US Army General Jeffrey Sinclair Faces Laundry List Of Charges Including Forcible Sodomy And Wrongful Sexual Conduct

September 26, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA – The former deputy commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division has been charged with numerous violations of military law, including forcible sodomy, the Army said Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with “forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, attempted violation of an order, violations of regulations by wrongfully engaging in inappropriate relationships, misusing a government travel charge card” and several other counts, said Col. Kevin Arata, a spokesman for the Fort Bragg-based 82nd Airborne Division, which since its creation during World War I has been one of the most celebrated units in the Army.

Specifics of the alleged crimes were not released. It could not immediately be determined whether Sinclair has an attorney.

Army spokesman George Wright said Sinclair currently is still on active duty, serving as a special assistant to the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, and is not restricted to base. As is standard procedure in military criminal matters, he continues to be paid his salary.

Sinclair, who was sent home to FortBragg in North Carolina from Afghanistan earlier this year, will next face the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing, a so-called Article 32.

That’s a hearing in which both the prosecutor in the case and the defendant’s lawyer can present witnesses and evidence. At the end of the session the “investigating officer,” who acts as a judge in the hearing, will make a recommendation as to whether a defendant should face court martial. That recommendation goes to the “appointing authority,” an officer higher up the chain of command from the defendant.

No date has been set yet for the Article 32 hearing.

Appeared Here


Alamance County North Carolina Targeting By US Justice Department For Targeting Illegal Immigrants – ICE And DOJ Not Doing Their Jobs To Remove Wetbacks From USA, And Continue Targeting Local Agencies That Do

September 20, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina pastor Otoniel Recinos has been offering an unusual warning these days to members of his church: Don’t drive in nearby Alamance County. It’s not safe, he warns them, because of the sheriff’s department.

A two-year Justice Department investigation backs up what Recinos and other Latinos in the region say they’ve known for a long time: Traffic stops by Alamance County sheriff’s deputies are sometimes part of a “pattern of racial profiling” aimed at searching for illegal immigrants, according to a statement this week by Thomas E. Perez, the assistant U.S. attorney general for the civil rights division.

Sheriff Terry S. Johnson has used offensive language when talking to Spanish speakers, the statement said, describing them as “Taco eaters.”

Deputies were between four to 10 times more likely to stop Latino drivers for traffic violations than non-Latinos, the Justice Department said. Many of the stops took place at traffic checkpoints organized by deputies near Hispanic communities. Latinos were arrested for violations, while others got only warnings or citations, the department said.

The Justice Department also said Hispanics who were jailed after their arrests were discriminated against because they were targeted for immigration status checks.
Read the rest of this entry »


Censored: Team Obama Has Thought Police Patroling Democratic National Convention Making Sure Democrats Don’t End Up Interviewed By Conservative Talk Show Hosts – Shows Spent Thousands, But Couldn’t Do Their Programs Because Of Interference

September 6, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Conservative talk-show hosts who came to Charlotte to interview political figures are furious. For the first time in anyone’s memory, Radio Row — the designated set of booths available to visiting talk-show hosts — has seen restrictions placed on its use by Team Obama. DNC staffers at Radio Row will book leading Democrats for slots on conservative stations but then cancel the appearances an hour or so before broadcast “because you’re not our audience.”

Roger Hedgecock, a former mayor of San Diego now hosting a nationally syndicated talk show, decided to pack up and leave Charlotte early because “we were blocked from getting any guests that mattered. It was a complete freeze.” Larry O’Connor of Breitbart Radio told me, “It was the most bizarre act of censorship. These shows paid large fees and spent thousands on equipment setup and they couldn’t do their programs because of interference.”

“According to sources at Talk Radio News Service, placing a stringer outside the designated TV area to ask high-level Democrats to stop by radio row has also been banned by the DNC,” Ben Shapiro wrote at Breitbart’s Big Journalism:

When I approached liberal activist John Podesta about appearing on KRLA’s “Heidi Harris Show” along with me and my co-hosts Heidi Harris (conservative) and Brian Whitman (liberal), his handler quickly intervened. Later, the handler stopped by to clarify: did the show have two liberals and one conservative, or two conservatives and one liberal? When I stated that it had two conservatives and one liberal, he quickly shook his head and sprinted away.

So much for the transparency and openness of the Obama era.

Appeared Here


Federal Debt Hits $16 TRILLION, Just As Democrats Begin Their National Convention

September 3, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Just as Democrats are gaveling in their convention Tuesday, the federal government likely will announce another dubious milestone — $16 trillion in total federal debt.

In an election already focused on domestic issues of jobs, spending and deficits, the $16 trillion number is likely to underscore just how much is at stake in November for both parties, which are offering dramatically different ways to begin to eat away at the deep hole.

Gross federal debt has been flirting with $16 trillion for the past two weeks, and the government ended Thursday $15.991 trillion in debt.

With several debt auctions scheduled for the end of last week, budget analysts think the government probably broached the $16 trillion number on Friday, and it will be reported to the public Tuesday, which, thanks to the Labor Day holiday, is the next business day.

While $16 trillion isn’t a tipping point, it is a stark number that Republicans said will reflect poorly on Mr. Obama, who has overseen the biggest debt explosion in the country’s history.

“This is a grim landmark for the United States,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “Yet the president seems strangely unconcerned.”

The Obama campaign didn’t respond to a message seeking comment on the milestone, but, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,”David Axelrod, a top adviser to Mr. Obama, said the president has a “plausible plan” to stabilize the debt, but acknowledged the plan doesn’t actually begin to reduce it.

“You can’t balance the budget in the short term because to do that would be to ratchet down the economy,” he said.

That underscores both sides’ dilemma: Republicans object to tax increases, saying they will stunt a recovery, while Democrats say reducing spending would likewise hurt.

The Congressional Budget Office last month said raising taxes or cutting spending, or both, might indeed send the economy into a recession, though the alternative — putting off fiscal tightening — means things are worse in the long term.

Republicans believe the debt can be used against Mr. Obama. At their convention last week in Tampa, Fla., they posted a giant electronic board that steadily ticked off the debt they said accumulated every moment from the time they gaveled into session Monday afternoon until they ended the convention late Thursday.

But debt jumps — and occasionally falls — in much more sporadic fashion, as bonds are regularly being auctioned off and sold back.

The biggest one-day boost in history came on Aug. 2, 2011, just after Congress and the president agreed to raise the debt limit, unleashing months of pent-up borrowing.

Democrats argue that neither side has clean hands — though debt grew less under President Clinton than either Mr. Obama or President George W. Bush.

Gross debt stood at $4.188 trillion when Mr. Clinton took office in 1993 and grew to $5.728 trillion when he turned the White House over to Mr. Bush, who added $4.899 trillion in his eight years in office, to reach $10.627 trillion on Jan. 20, 2009, when Mr. Obama took over. The country has already notched another $5.364 trillion during his term.

Appeared Here


Group Finds 30,000 Dead People Registered To Vote In North Carolina

September 2, 2012

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – A Raleigh-based group devoted to reducing the potential for voter fraud presented the N.C. Board of Elections on Friday with a list of nearly 30,000 names of dead people statewide who are still registered to vote.

The Voter Integrity Project compiled the list after obtaining death records from the state Department of Public Health from 2002 to March 31 and comparing them to the voter rolls.

“Mainly, what we’re concerned about is the potential [for fraud],” said project director Jay DeLancy. “Since there is no voter ID law in North Carolina, anybody can walk in and claim to be anyone else.”

DeLancy said his group has found evidence to suggest voter fraud in these numbers, but will not quantify how much until he is able to do more analysis. Most cases of what look like a dead person voting are likely just administrative errors, such as a son named Junior voting in his father’s name instead of his own.

The rolls of registered voters are updated every month when the state Department of Health and Human Services gives a list of all death certificates received that month to the state Board of Elections.

Problems arise when the names on the death certificates do not match the names on the voting records, which often happens after women get married, Board of Elections General Counsel Don Wright said Friday. Addresses are also often listed with slight differences, Wright said. An address on West Millbrook Road and Millbrook Road might be the same house, but computers won’t always catch it. “Unless there is an exact match, we do not remove people from the voter rolls,” Wright said.

DeLancy said his volunteers work to fix the discrepancies, by examining cases of similar names and addresses and confirming other pieces of data, such as whether the voter has the same date of birth.

Wright said the elections board will investigate the names provided by the Voter Integrity Project and take appropriate action. The state board can remove voters from the rolls for inactivity if they haven’t voted in two consecutive elections, which cleans up most problems over time, Wright said.

In 2009, 261 cases of voter fraud were sent to local district attorney’s offices in the state, the majority of which concluded investigations from the 2008 election, according to a report by the state Board of Elections. Of those cases, 229 involved convicted felons voting. The board did not investigate anyone for fraud in the May primaries, Wright said.

DeLancy says his group’s list of dead registered voters would have been larger had it included records from Virginia and South Carolina, which together account for 55 percent of all North Carolinians’ out-of-state deaths, he said. Although most states allow the release of death certificates for voter registration accuracy, Virginia and South Carolina do not, DeLancy said.

“We said, ‘Are you kidding? This is 2012.’ ” DeLancy said. “We want Virginia and South Carolina to fix that loophole in the law.”

The Voter Integrity Project describes itself as a nonpartisan group aimed at clean, fair elections. It supports requiring photo ID to vote, which Republicans typically support and Democrats typically oppose.

Earlier this summer, the organization sued to have 528 Wake County residents it claimed were not U.S. citizens removed from the voter registration. The county elections board investigated the complaint and found that all of the voters were citizens and eligible to vote.

Appeared Here


Private Homeless Services Agencies And County Scramble To Raise Money For Low-Income Families Being Displaced From Motels To Make Room For Politicians And Supporters During Democratic National Convention In Charlotte North Carolina

August 28, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Mecklenburg County, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Temple Beth El Religious School are among the contributors to a $20,000 fund to help keep low-income families from being displaced from motels by rising rates during the Democratic National Convention.

The motel fund is part of a multi-tier approach homeless services agencies unveiled Monday in anticipation of as many as 100 families being displaced.

Salvation Army officials say they already had heard from five families that lost lodging, including three that have moved temporarily into the Center of Hope shelter for women and children. Two of those families are headed by single fathers who have been raising their children in motels, officials said.

The plan calls for using the motel fund to keep as many families as possible in their current motels, by either negotiating cheaper rents or supplementing the money paid by the families.

In situations where a deal can’t be worked out, the Urban Ministry Center has revived its winter-time Room in the Inn program, in which congregations offer beds on a rotating basis. Charlotte Family Housing is also part of the effort, along with A Child’s Place and the county’s Community Support Services.

Urban Ministry officials said about 36 congregations have offered to help, including Covenant Presbyterian Church. In all, the program expects to have nearly 800 beds available for families over eight nights.

“We are very grateful that they are so willing to serve when we don’t know very clearly what to expect,” said Dale Mullennix of the Urban Ministry. “There are a lot of unknowns.”

The Center of Hope created additional bed space for 10 families in its Boys & Girls Club meeting rooms. The agency will also act as a transportation hub, helping the children get to and from Charlotte Mecklenburg schools.

Annabelle Suddreth, executive director of A Child’s Place, noted that her agency served 2,200 children last year and 170 of the families lived in motels at some point during the year.

She said the goal of the motel fund is to avoid disrupting the lives of as many children as possible. A variety of businesses, congregations and individuals contributed to the fund, which will also pay for transportation, food and staff needed to tend the families’ shelter needs.

“Ninety percent of these families don’t have their own transportation, so the impact is that the children miss school,” said Suddreth. “This (plan) is how the community is coming together for these families. No one agency or group is in charge. It’s truly a community effort.”

She added that the agencies do not begrudge the motels for raising their rates. In fact, she said, out of 30 hotels known to host families served by A Child’s Place, only 10 are raising rates for those families.

“They are simply doing their job. The convention was touted as a way for people to make money,” she said.

Appeared Here


Charlotte North Carolina Democratic National Convention Features 2 Hours Devoted Solely To Islamic Prayers – Savages Get Center Stage At Marshal Park

August 28, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – The host committee for the Democratic National Convention is raising a number of eyebrows after choosing to proceed with featuring Islamic “Jumah” prayers for two hours on the Friday of its convention, though Democrats earlier denied a Catholic cardinal’s request to say a prayer at the same event.

