Sheriff’s Office investigates shooting in Topton

Police & Government

MURPHY, N.C. — Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated that shortly after 7:30 a.m. May 1, 2018, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance at a residence on Bryson Branch Road, in the Topton community of Cherokee County. The nature of the call was a possible domestic situation.

As units were responding to the scene, information was provided that someone may have been shot at the residence. Emergency Services personnel were dispatched and staged until units from the Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene. Once on scene, the arriving deputy was able to determine that a 39-year-old male had been shot and required medical attention.

EMS arrived and transported the individual to a location where he was later flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. His condition is unknown at this time.

The investigation continued late into the afternoon, as several individuals were interviewed and search warrants were completed at the residence. The investigation is continuing and ongoing, and when complete, it will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for further review.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “At this time, I will not comment further concerning this investigation as it is ongoing. I can say that we are not looking for any additional person(s) of interest in this case. The teamwork displayed today between law enforcement and Emergency Services is outstanding, and we appreciate the level of professionalism displayed by all today. As always, these are difficult cases on everyone involved.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law, please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Early morning raid nabs fugitive

Police & Government

MURPHY, N.C. — Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the April 14, 2018, arrest of Benjamin Lee Stanley, a 39-year-old Topton, North Carolina, man, for domestic violence violations and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Over the past several months, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office had several interactions with Stanley including evading arrest on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Additionally, there were two active warrants for the arrest of Stanley for violation of Domestic Violence Protective Orders. On several occasions, Stanley had evaded arrest including a Friday morning encounter where Stanley led investigators on a chase eventually losing them as Stanley, who was operating a Jeep, took an off-road trail.

During the early morning hours of April 14, 2018, deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division traveled to Stanley’s residence and utilized a search warrant to gain entry. Upon entering the residence, it was discovered that Stanley was again attempting escape by dropping down into the crawlspace of the residence and hiding until discovered by the deputies. Stanley was taken into custody and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Benjamin Lee Stanley was served with an indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm and was placed on a $15,000 secure bond. Additionally, two domestic violence protective order violation warrants were served on Stanley, in which he was placed on a 48-hour no bond condition. Stanley was also charged with Resist Obstruct and Delay and was placed on a $3,000 secure bond. Stanley is currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “Great work getting Mr. Stanley off the streets. It is obvious he has no regard for the court or the law. This was some outstanding work by the patrol officers who took this issue to heart, planning out a great mission and ensuring no one was hurt. Job Well Done!”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law, please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Commissioners, Sheriff Palmer hear of bull situation in Unaka community

News

MURPHY, N.C. – The future of a red, nocturnal bull loose in the Unaka community was discussed at the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners April 2 meeting.

Linda Dubois spoke in public commentary on behalf of herself and her husband, Jon Dubois. Linda DuBois explained they have been residents in the Unaka community for over five years, and in that time, they have invested labor and finances over $1,000 to clear a 5 to 6-acre portion of their 15-acre property that composes the front yard of their residence.

“Lately, a red and curly haired bull has been tromping in our front yard to eat our sprouting green grass that we have seeded, mowed and carefully attended and, of course, leaving hundreds of piles of stinking diarrhea every night,” DuBois stated, while also presenting the board with pictures of the damage sustained in her yard.

The Unaka resident continued to explain the bull has been “free ranging” in their yard at night only for the past month, and during the day, is nowhere to be seen. DuBois also stated she had spoken with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) about the situation on four different occasions, and the CCSO conducted an investigation to determine the owner of the bull, but no nearby residents claimed ownership. DuBois then asked the BOC what they could do to help her.

“So nobody’s claiming this bull?” Commissioner C.B. McKinnon asked DuBois, which DuBois affirmed was correct.   “(It’s) probably a $1,500 to $2,000 animal. Why don’t you claim it and sell it?”

After DuBois asked of the penalty of cattle theft in North Carolina, McKinnon reminded DuBois that no one had claimed it and it was invading her property.

After further discussion, Sheriff Derrick Palmer offered to meet personally with DuBois the next day to discuss options to resolve the situation in accordance with free-roaming livestock laws.

Later, the commissioners voted to affirm a county ordinance already in place concerning name changes for roads. According to Sam Davis, of the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency, the consent of 75 percent of property owners on a road is needed to change the name of a road.

At the March 19 commissioners meeting, Marble resident Anthony McCray addressed the BOC of his desire to change the name of Lambert Road, where he resides, back to Lower Vengeance Creek Road. McCray claimed the road name had changed in 2014 to reflect the surname of another resident, Ronald Lambert, without going through the proper channels of procedure. McCray also stated he felt a road should not be given a surname unless all residents of the road have that same surname.

Ronald Lambert, also in attendance at that meeting, told the commission that reverting back to the previous name would cause undue financial stress for him since he is a licensed foster parent through the state and all of his licensing would have to be changed to reflect the road name change.

After affirming the ordinance, the board told McCray and Lambert, both again present for the meeting, to resolve the issue among themselves, and if 75 percent of the residents on Lambert Road desired a new name, the residents could proceed with the process according to the ordinance.

Daphne Dockery, register of deeds, addressed the board about establishing a definite daily deadline time for all land recordings submitted to the register of deeds office. Chairman Dr. Dan Eichenbaum suggested setting the deadline time at 4:30 p.m. and Dockery told the board the sooner daily deadline would help curtail overtime among employees in the register of deeds office. The issue was tabled so as to give Dockery more time to collect data to assist the board with making a decision at a future meeting.

