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Monday (November 28), shortly after 10 p.m., a home invasion and armed robbery was reported to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to 3395 Warlick’s Church Road in Hildebran and were told that a man broke in through the back door of the residence wielding a knife. One of the victims sustained minor injuries from the knife during a physical altercation with the suspect. The suspect then held a knife against the victim’s throats demanding money and threatening to kill them.
The victims gave the suspect the cash they had on hand and the suspect fled on foot. The investigation into the incident revealed that Eugene Edward Stafford was allegedly present during the robbery under the guise of being a victim but was actually involved with the robbery itself. Stafford’s role was to enter the residence posing as a visitor, with the robber to come in a short while later to rob the victims.
The suspect wielding the knife was identified as Justin Matthew Wilson. It was also determined by investigators that the respective girlfriends of both male suspects participated in the crime and were identified as Kimberly Necole Freeman and Shirley Luann Abee. Stafford was taken into custody at the scene.
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office was contacted for their assistance in locating Wilson, Abee, and Freeman. Caldwell deputies found all three suspects at an apartment building on Cherrywood Road in Hudson. Detectives with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to that scene and located a burned purse in the apartment complex dumpster and several keys believed to be the stolen property of the victim. Wilson, Abee, and Freeman were all taken into custody and jailed.
Wilson and Abee were jailed under $75,000 secured bond, Stafford and Freeman's bonds were set at $25,000 secured. Stafford was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday (November 29), and the other three suspects had court appearances scheduled yesterday (Wednesday, November 30). This investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed.
A Catawba County man will spend a minimum of six years in prison following a guilty plea yesterday (Wednesday, November 30).
27-year-old Noah Allen Miller of Conover was given an active prison sentence of six to eight years after pleading guilty to a number of felony charges and admitting his status as a habitual felon during Catawba County Superior Court Wednesday.
The Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, issued Miller’s sentence, which will be served in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.
Miller’s sentence was enhanced by habitual felon status attained from prior felony convictions in Catawba County for breaking and entering (September 2009), common law robbery (November 2010) and breaking and entering (February 2013).
The defendant entered the guilty plea to two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, two counts of breaking and entering, possession of stolen goods, two counts of felony larceny, attempted felony larceny, misdemeanor larceny, felony possession of cocaine and marijuana. The offenses occurred between September 2013 and July 2014.
The cases were investigated by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and Conover Police Department with assistance from the Hickory Police Department. Scott Lippert and Michael Van Buren prosecuted the cases for the District Attorney’s Office.
Morganton City workers shut off water service on Sloan Avenue at 1:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, November 30), to repair a water line break. All customers on Sloan Avenue will be affected including the Sterling Forest Apartments. Workers expect to have the line repaired and water service restored between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., barring any unforeseen problems. For more information, call the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.