The event is being promoted on the official Charlottein2012.com page*

Watch the promotional video via the Bureau of Muslim Affairs, which claims it is hosting the event “at the Democratic National Convention.”

The first two minutes are rather dry, but around 2:04 a muezzin sings the call to prayer with an American flag background, and the video “picks up” considerably:

Up to 20,000 people are expected to attend the Friday prayers and Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), said the purpose of the event is to hold political parties accountable for the issues faced by Muslim-Americans.

In particular, the event will target the Patriot Act, the NYPD, the National Defense Authorization Act, and anti-Shariah sentiment.

And while Muslim-Americans undeniably face distinct challenges, those who are well-informed on the dangers of radical Islam are expressing their doubts.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, wrote:

The leaders of this event – Jibril Hough and Imam Siraj Wahhaj [are not] moderates. They are radicals. These individuals embrace Islamist supremacy and have demonstrated support for radical ideologies.

A quick Google search by the DNC would have shown them that Hough and Wahhaj are leaders in the separatist American Islamist movement. While they may be able to get a few thousand Muslims to attend the event, they are NOT going to be mainstream Muslims. Most will likely come from Hough and Wahhaj’s radical networks that have long been entrenched in the Charlotte area. Make no mistake they are part of the Islamist movement.

Their jummah (group) prayer is…about empowering their Islamist and MB sympathetic groups into the very fabric of the political system so that Americans become anesthetized. We need American Muslims to speak up and marginalize these radicals. The DNC needs to understand and reject them because of their radical history and ideas.

The mosque of Jibril Hough, mentioned by Dr. Jasser, is owned by the North American Islamic Trust, which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial as one of the entities “who are and/or were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.”

Siraj Wahhaj, the “Grand Imam” for Jumah at the DNC, is often considered a “moderate” because he was the first Muslim to give an invocation in the U.S. Congress, but as Robert Spencer notes, he has a number of troubling ties to dangerous radicals. In the early 1990′s the man reportedly sponsored talks by “the Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman in New York and New Jersey mosques, and told his followers that the United States will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.”

Wahhaj elaborated, according to bestselling author Brigitte Gabriel, to say: “If only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”

He continued: “Take my word. If 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”

When an imam like Siraj Wahhaj says “it his duty and our duty as Muslims to replace the US Constitution with the Quran…we need to speak up!” Dr. Jasser reiterated in response, adding that Americans “should be concerned” if this is who the DNC is “consorting with.”

Robert Spencer speculates that the Democrat National Committee is simply so “in thrall to multiculturalism” that “few, if any” are even aware of the radical connections.

“To raise any concerns about such a speaker would be ‘Islamophobic,’ violating every rule of the anti-American, anti-Western ethos that prevails among so many Democrats today,” Spencer writes.

He concluded: “There is about as much chance of that as there is of the Democrats ditching Obama and nominating David Horowitz as their candidate for President of the United States.”

*The “Charlotte in 2012” page was established by the city of Charlotte to help coordinate the DNC. It advertises itself as “the official location for all the latest news, information and ways to get involved.” It is also the official website for the host committee. Additionally, all events listed on the site have to go through an approval process.

UPDATE:

Though Cardinal Dolan was originally not going to speak at the DNC, on Monday it was announced that he will now be giving the closing prayer.

Appeared Here


Savage Black Beast Calls Camden New Jersey 911 After Cutting Off 2 Year Old Son’s Head – Then Does The Right Thing And Kills Herself

August 24, 2012

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY — A 33-year old mother called 911 to admit decapitating her 2-year-old son just minutes before stabbing herself to death, officials said Thursday.

Authorities say the recorded conversation shows Chevonne Thomas initially blamed her boyfriend for killing Zahree.

But she quickly admitted she was the one responsible.

“You know what, I did it, I’m lying, I’m lying, I’m lying, I did it,” Thomas said in the call to emergency dispatch that was released Wednesday night.

The first officers on the scene found the toddler’s body on the first floor of the home.

He had been beheaded and stabbed several times.

Upstairs officers could hear Thomas still on the phone with 911.

The officers were unable to reach her before she stabbed herself in the throat.

During a search of the home, officers discovered the boy’s head in the freezer.

The coroner’s report shows the boy was alive when he was decapitated.

Court records show that in 2010, Zahree was taken away from Thomas because she left him alone in a car after she took drugs and passed out in a nearby park.

Thomas was ordered to undergo treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders, according to the Department of Children and Families, but eventually regained custody of Zahree, the Associated Press reported.

Court records show Thomas faced dozens of judgments and liens filed in civil court in New Jersey dating back to 2002, according to The AP.

Neighbors say earlier in the day Thomas was outside blowing bubbles with her son.

Appeared Here


Money Set Aside In Lincoln County To Help Struggling Families Never Reached Them – County Department Of Social Services Director Sue McCracken Too Stupid To Use FEMA Website, So $44,000 That Was Available Was Forfeited

August 24, 2012

LINCOLN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA – A Channel 9 investigation uncovered thousands of dollars set aside to help struggling families in Lincoln County never reached them.

Not so long ago, Rebecca Weathers wasn’t sure where her family’s next meal would come from. Last summer, her husband lost his job, which was their only source of income, and they nearly lost their home.

“You have nowhere to go, and if you have nowhere to go, you’re taking your kids into the unknown,” Weathers said.

The federal government has funds to help families in tough times. FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter program provides money for those in crisis.

Based on the poverty level in Lincoln County, FEMA awarded more than $44,000 to help those who live there, to be dispersed through the county’s Department of Social Services.

“We would call and ask for help and they would say, ‘We don’t have money,’ or ‘It’s not here.’ Over and over and over, they would tell us, ‘It’s not here yet,’” Weathers said.

Weathers’ story was similar to those Eyewitness News heard from others, so Eyewitness News went to the DSS office for answers.

Eyewitness News asked about emails we obtained, from the DSS director to other Lincoln County citizens, saying the funds hadn’t arrived yet, and then that the “time period to spend the money had passed.”

DSS Director Sue McCracken would not talk on camera, but she said her agency wasn’t clear on how to navigate FEMA’s new computer system, so the $44,000 was forfeited, leaving citizens there in need with nothing.

In our meeting, McCracken said confusion over the computer system led her department to turn in paperwork late and that it received the funds past the deadline that FEMA said the money should have been spent. So her agency returned the money to the government unused.

Weathers couldn’t believe that no one in Lincoln County got a dime of that money and that human error was to blame.

“That’s our last hope, is FEMA funds,” Weathers said.

McCracken said she apologizes, and repeated what she said in an email to a citizen — that she realizes it doesn’t make sense and that she can’t fully explain it.

Eyewitness News checked to see if other counties had the same problem. They all confirmed that in 2011, there were challenges with the new computer system, but that they still got FEMA money into the hands of citizens in need on time.

Weathers’ husband is back at work now, but money is still tight. Both children have medical needs, so they will likely need assistance again.

Eyewitness News told her that local officials say they’re ready this time, and that those same funding problems won’t happen again.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Weathers said. “I believe that you guys have done your job. But I’ll believe it when I see it on our end, on Lincoln County’s end.”

After Eyewitness News’ investigation, FEMA sent us a statement saying it will allow Lincoln County to get that $44,000 back through a special funding request.

When Eyewitness News told Lincoln County’s DSS director, she said they will do “anything in their power to get the money.”

Eyewitness News also spoke with the new head of the Lincoln County United Way. She said she will make sure this won’t happen again.

Appeared Here


BROKE: 16 States Now Rationing Prescription Drugs For Medicaid Patients

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.

Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.

With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.

In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.

Illinois has limited Medicaid patients to just four prescription drugs as a cost-cutting move, and patients who need more than four must get permission from the state.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Monday, Phil Galewitz, staff writer for Kaiser Health News, said the move “only hurts a limited number of patients.”

“Drugs make up a fair amount of costs for Medicaid. A lot of states have said a lot of drugs are available in generics where they cost less, so they see this sort of another move to push patients to take generics instead of brand,” Galewitz said.

“It only hurts a limited number of patients, ‘cause obviously it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand name drugs in the case of Alabama, Illinois. Some of the states are putting the limits on all drugs. It’s another place to cut. It doesn’t hurt everybody, but it could hurt some,” he added.

Galewitz said the move also puts doctors and patients in a “difficult position.”

“Some doctors I talked to would work with patients with asthma and diabetes, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the right drugs and the right dosage to figure out how to control some of this disease, and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, ‘Hey, you’re not going to get all this coverage. You may have to switch to a generic or find another way,’” he said.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have all placed caps on the number of prescription drugs Medicaid patients can get.

“Some people say it’s a matter of you know states are throwing things up against the wall to see what might work, so states have tried, they’ve also tried formularies where they’ll pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. So states try a whole lot of different things. They’re trying different ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down,” Galewitz said.

“So it seems like Medicaid’s sort of been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to try to control costs, and it’s an ongoing battle, and I think drugs is just now one of the … latest issues. And it’s a relatively recent thing, only in the last 10 years have we really seen states put these limits on monthly drugs,” he added.

Appeared Here


Fayetteville North Carolina Police Officer Matthew U’ren Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Drunken Hit And Run Wreck

July 21, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – A Fayetteville police officer was arrested early Friday and charged with driving while impaired, misdemeanor hit and run and reckless driving after he wrecked his car and failed to contact police, officials with the Fayetteville Police Department said.

Investigators say Matthew U’ren, 25, crashed his personal car, a 2004 Chevrolet Impala, into a guardrail at the end of Camden Road, near Whitfield Street, around 11 p.m. Thursday.

U’ren called a private towing company and had his vehicle removed from the scene. Neither he nor the towing company notified a law enforcement agency, investigators said.

“They have 24 hours to notify the city that they have towed a vehicle inside our jurisdiction,” said Sgt. Todd Joyce, who declined to release the name of the towing company.

Police say U’ren called a friend to drive him home and that person called police. Officers arrested U’ren at his home and took him to the Cumberland County Detention Center, where he registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.12. Under North Carolina law, a driver is considered impaired with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08.

He was released on a promise to appear in court.

U’ren has been employed with the Fayetteville Police Department for a year and a half and was assigned to the Cross Creek district. He has been placed on administrative leave, without pay, pending an internal investigation.

“We’re not going to turn our heads away from that, just because he’s an officer here at the department,” Joyce said. “He’s held in a higher standard, you know. We’re going to treat the matter just as we would had it been any other citizen involved in an accident.”

Appeared Here


Wrightsville Beach North Carolina Police Officer Jordan Davis Quits After Drunk Driving Arrest By Highway Patrol

July 18, 2012

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA – An officer with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department is in trouble with the law after being arrested for suspicion of driving while impaired by the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

According to the police department, Officer Jordan Davis was arrested Friday morning around 1:30. Highway patrol said he stopped at checkpoint on Airlie Road and a blew a .08.

The Wrightsville Beach Police Department initiated its own internal investigation into the incident surrounding the arrest, but they said in a press release Davis resigned his position with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department before the investigation was completed.

“It is a sad day for the Wrightsville Beach Police Department as Officer Davis was one of our better officers and a rising star in the agency,” said Chief Daniel House Jr. “Our department has made many changes over the past year and Officer Davis has been instrumental in assisting with that process. This was just an unfortunate lapse of judgment.”

Davis joined the department in January 2010. He had most recently been promoted at the end of May of 2012 to Police Officer II.

Appeared Here


Man Appeals Sentence By Nutcase Lenoir County North Carolina District Judge Robert T. Ironside – Ordered To Blare “I’m A Little Teapot” Song From His Stereo For 45 Days

July 10, 2012

LA GRANGE, NORTH CAROLINA – If you’ve ever had to sit in traffic listening to a nearby vehicle blast music at a volume capable of diverting the flight pattern of migrating fowl, you’re not alone. Chances are the La Grange man who was recently issued a bizarre penalty for noise pollution was the source of your involuntary ear wax removal.

Larry Storch, 89, of 667 Calamity Lane, La Grange, was recently cited for misdemeanor noise pollution; it was his 17th citation since 2005.

“They’ve been giving me noise tickets for years,” Storch said. “I guess they thought their tickets would deter me, but every time I paid off a ticket I’d stop by the speaker place on the way home and add a little more boom to my zoom.”

When Storch was brought before Lenoir County District Judge Robert T. Ironside for his latest infraction, the judge alluded to what he described as “wanton disregard for the public.”

“You’ve come before this court many times over the years Mr. Storch,” Judge Ironside said. “In the past I’ve fined you, sentenced you to community service, and at one point even forced you to watch the fourth hour of the ‘Today Show.’ Since none of those punishments have done anything to curb your jackassory behavior, I’ve decided to get medieval on where your butt — if you had one — would be.”

Storch – who drives a 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda — has been sentenced to blare the Teapot song (“I’m A Little Teapot”) out of his stereo for 45 days. A bailiff gave Storch a homemade CD featuring 37 different versions of the beloved children’s poem as he left the Lenoir County courthouse on Friday.

“I think it’s kinda sweet, really,” said Storch’s girlfriend of 27 minutes, Paulette Burroughs of La Grange. “I’ve dated many a rapper in my day, and they all cite ‘I’m A Little Teapot’ as the joint that got them started in hip hop. 50 Cent was weaving ‘Tea Pot’ into his rhymes when he was still 16 Cent.”

Storch — who usually blares the likes of Kenny Chesney and Eddie Rabbit from his system — has appealed the decision. When interviewed by The Free Press regarding the unusual sentence, Judge Ironside stood by his decision.

“I enjoy a good sound system in the car — nothing like a little Bobby Womack on a Saturday night — sookie sookie, now,” Ironside said. “But anyone who insists their stereo rattle every mailbox open it passes is in dire need of a daily flogging with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire until they get better.”

Clinical psychologist Ken Strayhorn of Miller-Monty University says there are several types of psychosis that could cause a person to parade around town with a stereo system that would run Iron Maiden up a tree.

“Massive, bone-rattling stereo systems are usually the by-product of low self-esteem,” Strayhorn said. “This type of scenario most often occurs in males who are feeling inadequate in some way. These feelings of inadequacy usually result from the subject’s inability to count to 10 or properly satisfy a woman. In the case of Mr. Storch, since he is 89, he may just have it loud because a stereo upgrade is cheaper than being fitted for a hearing aid.”

As Storch drove down Vernon Avenue blasting out “I’m A Little Teapot” on Monday morning, he was met with stunned faces. As usual, Storch’s stereo set off many car alarms burglary systems as he cruised along.

“There was one bright spot,” Storch said. “I had every 3-year-old within a five-mile radius jamming along to the teapot song; they were waving their little hands in the air like they just didn’t care.”

Appeared Here


Mecklenburg County North Carolina Judge Kim Best Staton Tossing Drunk Driving Cases

July 9, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – When police and state troopers came to Channel 9 with questions about how a local judge handles DWI cases, Eyewitness News decided to look at her record.

We sat in several of her sessions in court, and Eyewitness News reporter Mark Becker spent several weeks going over court records where he found numbers that may support what they’re saying.

Take the case that happened on Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, in which an officer pulled a car over after it went through a red light. The officer wrote that he noticed the strong odor of alcohol and a breath test showed the driver’s blood-alcohol level was .27, more than three times the legal limit.

It was his second DWI arrest in a little more than a year.

But when the case came to court, the judge, Kim Best Staton, ruled that because he’d been held too long in the jail that the driver had been deprived of the right to get independent proof in his defense.

So she dismissed the charge, and it wasn’t the only one.

Eyewitness News went through court records of all of the DWI cases Judge Best-Staton heard between January and May of this year and discovered that she found two out of three DWI defendants who went to trial not guilty.

Compare that with other district court judges here, who, according to the most recent statistics, found 67 percent guilty, and judges across the state, who found 76 percent guilty.

Those numbers come as no surprise to police or state troopers who have had cases in Judge Best-Staton’s courtroom. Eyewitness News has spoken with several who said they’re frustrated but don’t feel they can publicly question a judge’s rulings.

But one local group is doing that.

“She’s been on our radar since the end of last year,” said Marcus Philemon with Mecklenburg County Court Watch.

Philemon’s Court Watch organization has questioned Judge Best-Staton’s decisions in other cases, and he was not at all surprised by the numbers Eyewitness News showed him.

“I would say her judgment is not where it needs to be,” Philemon said.

Eyewitness News reporter Mark Becker spoke with Judge Best-Staton twice on the phone, and she declined to comment on what we found or on criticism from officers and Court Watch.

She suggested Eyewitness News speak with defense attorneys to get their perspective, so we did.

“I think she’s a very good judge,” Bill Powers said. “I think she cares about Mecklenburg County. I think she cares about both sides.”

Powers handles a lot of DWI cases, so Eyewitness News showed him what we found.

Powers said he’s skeptical of statistics that may not fully explain why a judge ruled one way or the other.

He did say that Judge Best-Staton makes sure troopers and police don’t take short cuts in DWI arrests, even if it means dismissing a case.

“Do defense attorneys shop around and look for a judge like this?” Eyewitness News asked.

“You know, everybody talks about that — no more so than district attorneys do, no,” Powers said.

But privately, defense attorneys told Eyewitness News they know which judges are tougher than others and which judge is most likely to find in their favor.

What is clear is that DWI cases leave plenty of room for judgment, which leaves even more room for questions and criticism from both sides.

Appeared Here


RIP: Andy Griffith – 86

July 3, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA – Andy Griffith, an icon of TV, has died … this according to Andy’s close friend, former UNC President Bill Friday.

Griffith, who became famous for “The Andy Griffith Show,” passed away at his home in Manteo, North Carolina this morning.

Friday broke the news to WITN News in North Carolina.

In addition to starring in his show and the subsequent “Mayberry R.F.D.,” Griffith was a Grammy award-winning southern gospel singer. Of course, Griffith also starred in the long-running series, “Matlock” and often made guest appearances in other shows, including “Dawson’s Creek.”

There’s a famous statue of Andy and Opie — played by Ron Howard — in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

Appeared Here


Dumbass North Carolina State Representative Presses Wrong Button, Legalizes Fracking In The State – Previously Admitted To Passing Transportation Bill She Knew Nothing About – Bonus: Last Name Is Carney…

July 3, 2012

A State Representative in North Carolina accidentally cast the deciding vote on a key fracking bill, handing her opponents a victory because she pushed the wrong button. Lawmakers had already passed a bill establishing rules for hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling for oil and gas exploration in the state, but that bill had been vetoed by the Governor Bev Perdue. The House needed exactly 72 votes to override the veto late on Monday night and Democrat Becky Carney (who voted against the original bill) was lobbying fellow Democrats to vote no. But when the time came to cast her vote, Carney hit the wrong button. Her “yes” vote gave opponents exactly 72 votes. Oops.

Just after the vote, Carney’s voice could be heard on her microphone, saying “Oh my gosh. I pushed green.”

Even more bizarrely, House rules prohibit changing your vote if doing so would affect the outcome. (In other words, you can change your vote on a bill, but only if won’t make any difference.) So the override stays in effect and fracking is now legal in North Carolina.

Carney apologized profusely and blamed the error on late-night fatigue, saying, “I feel rotten, and I feel tired.” While not known for making those kinds of mistakes, Carney did face another embarrassing screw-up earlier this year, when she basically admitted to passing a transportation bill without knowing what it actually did. (She has since since tried to correct that mistake by introducing a replacement law.)

Appeared Here


Hendersonville North Carolina Police Officer Fired And Another Suspended After Controversial Shooting

June 25, 2012

HENDERSONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – One Hendersonville police officer has been fired and another has been suspended for two weeks without pay for their roles in a controversial shooting incident in the Green Meadows community in March.

District Attorney Jeff Hunt announced today that the officers will not face criminal charges in connection with the March 8 shooting of fleeing burglary suspect Fletcher Smiley.

“Upon examining the detailed SBI investigatory report, it appears Mr. (Fletcher) Smiley’s injuries were indeed the result of one or two shots discharged by one or two of the arresting officers in connection with this suspected breaking and entering, and Mr. Smiley’s apprehension,” Hunt stated in a news release. “Further, these actions of the officers involved fail to rise to the level of criminal conduct considering the entirety of the facts established in the SBI investigation.”

Appeared Here


Savage Black Beasts In Wilmington North Carolina Ordered Chinese Take-Out, Killed Delivery Driver, Ate Food, Then Went Back To View Body And Go Through Victim’s Car

June 22, 2012

WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA – Wilmington police have arrested another person in last week’s fatal shooting of a delivery driver, accusing him of playing a role in hatching the robbery that led to Zhen Bo Liu’s death.

Nathaniel Lawrence, 16, is charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, bringing to six the number of suspects police say planned the robbery that led to Liu’s death.

Two of those suspects, 15-year-old Mustafaa Friend and 20-year-old Cornell Haugabook Jr., face first-degree murder charges for allegedly acting as the triggermen.

At about 9:30 p.m. on June 14, Liu left the China King restaurant headed for an address on South 13th Street. There, Friend and Haugabook, each armed with a handgun, confronted the 60-year-old man, said Assistant District Attorney Jason Smith.

Friend shot Liu in the foot and then Haugabook shot him in the face, killing him, Smith said. The two returned to a nearby house and shared the food with the others.

After eating, the group, “came back to view the body and go through the car,” said Smith.

Like Lawrence, Marvin White, 18; Rasheed Thompson, 16; and Manie Johnson-Martin, 16, are charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery in connection to the case.

Appeared Here


Lumberton North Carolina Police Officer Jason Walters Arrested, Suspened, And Charged With Trafficking Opium – Second Officer Charged In Past Year With Opium…

June 22, 2012

LUMBERTON, NORTH CAROLINA – A Lumberton police officer has been arrested on allegations that he was involved in drug-related activities, authorities said.

Officer Jason Walters, 35, was charged June 14 with attempted trafficking in opium by possession, said Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the State Bureau of Investigation.

Walters was charged by the SBI, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said Thursday. He declined further comment.

Walters, who was hired Aug. 21, 2008, has been suspended without pay, said James Moore, human resources director for the city of Lumberton.

Walters, who had no other disciplinary actions in his record, was making $32,475 annually, Moore said.

Walters’ bail was set at $20,000, Talley said.

Walters is the second Lumberton police officer charged with drug-related offenses in the past year.

Officer Matthew Albert Miller, 25, was charged in September with embezzlement and trafficking opium by possession.

Miller is no longer employed by the department.

The SBI also handled that investigation.

Appeared Here


Lincoln County North Carolina Deputy Sheriff James Owens Crashed Into Utility Pole And Totaled Patrol Car

June 6, 2012

LINCOLNTON, NORTH CAROLINA – A Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy lost control of his patrol car and crashed into a utility pole shortly after midnight near the Lincolnton Water Plant on the Reepsville Road while responding to a break-in progress call.

Deputy James Owens was taken to CMC-Lincoln where he was treated for lacerations on the head. Owens was running emergency lights and siren while responding westbound on the Reepsville Road to a reported break-in in progress at Hampton’s BP at 2534 Reepsville Road.

It was raining at the time of the call and it’s believed that Deputy Owens hit a pool of water on the highway, hydroplaned then ran off the road striking a utility pole. The collision split the pole requiring Duke Energy workers to respond to the scene.

The patrol car is believed to be a total loss.

When deputies arrived on the scene at the reported break-in in progress they discovered no break-in had occurred.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

Appeared Here


Crazed North Carolina State Officials Censored Online Health Food Advice Website

May 30, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Steven Cooksey says all he wanted to do was help other diabetics get healthy, but a North Carolina agency tried to censor his online healthy food advice column, saying he was not a licensed dietitian.

Cooksey filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court, saying the state violated his free speech rights.

“When did it become illegal to tell people to eat meats and vegetables?” Cooksey said in an interview with The Associated Press. “How is it illegal to tell people not to eat grains? We’re talking about healthy eating. This is wrong.”

The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition and several board members are named as defendants. The lawsuit was filed on Cooksey’s behalf by the Institute for Justice, a national civil liberties group.

Charla Burill, the agency’s executive director, said she couldn’t comment because the board hadn’t received the complaint. But the Board of Dietetics/Nutrition said it was illegal for anyone without a government-issued dietician’s license to offer diet advice.

Cooksey’s lawyers’ said the advice is protected speech, adding that the state “went through 19 pages” of Cooksey’s online writings with a red pen, indicating on a line-by-line basis what he may and may not say.

“This content-based censorship of Cooksey’s speech violates the First Amendment,” the lawsuit said.

Cooksey, 51, of Stanley, N.C., says he was hospitalized in 2009 after his blood sugar spiked. At the time, Cooksey, who works for a medical equipment company, weighed more than 240 pounds. By his own account, he was in bad physical shape; he ate poorly and didn’t exercise.

During his hospitalization, he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes — a chronic condition caused by a problem in the way the body makes or uses insulin. Cooksey says he was told by a doctor that he would probably be insulin-dependent for life.

At that point, Cooksey says he began reading as much as possible about diabetes and how it’s affected by exercise and diet. He says he quickly discovered that there were many opinions.

For him, he decided the healthiest diet was “a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet of the sort that Stone Age people ate prior to agriculture. This diet is sometimes called a Paleolithic or caveman diet,” he said. It includes ordinary, unprocessed or minimally-processed foods such as beef, pork, chicken, eggs, leafy green vegetables and butter. He said he ate nuts and fruits sparingly.

Within a month of reducing his carbohydrate intake, Cooksey says his blood sugar normalized.

“Everyone who does what I do improves their health markers. Every one of them. It works,” he said.

Passionate about his life-altering change, Cooksey in early 2010 started a website to chronicle his personal transformation. He lost 78 pounds and now weighs 163 pounds. Later that year, he added a “Diabetes Support” life-coaching service, where he charged a “modest fee” for exactly “the same knowledge, opinions and advice” he had been providing for free in his personal mentorship of friends.

Cooksey says he never described himself as a doctor, dietician or nutritionist. His website has a disclaimer informing readers he has no special dietary qualifications.

In December, Cooksey says he started answering reader questions in a Dear Abbey-style column. A month later, he received a notice from the state asking him to stop “providing advice to readers, friends and family in private emails and conversations; and offering a paid life-coaching service.”

He believes the state’s interest stems from a nutritional seminar for diabetics. A director of diabetic services at a local hospital was the guest, and she said diabetics should eat a diet rich in whole-grain carbohydrates and low in fat, Cooksey says.

During a question and answer session, Cooksey disagreed. A few days later, he says he received a telephone call from the state agency that someone from the seminar filed a complaint against him, saying he was acting as an unlicensed dietitian.

They ordered him to take down the part of his website where he offered his life-coaching services.

Appeared Here


Evidence Goes Missing From Asheville North Carolina Police Department Evidence Room, Putting Criminals Back On The Street – At Least 27 Guns, 54 Containers Of Drugs, And 34 Packets Of Money Unaccounted For – Police Hiding Results Of Audit From Public

May 28, 2012

ASHEVILLE — Not long after midnight on a cold January morning, police officer Evan Flanders found himself facing the wrong end of a .38 Smith & Wesson revolver.

Flanders thought 24-year-old Twari Rashad Mapp looked suspicious when he walked up to him, and Mapp started to go for a gun, according to police.

But in reality the circumstances leading up to that Jan. 6 confrontation started months earlier with the discovery of sweeping problems in the Police Department evidence room.

Mapp might otherwise have been in jail — along with at least three other violent crime suspects freed on unsecured bonds because of lost evidence, according to a search of criminal and detention center records by the Citizen-Times.

One of four had been recently extradited from Oklahoma for a 2001 break-in, assault and rape of an Asheville woman who was still living in the city.

Before he was freed, Mapp had been jailed on charges including robbery with a dangerous weapon and was unable to post a $25,000 secured bond.

Police Sgt. Ernie Welborn called the releases unfortunate.

“We regret that the property room issues played a role in the bond reductions,” Welborn said.

Others, though, including residents living near the site of Flanders’ struggle, said the incidents were disturbing.

All four violent crime suspects were eventually jailed again, but not before two committed offenses again, according to police charges.

The releases of the men had to happen because those accused of crimes have a right to see any evidence against them, Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore said.

Moore has refused to release the findings of a full evidence room audit, saying the state Bureau of Investigation is using the city-funded report as part its investigation.

Evidence frozen, lesser pleas

Moore was alerted to problems on April 1, 2011, when an assistant district attorney and an attorney defending a man on drug trafficking charges discovered 397 prescription oxycodone pills were missing from the evidence room.

Days later, a police audit of 1,097 “high-risk” items found 27 guns, 54 containers of drugs and 34 packets of money missing.

Longtime evidence room manager, William Lee Smith, resigned two months earlier.

Moore, working with the SBI, sealed the evidence room, and state agents began working it as a crime scene. The city, meanwhile, hired a special auditor to go through the whole room.

That meant only the auditor and SBI agents would have access.

Because Moore could not immediately produce evidence against people facing charges, he was forced to allow some charged with violent crimes to leave jail on unsecured bonds.

They included:

• Andrew Grady Davis, 37, extradited to Asheville on DNA evidence for a 2001 rape and placed in jail on a $1 million bond before it was reduced to unsecured.

• Mapp, in jail on charges including robbery with a dangerous weapon and placed on a $25,000 bond before it was reduced.

• Corey Jawil Mapp, 21, brother of Twari, in jail on charges including robbery with a dangerous weapon and placed on a $24,100 bond before it was reduced. Prior charges against him include robbery and drug dealing.

• Daniel Wayne Jenkins, 19, in jail on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault by pointing a gun. His bond was $31,000 before being reduced to unsecured.

In other cases, those charged with nonviolent crimes were allowed to plead to lesser crimes.

Moore, who could not be reached Thursday or Friday, has said he didn’t know the full tally but that they involved more than a dozen cases, many of them drug-related.
Charged with offenses while out

It was while they were out that the Mapp brothers again ran afoul of the law, according to police.

Corey Mapp was cited for driving while license revoked and careless and reckless driving.

His brother, meanwhile, got into deeper trouble. It’s not clear why Twari Mapp had a loaded gun, according to police, and was out near the neighborhood south of downtown early on Jan. 6.

Police reports say Flanders recognized him as someone who had been charged with violent crimes before, including robbery with a dangerous weapon and carrying a concealed weapon, and suspected he might have a warrant out for his arrest.

He approached Mapp near the corner of South French Broad and Hilliard avenues. A release from the police department gave an account of the encounter:

“As Officer Flanders interacted with the individual, he asked repeatedly for the suspect to remove his hands from his pockets. After the suspect refused to comply, Officer Flanders grabbed both of the suspect’s wrists and immediately ascertained that the suspect was then trying to pull a handgun from his pocket. Officer Flanders noted that the suspect had his hand around the handle of the gun in his pocket, and the barrel of the gun was extended forward in the direction of Officer Flanders as he attempted to break the suspect’s grip.”

At that point, Flanders feared “for his life,” the release said, and moved to draw his own pistol. He was able to do it, and Mapp, seeing the gun slackened his grip, allowing Flanders to take his pistol.

Mapp was charged with assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest. He remains in jail under a $5,500 bond.

His attorney Gene Ellison would not comment on the charges.

Ranking police officers acknowledge problems in the evidence room led to Mapp and the other men having reduced bonds.

But it’s possible, too, they could have gotten out anyway, Welborn said.

“We cannot know if these subjects would have made bond without the reductions,” the sergeant said.

Welborn denied a request to speak directly to Flanders.

Residents near where Flanders and Mapp struggled say the neighborhood is usually safe and internal police problems put dangerous people near their homes.

Theo Crouse-Mann lives with his girlfriend, Spring Pearson, near the corner where the fight happened and said that he has seen minor crime such as prostitution, but never anything violent.

“I’ve never heard a gunshot,” Crouse-Mann said. “But now, this thing with the evidence room seems like a systemic failure.”
Back in police control

Police have regained control of the evidence room, and new Chief William Anderson said he will make a national search for a new evidence room manager a priority.

The problems happened under former Police Chief Bill Hogan, who abruptly retired after they became public.

Davis is back in jail under a $400,000 bond for charges including the rape. His attorney, public defender LeAnn Melton, did not return a call or email seeking comment.

Corey Mapp is under a $105,000 bond for his original charges, plus others, including possession of a stolen vehicle and stolen goods.

Jenkins was sentenced to six to eight months in a state prison. He was released Sept. 11, according to Department of Correction records.

Moore has withheld results of the city-funded audit despite requests for its release made by the Citizen-Times and numerous other media organizations under the state’s public records law.

N.C. Press Association attorneys say the report should be available to anyone, but the district attorney said it is exempt from state public records law because it is part of the SBI investigation.

The city paid a private contractor $174,723 for the audit, but no city officials have requested to see it, saying they would wait for the SBI probe to play out.

SBI spokeswoman Noelle Talley said the investigation is ongoing but said she could not say when it wound be done.

“It is our policy not to comment on ongoing investigations so as not to jeopardize those investigations,” Talley said.
Appeared Here


Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Marcus Jackson Released From Prison After Just 2 Years – Slap On The Wrist For Sexually Assaulting 6 Women While On Duty – Faced A Dozen Sex Related Charges

May 26, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Marcus Jackson was released from prison on Friday, more than two years after he was arrested for sexually assaulting women while on duty.

Jackson, 28, now must complete nine months of post-release supervision and is required to register as a sex offender, said a spokesman with the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Jackson pleaded guilty in December 2010 to more than a dozen sex-related charges in connection with assaults on six women. He was sentenced to about two years, though he received credit for 344 days he’d spent in jail after his initial arrest.

Records show Jackson most recently was incarcerated at the Pamlico Correctional Institution, a medium-custody facility near the Outer Banks. He’d also spent time in Central Prison, and had committed no infractions during his incarceration, according to the website of the state Division of Adult Correction.

Jackson’s public defender could not be reached for comment.

On Friday, an attorney for two of Jackson’s accusers said they were aware of his release and were worried about whether he would return to Charlotte.

“The irony is that Marcus Jackson is being released (Friday) from jail. He’s now paid his debt to society and is able to move on with his life,” said attorney Brad Smith. “Our clients, however, are still waiting for a resolution to this matter.”

Jackson was arrested in December of 2009 after two women told police he’d sexually assaulted them during traffic stops. In one case, a 17-year-old girl said Jackson offered not to write a ticket in exchange for her performing oral sex on him.

Authorities have said Jackson fondled the other five women.

Jackson was terminated after the initial allegations surfaced. But the case raised questions about his hiring with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department.

Police admitted that a pre-employment screening did not turn up a domestic violence restraining order filed by Jackson’s girlfriend, which should have disqualified him. The department has since made changes to its hiring procedures.

Meanwhile, the city of Charlotte also has spent nearly $700,000 to defend and settle lawsuits filed by some of Jackson’s accusers.

But two remaining civil suits involving Smith’s clients are expected to go to trial in early 2013, after the accusers rejected the city’s offer. Smith said the case is currently in the discovery phase.

The city has retained outside counsel, including attorney Jim Cooney of the firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, to help with its defense on the civil cases. City officials said it is not unusual to retain outside counsel for cases involving an officer or employee, and the attorneys are paid from the city’s risk fund.

Appeared Here


New Bern North Carolina Police Officer Frances Sutton Arrested, Charged With Stealing Drugs From Evidence Room – Oxycodone

May 26, 2012

NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA – New Bern Police have arrested New Bern Police Department Officer Frances Sutton, and charged with theft of evidence from the New Bern Police Department Evidence Room.

The items taken were controlled substances in the form of Oxycodone pills. Sutton voluntarily surrendered to SBI agents Wednesday night.

She was charged with four felony counts of Obstruction of Justice and three felony counts of Altering, Destroying, or Stealing Evidence of Criminal Conduct. She was placed in the Craven County Jail under a $35,000 secured bond. Her first appearance in Craven County District Court is scheduled for Thursday morning, May 24, 2012. Ms. Sutton is currently on administrative leave.

Police say Chief Summers conducted an internal review and discovered evidence missing in cases in which Ms. Sutton was the charging officer. He reported his findings to District Attorney Thomas who requested an SBI investigation.

“We are saddened by this news. But just as we are committed to policing our community, we must also police ourselves. And we will not tolerate unlawful activity in our neighborhoods or in our department,” said Chief Summers.

“Law enforcement officers are expected to uphold and enforce the law, not violate it. Ms. Sutton is charged based on the findings of the investigation at this point. We will continue to look for any other illegal activity,” said District Attorney Scott Thomas.

Appeared Here


Winston Salem North Carolina Police Officer Rudolfo Zermeno Arrested, Suspended, And Charged After Attack On His Girlfriend

May 9, 2012

WINSTON SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA – Yesterday at about 5:00 PM Winston Salem police officers responded to an alleged assault on a female.

Upon arrival, Maria Fedelina Aguilar described an assault which was committed against her by her boyfriend, Rudolfo Zermeno.

Ms. Aguilar and Mr. Zermeno have lived together for several years and have 3 children together. According to Ms. Aguilar, the two became involved in an argument during the early morning hours of 05-08-12 and Mr. Zermeno assaulted her by slapping her in the face with an open hand and throwing a television remote control striking her on the right elbow. Mr. Zermeno is currently employed as an Officer with the Winston Salem Police Department.

This matter was assigned to Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division for investigation. Based on the information obtained during the investigation, a Warrant for Arrest was obtained charging Mr. Zermeno with Assault on a Female. He was taken into custody at the Public Safety Center without incident and placed in the FCLEDC under no bond.
Mr. Zermeno had his first appearance this morning before Judge Graham and was given a $1000.00 Secured Bond. Additionally, Mr. Zermeno was ordered to have no contact with Ms. Aguilar. At the time of this release, Mr. Zermeno is still in the custody of the FCLEDC.

Investigation into this matter is continuing by the Criminal Investigations Division, as well as the Professional Standards Division. Officer Zermeno has been placed on Administrative Leave as is customary in any investigation of this type. Officer Zermeno has been serving as a police officer with this agency for 3 years. A photo of Officer Zermeno is attached to this release.

Appeared Here


Cumberland County North Carolina Deputy Sheriffs Repeatedly Uses Taser Weapon On Woman In Front Of Her Child – For Blocking McDonalds Drive-Thru

February 6, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA – Deputies used a Taser on a woman who wouldn’t surrender to them after she cut into a McDonald’s drive-through line and then refused to move her car without being served, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Evangeline Marrero Lucca, 37, of the 100 block of Snow Hill Church Road, pulled up to the window of the McDonald’s on Legion Road, near Black and Decker Road, on Friday afternoon and held up the line for about 20 minutes before deputies arrived, said Debbie Tanna, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Staff at the restaurant reported that Lucca drove her Ford Taurus to the pickup window, bypassing the order screen and payment window, and tried to order her food there, she said.

“She did not want to wait in line,” Tanna said. “They told her she had to go around and wait like everybody else did and place her order that way, that they weren’t set up at that window to take her order or take her money. … She wasn’t having any of that.”

The woman refused to move her vehicle and became confrontational with the employees, she said.

“When we arrived, she really got mad,” Tanna said.

Attempts to reach Lucca for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Customer Anthony Rich said he pulled into the parking lot to order lunch and found a long line of cars at the drive-through. He said he got in line and waited, eventually getting up to the first window, where he commented about the long line.

An employee told him the woman was refusing to move, Rich said.

The employee told him the woman frequently comes to the restaurant and cuts in line, and that, “We’re not having it anymore, so we called the cops,” Rich said.

Lisa Powell, who owns the franchise for that McDonald’s location, said in a prepared statement that employees called deputies “after lengthy conversation with the customer” about why her actions were unsafe.

Rich said deputies soon arrived at the scene and ordered Lucca to get out of the car, but she refused. The deputies continued their orders for about 20 minutes, until they finally removed a young girl, he said.

“Two or three officers entered the car with her and started trying to forcibly drag her out of the car, and that’s when you could hear the clicking sound of the Taser one time,” Rich said. “They pulled on her a couple of times, and then they Tased (stunned) her again, and when they Tased (stunned) her the second time, she just flopped out of the car like a fish.”

Lucca was charged with second-degree trespassing. Social workers took custody of her 3-year-old child who was in the car, Tanna said.

Tanna said deputies are not allowed to use Tasers on a person who simply refuses to comply with orders without danger involved, but in this case Lucca was engaging in “threatening behavior.”

“Our top priority was making sure people weren’t hurt because we didn’t know if she was going to drive the car off and run over somebody,” Tanna said. “Then there was the baby in the car we were concerned about.”

The deputies performed a “drive stun” on Lucca, a technique that does not involve firing probes into the target’s skin, she said.

A drive stun involves removing the Taser cartridge and touching the weapon directly on the skin to create a “pain compliance effect,” according to the Fayetteville Police Department’s use of force policy. A drive stun is applied to pressure points on the surface of the skin and allows officers to restrain a suspect without full incapacitation.

Appeared Here


Fayetteville North Carolina Police Officer Matthew U’ren Arrested And Suspended After Drunken Wreck/Hit And Run

January 6, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – A Fayetteville police officer was arrested early Friday and charged with driving while impaired, misdemeanor hit and run and reckless driving after he wrecked his car and failed to contact police, officials with the Fayetteville Police Department said.

Investigators say Matthew U’ren, 25, crashed his personal car, a 2004 Chevrolet Impala, into a guardrail at the end of Camden Road, near Whitfield Street, around 11 p.m. Thursday.

U’ren called a private towing company and had his vehicle removed from the scene. Neither he nor the towing company notified a law enforcement agency, investigators said.

“They have 24 hours to notify the city that they have towed a vehicle inside our jurisdiction,” said Sgt. Todd Joyce, who declined to release the name of the towing company.

Police say U’ren called a friend to drive him home and that person called police. Officers arrested U’ren at his home and took him to the Cumberland County Detention Center, where he registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.12. Under North Carolina law, a driver is considered impaired with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08.

He was released on a promise to appear in court.

U’ren has been employed with the Fayetteville Police Department for a year and a half and was assigned to the Cross Creek district. He has been placed on administrative leave, without pay, pending an internal investigation.

“We’re not going to turn our heads away from that, just because he’s an officer here at the department,” Joyce said. “He’s held in a higher standard, you know. We’re going to treat the matter just as we would had it been any other citizen involved in an accident.”

Appeared Here


Scotland Neck North Carolina Police Officer Joe Williams Used “Stun Gun” To Kill Innocent Disabled Man On Bicycle

November 23, 2011

Scotland Neck, NORTH CAROLINA – A 61-year-old Halifax County man died Tuesday, a day after police shocked him with a stun gun while he was riding his bike, family members said.

Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said they received a call Monday night about a man who fell off of his bicycle and injured himself in the parking lot of the BB&T bank, 1001 Main St. The caller was concerned that the man was drunk.

When Officer John Turner arrived, he saw Roger Anthony pedaling away along 10th Street. He followed Anthony in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away, police said.

Williams said Turner then saw Anthony take something out his pocket and put it into his mouth. At that time, Turner got out of the car and yelled for Anthony to stop. When Anthony didn’t stop, the officer used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall off of his bike.

Anthony was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brain dead, his sister Gladys Freeman said. He was taken off of life support on Tuesday.

Freeman said her brother was disabled, suffered from seizures and had trouble hearing. She said he was riding his bike home from her house on Sunday night. Anthony lived alone in an independent living community.

Williams would not comment further on the incident, citing an ongoing investigation. Turner, who has been on the force for just over a month, has been placed on administrative leave.

Scotland Neck Mayor James Mills is calling for the State Bureau of Investigation to look into what happened.

“The best we’ve been able to determine is that he offered no threat,” Mills said.

Milton Freeman said Anthony, his brother-in-law, used to smoke cigarettes, drink coffee and ride his bicycle around town. Anthony was nicknamed “Rabbit” because of his big ears.

“Why would you (use a stun gun on) a man on a bike? He didn’t do any crime. He wasn’t trying to escape. How (was) he going to escape on his bicycle?” Milton Freeman said.

Appeared Here


Dumbass Pilot Got Locked In Plane’s Bathroom And Sent Passenger With “Thick Accent” To Flight Deck For Help – Prompting An Emergency Landing, Terror Scare, And Police Response

November 19, 2011

NEW YORK – A pilot stuck in the lavatory may sound like the opening line of a joke, but it triggered a terror scare on a flight from Asheville, North Carolina, to New York on Wednesday evening.

Delta 6132 — operated by Chautauqua Airlines — was about 30 minutes from LaGuardia Airport when the pilot went to use the bathroom.

Unbeknownst to the crew, he became trapped in the lavatory because of a broken door latch.

(The sole flight attendant on the plane couldn’t help him because she had entered the flight deck when he left, per security protocols that require two people to be in the cockpit at all times.)

“After trying unsuccessfully for several minutes to open the door, a nearby passenger heard the noise of the efforts and tried to help,” said Peter Kowalchuk, a spokesman for the airline.

“When the passenger was not able to open the door from the outside, the captain told him how to notify the flight deck of his situation.”

The passenger dutifully complied, but apparently had a heavy accent, which combined with the suddenly-missing pilot spooked the first officer.

The tense conversation between the crew and air traffic control was posted on LiveATC.net, a website that shares live air traffic communications.

“The captain has disappeared in the back, and uh, I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit,” the co-pilot says in the recording.

“The captain disappeared in the back, went to use the restroom. By all indications, what I’m being told is he’s stuck in the lav and someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit and I’m not about to let him in.”

Air traffic control responds by saying: “You guys ought to declare an emergency and just get on the ground.”

But later, the pilot suddenly reappears at the controls.

“This is the captain. I’m back in the cockpit. Lavatory door malfunction,” he says.

The controller on the ground is cautious: “I just want to make sure: Was there any disturbance in the airplane?”

“Negative,” the pilot responds. “The captain — myself — was in the lavatory and the door latch broke and had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open.”

The first officer did the right thing in securing the flight deck when he was not able to personally confirm the status of the captain, Kowalchuk said.

“No one was ever in danger and everyone, including the good Samaritan who tried to help the (captain) as well as the crew, are to be commended for their actions,” he added.

The plane, with 14 passengers and three crew members on board, made an emergency landing at LaGuardia with the pilot at the controls.

The FBI was on hand just to make sure everything was all right.

Appeared Here


Broke: Smithfield North Carolina Police May Start Ignoring 911 Calls To Save Money

November 3, 2011

SMITHFIELD, NORTH CAROLINA – Police say they’ll stop responding to some 911 calls and stop investigating misdemeanors if the town doesn’t increase funding for gasoline – the latest episode in a standoff between the police chief and Town Council, which is trying to save money.

It’s also the latest sign of how tight municipal budgets are impacting services throughout the Triangle.

On Tuesday, the Smithfield Police Department will present dire predictions of how an austere budget could leave police cars in park.

Police Chief Michael Scott will ask the town council to let him use $30,000 of office supply and equipment repair money to pay for gas. He says his department has already cut patrols, halving the numbers of cars on the street at certain times.

Scott said three recent crimes might have been prevented with more patrols – the armed robbery of a convenience store, the theft of tires and rims from a car dealership and a major cocaine bust.

“Those things can all be directly related to patrol issues,” he said, adding that he’s gotten complaints about the reduced patrols. Some callers have asked if they should buy guns to protect themselves.

Law enforcement agencies around the country have seen budget cuts this year.

Here in North Carolina, the state Highway Patrol is coping with an $8 million reduction, and they’ve stopped training new cadets as part of a hiring freeze. The city of Raleigh recently delayed police and fire academies by six months.

Smithfield’s cuts went beyond personnel, with fuel funding down $10,000, or about 14 percent, from last fiscal year. Scott said that even with reduced patrols, the department will be out of gas by February.

This month, council members in the Johnston County town balked at Scott’s proposal to shift funds in his budget. They asked the police department to study alternatives to the plan.

The alternatives that police will present Tuesday include unprecedented cuts to stay within the current budget. Department leaders say detectives will only investigate felony crimes, dropping misdemeanors after the initial report is done.

The new plan also calls for ignoring 911 calls from hotels and pay phones when callers hang up, “as a very high percentage of these calls are errors in dialing.” And police would stop responding to burglar alarms, since they’re often a false alarm. Also, officers wouldn’t patrol the western or southern ends of town, since most crimes there aren’t violent.

Councilman Perry Harris said town leaders won’t let that happen. “There’s no question that we need to provide them with the tools to keep the safety of the town,” he said.

But with enough gas money to work through February, Harris wants the department to look for other money-saving measures first. Since the town recently bought 10 new squad cars, he thinks 10 older vehicles could be sold off. “I think we need to uncover every rock and every stone to see other areas where we could save some money,” he said.

Appeared Here


Two Innocent Men Released From North Carolina Prisons After A Decade Each Behind Bars

September 22, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – Two men who spent a decade in prison on murder charges were set free Thursday after a panel of judges in North Carolina ruled they were innocent.

* Kenneth Kagonyera, left, and Robert Wilcoxson were ruled innocent Thursday and set free after a decade in jail.

North Carolina Department of Corrections

Kenneth Kagonyera, left, and Robert Wilcoxson were ruled innocent Thursday and set free after a decade in jail.

EnlargeClose

North Carolina Department of Corrections

Kenneth Kagonyera, left, and Robert Wilcoxson were ruled innocent Thursday and set free after a decade in jail.

The three-judge panel made its decision after seven days of testimony in the case against Kenneth Kagonyera, 31, and Robert Wilcoxson, 32.

Wilcoxson was the first to be released. He hugged his 10-year-old daughter, Taneea, and his father as he walked out of jail hours after the hearing. He left quickly, saying only that his plans for his first night as a free man in nearly a decade were simple. “Pray,” he said.

*
STORY: States look to right wrong convictions
*
STORY: Georgia proceeds with Troy Davis execution

Kagonyera left jail hours later to applause and hugs and kisses from his mother and grandmother.

“It was a blessing,” he said. Kagonyera said he had prepared himself for the panel to rule against his claim though he tried not to dwell on the prospect of going back to prison. He said his plans are to “get a job, move on and put this behind me.”

“I am just so happy I don’t know what to say,” said Charlene Holmes, Kagonyera’s mother.

The hearing came after the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission in April found enough evidence to indicate the men were not guilty, including the confession of another man and DNA testing that pointed to other suspects.

The men had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying of Walter Bowman in 2000, though they repeatedly claimed they were innocent. Their attorneys at the hearing said the men admitted to the murder to avoid life sentences.

District Attorney Ron Moore, the elected prosecutor who handled the case, said, “We accept the ruling of the court.” He said the ruling would make it harder to accept guilty pleas for fear that suspects are taking a deal to avoid longer sentences.

North Carolina is among a growing number of states taking steps to prevent and address wrongful convictions and grant greater access to biological evidence. It has the nation’s only investigative innocence commission.

Until recently, that was largely the purview of the privately funded Innocence Project, which has been involved in 154 DNA exonerations in the USA since 1989, according to the group’s research director, Emily West.

The North Carolina commission has heard three other cases, one of which resulted in the release of a man who served almost 17 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. A three-judge panel found Greg Taylor innocent in February 2010.

Twenty-eight percent of exonerations nationally have involved defendants who pleaded guilty, falsely confessed or made incriminating statements to police, according to the Innocence Project.

The group recently pushed the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to stop the execution of Troy Davis, who claimed he was innocent of the murder of an off-duty police officer in 1989. Witnesses who identified him as the shooter have recanted, the group said on its website. The board declined, and Davis was executed late Wednesday.

“The state clemency system in Georgia and in many other states is not functioning as an effective safety valve in cases where there is serious doubt about guilt,” said Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Appeared Here


Crazed Charlotte North Carolina City Officials Charge Church $100 Per Tree Branch For “Excessive Pruning”

May 28, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Every two to three years, Eddie Sales trims and prunes the crape myrtles at his church, Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church.

But this year, the city of Charlotte cited the church for improperly pruning its trees.

“We always keep our trees trimmed back because you don’t want to worry about them hanging down in the way,” said Sales, a church member.

The church was fined $100 per branch cut for excessive pruning, bringing the violation to $4,000.

“I just couldn’t believe it when I heard about it,” Sales said. “We trim our trees back every three years all over our property, and this is the first time we have been fined.”

The fine will be dropped if the church replaces each of the improperly pruned trees, said Tom Johnson, senior urban forester for city of Charlotte Land Development Division.

“When they are nonrepairable, when they have been pruned beyond repair, we will ask them to be replaced,” Johnson said. “We do that for a number of reasons but mainly because they are going to come back unhealthy and create a dangerous situation down the road.”

Charlotte has had a tree ordinance since 1978, and when trees are incorrectly pruned or topped, people can be subject to fines, Johnson said.

Trees planted as a result of the ordinance are subject to the fines if they are excessively trimmed or pruned. These include trees on commercial property or street trees. They do not include a private residence.

“The purpose of the tree ordinance is to protect trees,” Johnson said. “Charlotte has always been known as the city of trees. When we take down trees, we need to replace these trees.”

Individuals who would like to trim their trees should call the city foresters to receive a free permit to conduct the landscape work.

Foresters will then meet with the person receiving the permit and give instructions on how to properly trim their trees, Johnson said.

The state Division of Forestry recommends that anyone trimming trees should be certified by the National Horticulture Board, but certification is not required to receive a permit.

On private property, fine amounts are based on the size of the tree improperly pruned. For small trees such as cherry trees or crape myrtles, the fine is $75 per tree. Excessive cutting can increase that fine to $100 per branch.

For large trees such as oaks or maples, the fine is $150 per tree.

Because there is a widespread lack of understanding on how to prune crape myrtles in the Charlotte area, Johnson said, residents found in violation regarding these trees are asked to simply replace them, and the fine will be lifted.

Sales said trees found in violation at the church must be cut down and replaced with new trees by October, but the church plans to appeal. Sales doesn’t know how much it would cost to replace the trees.

“We trimmed back these trees in the interest of the church,” Sales said. “If we were in violation, we certainly did not know we were.”

Typically during the course of a year, Johnson said, about six private residents are found in violation of improper topping or pruning.

“We are trying to be pro-active and not trying to fine people excessively,” Johnson said.

Appeared Here


Black Mountain North Carolina Police Officer Joshua King Arrested And Suspended After High-Speed Chase After Hit And Run – No Longer Employed By Department

May 9, 2011

FLETCHER, NORTH CAROLINA — A Black Mountain police officer charged with leading Fletcher police on a chase is no longer employed with the department.

Joshua King, 35, of Fletcher, who worked for the department for nearly 14 years, was placed on administrative leave following his arrest Saturday night, Chief Kevin Pressley said.

Following an internal investigation, “He is no longer employed with our agency,” Pressley said. The chief would not say whether King was fired or resigned.

Fletcher police say King led them on a chase for several miles down U.S. 25 following a hit and run in a parking lot. King was off duty at the time of the incident.

King is charged with fleeing to elude arrest; hit and run; failure to heed blue light or siren; speeding; having no insurance; revoked registration plate; and careless and reckless driving, said Fletcher Police Chief Erik Summey.

The incident began shortly after 8 p.m. in the parking lot of a Bojangles’ restaurant. Three Fletcher officers were responding to an unrelated call when they heard a crash.

“While they were there, they heard a crash. It sounded like some kind of accident,” Summey said.

A vehicle had hit a parked car and was leaving the area.

The SUV went over a curb, through a grassy area and out onto U.S. 25 via the parking lot of the neighboring gas station.

One person sitting inside the parked car was not hurt, Summey said.

Two of the officers followed the SUV down U.S. 25 toward Hendersonville. Speeds during the chase reached more than 90 mph, Summey said.

The vehicle made a right turn onto Baystone Drive, a curvy road that turns to gravel and eventually reaches a dead end.

Summey said King stopped the car and was arrested. Following the stop, King recognized one of the Fletcher officers.

“One of our officers that was involved in the initial chase and detention knew him,” Summey said.

Summey said a child was in the vehicle with King.

“It was fortunate that no one was hurt,” he said.

King started at the Black Mountain Police Department as a patrol officer in September 1997. King’s most recent salary at the department was $38,200 per year.

Ruth Brandon, a member of the Black Mountain Board of Aldermen, described King as a “fine officer.”

“He did a super job. He was always very courteous, very professional; always looking out for the people of the community,” she said.

King could not be reached Wednesday.

Appeared Here


Disgraced Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards Must Testify About Affair With Mistress

April 29, 2011

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards must testify before a judge about his relationship with his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, a North Carolina judge ruled on Friday.

The private testimony will come during a deposition set for June 20 as part of a civil suit brought by Hunter against Edwards’ former aide, Andrew Young.

Hunter has sued Young and his wife Cheri to force the return of a videotape that allegedly shows Hunter and Edwards having sex. Young says he found the tape while packing boxes in a home near Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Hunter lived with the Youngs for a time.

A February 8 deposition of Edwards was halted when his lawyers told him not to answer numerous questions posed by Young’s attorneys. Young’s attorneys filed a motion March 2 asking Superior Court Judge Carl Fox to compel Edwards to answer.

On Friday, Fox said he will preside at Edwards’ next deposition and settle objections as they arise. The judge also agreed that portions of the transcript not deemed confidential would be made public.

Fox, responding to a motion filed by lawyers representing media organizations, also eased a blanket protective order to allow motions in the case to be made public.

Testimony by Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee who sought his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, could cast light on possible criminal charges regarding payments to Hunter. The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh is investigating whether Edwards violated federal law by using campaign funds to pay Hunter.

Andrew Young wrote a 2010 book, “The Politician,” about Edwards’ affair with Hunter and how the former North Carolina senator sought to keep the relationship secret as he sought the 2008 Democratic nomination.

Hunter became pregnant with Edwards’ child and she gave birth to a daughter in February 2008. Young, at the request of Edwards, first claimed he was the child’s father, but Edwards later acknowledged the child was his.

Edwards, an accomplished trial attorney, continues to live in Chapel Hill where he cares for his two youngest children. His wife, Elizabeth, who wrote bestselling books about her life’s struggles with cancer and her husband’s betrayal, died in December 2010.

Hunter’s civil suit against the Youngs is scheduled to go to trial this October.

Appeared Here


Lying Whore Crystal Mangum, Who Durham North Carolina Prosecutors Relied On To Persecute Duke Lacross Players On False Charges, Faces Additional Charges After Her Latest Victim Dies From Her Stab Wounds

April 14, 2011

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – Family members of a man who was stabbed in his home April 3 say he died Wednesday evening. Crystal Mangum, the Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006, has been charged with assaulting him.

Durham police confirmed Thursday morning that Reginald Daye, 46, had died.

“The case remains under investigation, and we do anticipate upgrading the charges. However, no new charges have been filed at this time,” police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said in an e-mail to WRAL News.

Police said Mangum, 32, stabbed Daye in the torso with a kitchen knife during a dispute at 3507 Century Oaks Drive early on April 3.

Daye was taken to Duke University Hospital, and Mangum was arrested in a nearby apartment.

A man who said he was Daye’s nephew called 911 to report the stabbing, saying it occurred while Daye and his girlfriend were arguing about rent money. The caller said police came to the apartment complex earlier while the couple argued, but the stabbing occurred after the officers left.
Read the rest of this entry »


Former New Bern North Carolina Police Officer Ernest Flowers And Police Employee Dawn Nelson-Flowers Arrested And Jailed On Domestic Assault Charges

April 12, 2011

NEW BERN, NORTH CAROLINA – Recently retired New Bern police officer and commander of the New Bern Young Marines and his wife, a non-sworn member of the police department, were both ordered to jail for up to 48 hours on domestic assault charges.

New Bern police arrested Ernest Flowers, 60, of 3045 Woodland Ave., and his wife, Dawn Nelson-Flowers, 54, of the same address, Tuesday afternoon.

Ernest Flowers was charged with assault on a female and Nelson-Flowers was charged with simple assault. There was no visible physical injury to either of them, according to a Craven County magistrate.

A magistrate found probable cause to issue the warrants.

Flowers was also the New Bern Police Department recruiting officer.

Flowers retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of sergeant major and is a former drill sergeant. Nelson-Flowers is a service technician at the police department.

The two have a first appearance in district court Wednesday.

Appeared Here


Veteran Durham North Carolina Police Officer Arrested, Suspended, Charged With On-Duty Kidnapping And Sexual Assault

April 9, 2011

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – A Durham police officer was arrested Friday afternoon on kidnapping and sexual assault charges. The alleged incident occurred on April 3 while the officer was on duty.

Sgt. Lester Rhodes is charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense and has been transported to the Durham County Magistrate’s Office for processing.

“This is an ongoing investigation and we are not releasing further details at this time to avoid compromising the investigation,” Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr. said in a prepared statement.

Police began investigating after receiving a complaint.

“We’ll see how the investigation shakes out,” said City Manager Tom Bonfield.

Bonfield said the allegations taint a police department that has many dedicated and hard-working officers and employees.

“When a situation like like this happens, unfortunately it becomes a negative spillover on everybody,” he said.

Rhodes, 42, joined the Durham force in February 1996 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Bureau. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay.

He is the third Durham officer charged with breaking the law in recent months. In early December, Officer Kevin A. Stewart was charged with driving while impaired while he was on duty. Stewart was fired shortly thereafter. A few days later, Officer L.A. Harvey was charged with running a red light after he collided with another vehicle while answering a call.

Appeared Here


“Domestic Terrorist” Convicted Of Minting Silver Coins That Competed Against The Worthless U.S. Dollar

March 20, 2011

STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted today by a federal jury of making, possessing, and selling his own coins, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, von NotHaus, the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty by a jury in Statesville, North Carolina, of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States. The guilty verdict concluded an investigation which began in 2005 and involved the minting of Liberty Dollar coins with a current value of approximately $7 million. Joining the U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins in making today’s announcement are Edward J. Montooth, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Charlotte Division; Russell F. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Division; and Sheriff Van Duncan of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the evidence introduced during the trial, von NotHaus was the founder of an organization called the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code, commonly known as NORFED and also known as Liberty Services. Von NotHaus was the president of NORFED and the executive director of Liberty Dollar Services, Inc. until on or about September 30, 2008.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage. Since 1998, NORFED has been issuing, disseminating, and placing into circulation the Liberty Dollar in all its forms throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. NORFED’s purpose was to mix Liberty Dollars into the current money of the United States. NORFED intended for the Liberty Dollar to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with, United States currency.

In coordination with the Department of Justice, on September 14, 2006, the United States Mint issued a press release and warning to American citizens that the Liberty Dollar was “not legal tender.” The U.S. Mint press release and public service announcement stated that the Department of Justice had determined that the use of Liberty Dollars as circulating money was a federal crime.

Article I, section 8, clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof. This power was delegated to Congress in order to establish and preserve a uniform standard of value and to insure a singular monetary system for all purchases and debts in the United States, public and private. Along with the power to coin money, Congress has the concurrent power to restrain the circulation of money which is not issued under its own authority in order to protect and preserve the constitutional currency for the benefit of all citizens of the nation. It is a violation of federal law for individuals, such as von NotHaus, or organizations, such as NORFED, to create private coin or currency systems to compete with the official coinage and currency of the United States.

Von NotHaus, who remains free on bond, faces a sentence of up to 15 years’ imprisonment on count two of the indictment and a fine of not more than $250,000. Von NotHaus faces a prison sentence of five years and fines of $250,000 on both counts one and three. In addition, the United States is seeking the forfeiture of approximately 16,000 pounds of Liberty Dollar coins and precious metals, currently valued at nearly $7 million. The forfeiture trial, which began today before United States District Court Judge Richard Voorhees, will resume on April 4, 2011 in the federal courthouse in Statesville. Judge Voorhees has not yet set a date for the sentencing of von NotHaus.

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Secret Service, in cooperation with and invaluable assistance of the United States Mint. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jill Westmoreland Rose and Craig D. Randall, and the forfeiture trial is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tom Ascik and Ben Bain Creed.

Appeared Here


Burke-Catawba County North Carolina Jailer Sgt. Thomas Pearson Charged With Sex With A Female Inmate

March 6, 2011

BURKE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA – A sergeant at a local jail was charged with a felony after having sex with an inmate, officials at the Burke-Catawba Confinement Facility said.

Thomas Pearson, who worked the night shift at the facility, is charged with sexual activity by a custodian.

“He crossed the line,” said Lt. Becky Weatherman with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. “He doesn’t belong in this profession.”

Deputies said the allegations involve murder suspect Alicia Goode. Investigators first learned of the allegations Monday, but said they think the inappropriate conduct started a year ago and may have involved favors for Goode.

“Just favors. She’d get to do things she wanted, things like that,” Weatherman said.

Channel 9 learned that other inmates alerted authorities about the alleged inappropriate conduct.

Interim jail administrator Steve Whisenant said he wants the public to know that Pearson does not represent his staff.

“The taxpayers of Burke and Catawba counties are entitled to a good detention facility,” he said. “We’re going to give 100 percent and make sure that’s the case.”

Officers at the facility monitor it through more than a dozen cameras, and Whisenant said he is trying to add more.

Pearson will not be jailed at the facility because he worked there. After his bond was set at $50,000, he was taken to jail in Caldwell County. His first court appearance is set for Monday.

Appeared Here


North Carolina Police Free To Collect DNA Without Warrants

January 31, 2011

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Tuesday marks the first day of a new law that allows law enforcement to take DNA from arrestees, not just those convicted of a crime.

The new state law begins February 1 and requires officers to take DNA samples from anyone charged with assault on handicapped persons, stalking, or any felony.

Previously, samples were only obtained from convicted felons with blood. Now officers can swab the inside of someone’s cheek to obtain DNA.

The samples will be sent to Raleigh for analysis and storage. They will be run against DNA taken from unsolved crimes to look for matches and stored to compare against evidence collected from crime scenes.

Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes previously said the extra effort will help solve a lot of cases.

The law requires a person’s sample be automatically removed from the state’s DNA database when the suspect is acquitted or charges are dismissed.

North Carolina’s DNA database, which is maintained by the State Bureau of Investigation, currently contains more than 200,000 profiles and has helped solve more than 1,900 cases since its inception.

Appeared Here


Zebulon North Carolina Police Arrest Man Wearing Mask On Halloween

November 1, 2010

ZEBULON, NORTH CAROLINA – Zebulon police said a local man may have been wearing a mask on Halloween, but he was no trick-or-treater.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that 20-year-old Lawrence Marqueal Rogers was arrested Sunday for wearing a mask or hood in public. He’s being held in the Wake County jail on a $7,500 bond.

Police said Rogers has been convicted in the past of larceny and other charges.

Police said he was cited for wearing a red bandanna covering his face except the eyes on Halloween night. After he donned the garment a second time, he was arrested.

It couldn’t be immediately determined if Rogers has a lawyer.

Appeared Here


Crazed North Carolina Cops Want Access To Your Medical Records

September 9, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Sheriff’s offices across North Carolina say they want access to records that identify people with prescriptions for powerful painkillers. They say the access can help them fight the growing problem of prescription drug abuse but others say it’s a violation of privacy.

Brad Keller was run over by a car 15 years ago. The accident crushed all the nerves in his left foot and left him with a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or RSD.

In order to simply function, Keller was placed on a variety of medications from percocet to oxycodone. He took the drugs for 14 years, until he said he had had enough.

Keller is now virtually pain free because his condition made him a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. But he’s still fighting for the thousands of Americans who suffer everyday.

“The people who take this medication don’t take it because they want to; they take it because they have to,” Keller said.

Keller is now a volunteer advocate for the American Pain Foundation. His newest battle is on the homefront.

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association went to a legislative health committee asking for access to state computer records that ID people with prescriptions for certain drugs.

Association president Sam Page said it will help them combat a growing problem.

“We take that information, we could go and check against that database and see if that person, in fact, appears to be doctor shopping and obtaining prescriptions for the purpose of resell, which is illegal,” he said.

While well intended, Keller feels this move violates a person’s right to privacy.

“You’re talking about accessing my private records for what purpose? You certainly aren’t medical professionals,” he said.

At this time, Page says the proposal is just that and hopes it will start a dialogue on how to better assist law enforcement in finding the criminals abusing the system.

In response to the proposal, William Bronson with the state Department of Health and Human Services, is offering a compromise. He suggests the state allow drug investigators to request information from the database related to a specific investigation.

Currently, investigators with the SBI use a similar process.

Appeared Here


Crackwhore Duped Durham North Carolina Police Into Believing She Was Raped And Latter Set House On Fire With Boyfriend And Children Inside

June 30, 2010

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA — Crystal Gail Mangum believes the system is out to get her.

With a motion bracelet strapped to her right ankle, Mangum, 31, held a press conference in front of a Savannah Avenue home this morning – where she is on house arrest – to defend herself against a February domestic violence arrest.

Mangum was arrested at her Lincoln Street home after police alleged that during an argument with her ex-boyfriend, she set the apartment on fire and tried to kill her now ex-boyfriend while her three young children and two Durham police officers were in the home.

“I don’t feel like I’m going to get the justice that I deserve through the judicial system and I feel this my only and last means to reach out to the public and let them know that I did not set a fire that night,” she said while sitting in front of Savannah Avenue residence, unable to even walk to the driveway. “To let the public know that I am being unfairly treated due to preconceived notions that people have about me concerning another case. I feel like enough is enough.”

That case happens to be the Duke Lacrosse case, where Mangum accused three Duke University lacrosse players of sexual assault during a party in March 2006. State Attorney General Roy Cooper cleared the three men in 2007. Mangum never faced any charges in the case, which gained international headlines and led to the resignation of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong after the State Bar charged him with 20 ethics violations.

Mangum never mentioned the case by name during this morning’s conference but believes it has led to the multiple charges from the February incident, including arson, child endangerment and attempted murder. She pleaded for her ex-boyfriend, who she said abused her, to come forward and tell the truth about what happened.

Mangum said that her ex-boyfriend, after taking her to the emergency room for a spinal tap, started hitting her and accusing her of cheating after she asked him to leave the residence. Mangum said she and her three children ran into a bedroom for safety. Mangum stated that she doesn’t know who set the home on fire but that her ex-boyfriend was the only other person in the home.

“I can’t explain to you why I keep going through issues with domestic violence,” she said, referring to past relationships. “Maybe it’s mistakes. Maybe I tell men too much about my past and they try to take that for granted. Maybe domestic violence is more prevalent than people think.”

Mangum’s next court date is Friday.

Appeared Here


Feds Use Bogus Patriot Act Claims To Strip 16 Year Old North Carolina Child Of His Due Process Rights Under U.S. Constitution

May 6, 2009

OXFORD, NORTH CAROLINA – Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby’s bedroom in his mother’s Granville County home is nothing, if not patriotic. Images of American flags are everywhere – on the bed, on the floor, on the wall.

But according to the United States government, the tenth-grade home-schooler is being held on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his home on the night of Feb. 15.

The family was at a church function that night, his mother, Annette Lundeby, said.

“Undoubtedly, they were given false information, or they would not have had 12 agents in my house with a widow and two children and three cats,” Lundeby said.

Around 10 p.m. on March 5, Lundeby said, armed FBI agents along with three local law enforcement officers stormed her home looking for her son. They handcuffed him and presented her with a search warrant.

“I was terrified,” Lundeby’s mother said. “There were guns, and I don’t allow guns around my children. I don’t believe in guns.”

Lundeby told the officers that someone had hacked into her son’s IP address and was using it to make crank calls connected through the Internet, making it look like the calls had originated from her home when they did not.

Her argument was ignored, she said. Agents seized a computer, a cell phone, gaming console, routers, bank statements and school records, according to federal search warrants.

“There were no bomb-making materials, not even a blasting cap, not even a wire,” Lundeby said.

Ashton now sits in a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind. His mother has had little access to him since his arrest. She has gone to her state representatives as well as attorneys, seeking assistance, but, she said, there is nothing she can do.

Lundeby said the USA Patriot Act stripped her son of his due process rights.

“We have no rights under the Patriot Act to even defend them, because the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution,” she said. “It wasn’t intended to drag your barely 16-year-old, 120-pound son out in the middle of the night on a charge that we can’t even defend.”

Passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., the Patriot Act allows federal agents to investigate suspected cases of terrorism swiftly to better protect the country. In part, it gives the federal government more latitude to search telephone records, e-mails and other records.

“They’re saying that ‘We feel this individual is a terrorist or an enemy combatant against the United States, and we’re going to suspend all of those due process rights because this person is an enemy of the United States,” said Dan Boyce, a defense attorney and former U.S. attorney not connected to the Lundeby case.

Critics of the statute say it threatens the most basic of liberties.

“There’s nothing a matter of public record,” Boyce said “All those normal rights are just suspended in the air.”

In a bi-partisan effort, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., last month introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives a bill that would narrow subpoena power in a provision of the Patriot Act, called the National Security Letters, to curb what some consider to be abuse of power by federal law enforcement officers.

Boyce said the Patriot Act was written with good intentions, but he said he believes it has gone too far in some cases. Lundeby’s might be one of them, he said.

“It very well could be a case of overreaction, where an agent leaped to certain conclusions or has made certain assumptions about this individual and about how serious the threat really is,” Boyce said.

Because a federal judge issued a gag order in the case, the U.S. attorney in Indiana cannot comment on the case, nor can the FBI. The North Carolina Highway Patrol did confirm that officers assisted with the FBI operation at the Lundeby home on March 5.

“Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that it would be my own government that I would have to protect my children from,” Lundeby said. “This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now.”

Lundeby said she does not think this type of case is what the Patriot Act was intended for. Boyce agrees.

“It was to protect the public, but what we need to do is to make sure there are checks and balances to make sure those new laws are not abused,” he said.

Appeared Here


Feds Use Bogus Patriot Act Claims To Strip 16 Year Old North Carolina Child Of His Due Process Rights Under U.S. Constitution

May 6, 2009

OXFORD, NORTH CAROLINA – Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby’s bedroom in his mother’s Granville County home is nothing, if not patriotic. Images of American flags are everywhere – on the bed, on the floor, on the wall.

But according to the United States government, the tenth-grade home-schooler is being held on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his home on the night of Feb. 15.

The family was at a church function that night, his mother, Annette Lundeby, said.

“Undoubtedly, they were given false information, or they would not have had 12 agents in my house with a widow and two children and three cats,” Lundeby said.

Around 10 p.m. on March 5, Lundeby said, armed FBI agents along with three local law enforcement officers stormed her home looking for her son. They handcuffed him and presented her with a search warrant.

“I was terrified,” Lundeby’s mother said. “There were guns, and I don’t allow guns around my children. I don’t believe in guns.”

Lundeby told the officers that someone had hacked into her son’s IP address and was using it to make crank calls connected through the Internet, making it look like the calls had originated from her home when they did not.

Her argument was ignored, she said. Agents seized a computer, a cell phone, gaming console, routers, bank statements and school records, according to federal search warrants.

“There were no bomb-making materials, not even a blasting cap, not even a wire,” Lundeby said.

Ashton now sits in a juvenile facility in South Bend, Ind. His mother has had little access to him since his arrest. She has gone to her state representatives as well as attorneys, seeking assistance, but, she said, there is nothing she can do.

Lundeby said the USA Patriot Act stripped her son of his due process rights.

“We have no rights under the Patriot Act to even defend them, because the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution,” she said. “It wasn’t intended to drag your barely 16-year-old, 120-pound son out in the middle of the night on a charge that we can’t even defend.”

Passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., the Patriot Act allows federal agents to investigate suspected cases of terrorism swiftly to better protect the country. In part, it gives the federal government more latitude to search telephone records, e-mails and other records.

“They’re saying that ‘We feel this individual is a terrorist or an enemy combatant against the United States, and we’re going to suspend all of those due process rights because this person is an enemy of the United States,” said Dan Boyce, a defense attorney and former U.S. attorney not connected to the Lundeby case.

Critics of the statute say it threatens the most basic of liberties.

“There’s nothing a matter of public record,” Boyce said “All those normal rights are just suspended in the air.”

In a bi-partisan effort, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., last month introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives a bill that would narrow subpoena power in a provision of the Patriot Act, called the National Security Letters, to curb what some consider to be abuse of power by federal law enforcement officers.

Boyce said the Patriot Act was written with good intentions, but he said he believes it has gone too far in some cases. Lundeby’s might be one of them, he said.

“It very well could be a case of overreaction, where an agent leaped to certain conclusions or has made certain assumptions about this individual and about how serious the threat really is,” Boyce said.

Because a federal judge issued a gag order in the case, the U.S. attorney in Indiana cannot comment on the case, nor can the FBI. The North Carolina Highway Patrol did confirm that officers assisted with the FBI operation at the Lundeby home on March 5.

“Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that it would be my own government that I would have to protect my children from,” Lundeby said. “This is the United States, and I feel like I live in a third world country now.”

Lundeby said she does not think this type of case is what the Patriot Act was intended for. Boyce agrees.

“It was to protect the public, but what we need to do is to make sure there are checks and balances to make sure those new laws are not abused,” he said.

Appeared Here


Crazed Chapel Hill North Carolina Police Tell Police To Stop Selling Blue Paint

April 1, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – Planning on painting your living room Carolina blue this weekend?

Maybe you should hold off because you might not be able to buy it — at least not in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill police are asking paint stores to restrict the sale of that hue this week.

That’s because UNC is about to play in the Final Four, and if the team wins, police don’t want the town painted sky blue.

Chapel Hill police are preparing for this weekend’s Final Four street celebrations if UNC should win.

When UNC wins, Franklin Street is always the place to be for victory celebrations.

Downtown streets will remain open unless crowd size dictates otherwise, police said.

Chapel Hill plans to have additional staff on hand, but they are asking business owners to lend a hand.

“If your establishment sells paint, please restrict sale of Carolina blue paint for the next week,” police said in a news release.

They also asked bars to restrict all servings to paper or plastic cups and all bulk sales to cans to keep glass out of the area.

Police encouraged businesses to remove awnings and signs to keep them from being damaged.

And police asked businesses to secure interior and exterior rooftop doors to keep people off the roof.

Appeared Here


Crazed Chapel Hill North Carolina Police Tell Police To Stop Selling Blue Paint

April 1, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – Planning on painting your living room Carolina blue this weekend?

Maybe you should hold off because you might not be able to buy it — at least not in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill police are asking paint stores to restrict the sale of that hue this week.

That’s because UNC is about to play in the Final Four, and if the team wins, police don’t want the town painted sky blue.

Chapel Hill police are preparing for this weekend’s Final Four street celebrations if UNC should win.

When UNC wins, Franklin Street is always the place to be for victory celebrations.

Downtown streets will remain open unless crowd size dictates otherwise, police said.

Chapel Hill plans to have additional staff on hand, but they are asking business owners to lend a hand.

“If your establishment sells paint, please restrict sale of Carolina blue paint for the next week,” police said in a news release.

They also asked bars to restrict all servings to paper or plastic cups and all bulk sales to cans to keep glass out of the area.

Police encouraged businesses to remove awnings and signs to keep them from being damaged.

And police asked businesses to secure interior and exterior rooftop doors to keep people off the roof.

Appeared Here


Clay County North Carolina Sheriff Joe Shook Goes On A Beer Run – County Drug Task Force Members Drank It After Executing Search Warrant

March 4, 2009

HAYESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – Narcotics officers assigned to a two-county drug task force drank beer and ate pizza outside the home of a suspected marijuana dealer after executing a search warrant there, authorities acknowledged Monday.

The incident nearly two years ago became public last week after the prosecutor trying the case that came from that search questioned the officers about the beer and pizza on the witness stand.

No one was drunk that day in July 2007, said Clay County Sheriff Joe Shook, who crossed the state line into Georgia to get the beer because his county is dry.

“It was bad judgment on my part that I let it happen,” Shook said Monday. “I can assure you it won’t happen again, and it shouldn’t have happened then.”

Though not a beer drinker himself, Shook said he got the 12-pack after one person in the group suggested a beer would be good with the pizza the sheriff had offered to buy.

The team had spent the day searching the house and they were waiting for a truck to arrive so that they could pack up the marijuana growing equipment. They worked three more hours after dinner loading the truck in what the sheriff called “tropical” heat created by the lamps used in the pot growing operation.

District Attorney Michael Bonfoey said the assistant prosecutor trying the case learned about the drinking while working on preparations with the officers. He said his office alerted defense attorneys because state law requires that defendants know all the facts before trial.

And, he said, the prosecution brought the issue to the jury first “because we wanted to, quite frankly, minimize the impact.”

Donald and Terri Barry were convicted last week, despite the testimony about the drinking on the job. They got three years probation for felony manufacturing marijuana and misdemeanor drug possession.

The narcotics team, made up of two officers from neighboring Cherokee County and two officers from Clay County, was working under a N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety grant, Shook said.

None of the officers were in uniform that day and all were working in an undercover capacity, he said.

Shook said the two deputies he had on the team have since left law enforcement, but not because of the beer drinking incident.

He said one got married and wanted to spend time with family, and the other, who came out of retirement to help with the yearlong operation, is back in retirement.

Shook said one of his deputies drank half a beer and the other had two beers with three slices of pizza.

Cherokee County Sheriff Keith Lovin on Monday said one of the deputies involved from his department has since resigned and the other says he didn’t drink any of the beer.

Shook said he’s not sure what happened to the rest of the 12 pack.

Clay County policy prohibits drinking on the job, County Manager Paul Leek said.

Shook said he’s heard from Clay County residents since the incident became public and many are saying they’ll forgive him.

He’s been in office for two years and said he’s focused on fighting drugs. He’s worried this mistake will overshadow the efforts his office has made.

“If I have done something wrong, I will take my medicine for it,” he said. “That is the way I was raised. I was raised to tell the truth and do what’s right.”

Appeared Here


Clay County North Carolina Sheriff Joe Shook Goes On A Beer Run – County Drug Task Force Members Drank It After Executing Search Warrant

March 3, 2009

HAYESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – Narcotics officers assigned to a two-county drug task force drank beer and ate pizza outside the home of a suspected marijuana dealer after executing a search warrant there, authorities acknowledged Monday.

The incident nearly two years ago became public last week after the prosecutor trying the case that came from that search questioned the officers about the beer and pizza on the witness stand.

No one was drunk that day in July 2007, said Clay County Sheriff Joe Shook, who crossed the state line into Georgia to get the beer because his county is dry.

“It was bad judgment on my part that I let it happen,” Shook said Monday. “I can assure you it won’t happen again, and it shouldn’t have happened then.”

Though not a beer drinker himself, Shook said he got the 12-pack after one person in the group suggested a beer would be good with the pizza the sheriff had offered to buy.

The team had spent the day searching the house and they were waiting for a truck to arrive so that they could pack up the marijuana growing equipment. They worked three more hours after dinner loading the truck in what the sheriff called “tropical” heat created by the lamps used in the pot growing operation.

District Attorney Michael Bonfoey said the assistant prosecutor trying the case learned about the drinking while working on preparations with the officers. He said his office alerted defense attorneys because state law requires that defendants know all the facts before trial.

And, he said, the prosecution brought the issue to the jury first “because we wanted to, quite frankly, minimize the impact.”

Donald and Terri Barry were convicted last week, despite the testimony about the drinking on the job. They got three years probation for felony manufacturing marijuana and misdemeanor drug possession.

The narcotics team, made up of two officers from neighboring Cherokee County and two officers from Clay County, was working under a N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety grant, Shook said.

None of the officers were in uniform that day and all were working in an undercover capacity, he said.

Shook said the two deputies he had on the team have since left law enforcement, but not because of the beer drinking incident.

He said one got married and wanted to spend time with family, and the other, who came out of retirement to help with the yearlong operation, is back in retirement.

Shook said one of his deputies drank half a beer and the other had two beers with three slices of pizza.

Cherokee County Sheriff Keith Lovin on Monday said one of the deputies involved from his department has since resigned and the other says he didn’t drink any of the beer.

Shook said he’s not sure what happened to the rest of the 12 pack.

Clay County policy prohibits drinking on the job, County Manager Paul Leek said.

Shook said he’s heard from Clay County residents since the incident became public and many are saying they’ll forgive him.

He’s been in office for two years and said he’s focused on fighting drugs. He’s worried this mistake will overshadow the efforts his office has made.

“If I have done something wrong, I will take my medicine for it,” he said. “That is the way I was raised. I was raised to tell the truth and do what’s right.”

Appeared Here


Charlotte-Mecklenburg North Carolina Police, Fire Department, And Bomb Squad Respond To Sporting Goods Store After Customer Drops Bullets

December 24, 2008

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – Firefighters were called to Dick’s Sporting Goods at NorthLake Mall Tuesday afternoon after some bullets were dropped into an escalator.

The fire department received the call around 1:30 p.m.

According to the general manager of the mall, a customer entered Dick’s Sport Goods carrying some ammunition.

The shopper accidentally dropped the ammunition while riding on the escalator. Some of the ammo lodged in the escalator and detonated. No one was hurt.

Frefighters evacuated the store while firefighters searched for more ammunition that was dropped. The store reopened about an hour after it was evacuated.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s bomb squad was also called to the scene to provide assistance.

Appeared Here