Also in public commentary, Aurelia Stone asked the commissioners to consider adopting a county ordinance that would require vacation rentals by owner (VRBOs) to have regular inspections and to contain fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. According to Stone, state law currently does not require these mandates as it does for commercially owned vacation rentals. Stone stated this lack of requirements puts guests at risk when renting a VRBO.

The board approved and accepted two budget revisions. The first was an increase for revenue in the amount of $591 from a Smart Start Grant. The other revision was also an increase for an increase in the amount of $9,467 for state health promotion funding for mass media or messaging campaign to promote healthy communities.

Commissioners scheduled three budget meetings for Friday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 31, at 6:30 p.m., and Thursday, June 28, at 6:30 p.m. in anticipation of finalizing the county budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. The April 27 meeting will be a departmental budget hearing, the May 31 meeting will be a budget work session for the county commissioners and the June 28 meeting is scheduled for the final adoption of the 2018-19 fiscal year county budget.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Two arrested on drug charges

Police & Government

MURPHY, N.C. — Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the March 22, 2018, arrest of Dustin Eugene Mcclure, a 41-year-old white male, of Marble, North Carolina, and 36-year-old Timothy Robert Norton, of Candler, North Carolina, for possessing a trafficking amount of methamphetamine.

On March 22, 2018, detectives with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit provided information to the North Carolina Probation and Parole that the Marble residence of Mcclure possibly had stolen property and illegally possessed controlled substances.

Upon arriving at the Marble residence, stolen property and drug paraphernalia were observed in plain view. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and conducted a search of the property. As a result, an excess of 117 grams of methamphetamine were seized along with two bottles of suspected steroids, a bottle of suspected MDMA capsules, marijuana seeds, stolen property, and numerous items of drug paraphernalia.

Mcclure was arrested and taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where he was charged with: TRAFFIC IN METHAMPHETAMINE, PWIMSD METHAMPHETAMINE, MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSSESSION OF STOLEN GOODS, POSSESS DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. Mcclure is currently being held on a $110,000 secure bond and is expected in Cherokee County District Court March 27, 2018.

Norton was arrested and taken to the Cheorkee County Detention Center where he was charged with TRAFFIC IN METHAMPHETAMINE, PWIMSD METHAMPHETAMINE, , MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSSESSION OF STOLEN GOODS, POSSESS DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. Norton is currently being held on a $110,000 secure bond and is expected in Cherokee County District Court March 27, 2018.

Sheriff Palmer stated, “This was a pretty fair amount of dope taken off the street, the little over 4 ounces or nearly a quarter pound has an approximate street value of a little over $10,000. Good working with Probation and Parole to take these two down.”

Sheriff Palmer asks if you should have any information concerning this case or any other case to report suspicious activity and suspected violations of the law, please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Murphy man charged with threats

Police & Government

MURPHY, N.C. — Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the March 13, 2018, arrest of 55-year-old Keith Charles Celebreeze Sr. of Murphy, North Carolina, in connection with making threats via social media and emails.

For the past several months, numerous threatening and demeaning emails and social media postings were sent to individuals of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office as well as individuals employed with the District Attorney’s office in Waynesville, North Carolina. The State Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation and several charges were taken out on Celebreeze. At some point in the investigation, Celebreeze had failed to make a scheduled court appearance.

Celebreeze surrendered himself to the Cherokee County Detention Center for the following charges: FAILURE TO APPEAR ON MISDEMEANOR X 3, EXTORTION X 2, and INTIMIDATING WITNESS X 2. He has a $357,000 secure bond and has an April 3, 2018, District Court date.

Sheriff Palmer stated, “We should remember, with the right of free speech, we have a responsibility not to infringe on the rights of others, and we will hold you accountable.”

Sheriff Palmer asks if you should have any information concerning this case or any other case to report suspicious activity and suspected violations of the law, please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Sex Offender Charged For Living too Close to School

Police & Government

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced that March 15th, 2018 arrest of 37 year old Adrian Montez Austin, of Andrews North Carolina for violations of the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry.

On March 1st of this year a complaint was made with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office that Austin had established a residence the complainant felt was too close to the High School in Andrews North Carolina.

Deputies with the Patrol Division and Investigations Division worked together and were able to obtain evidence that Austin had established a residence approximately 290 feet from the Andrews High School, as well as moving from Clay County and failing to notify of his new address.

During the investigation information was discovered that indicated that Austin was involved in the illegal sale of controlled substances and had possibly involved young teen age juvenile females.

Austin was arrested at his Andrews North Carolina residence and incarcerated in the Cherokee County Detention Center for 2 counts of Violation of the North Carolina General Statutes pertaining to the Sex Offender Registry. He is currently under a $15,000.00 secure bond and has a March 27th, 2018 court date.

Austin’s arrest was part of Operation Southern Impact II where a total of 76 people were arrested, and 13 children were rescued or identified as victims during a mutually coordinated operation between eight southeastern states. The joint, proactive event, Operation Southern Impact II, was coordinated by nine Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in those eight states and focused on persons who possess and distribute child pornography and those who are sexually exploiting children in other ways using technology and the internet.

Sheriff Palmer stated “As you can see this is just one of the reasons that we are so diligent in our monitoring of Sex Offenders and why we have partnered with our State and Federal Partners to keep our innocents safe.”

Sheriff Palmer asks if you should have any information concerning this case or any other case to report suspicious activity and suspected violations of the law to please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Graham appears in Superior Court Tuesday

Cherokee County Schools, News

MURPHY, N.C. – Thomas Graham, the Murphy High School principal charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a student stemming from incidents occurring in January and February of 2016, appeared before Judicial District 30A Judge William H. Coward in Superior Court Tuesday, March 6, in Murphy.

On Tuesday, the next court date for Murphy High School Principal Thomas Graham was set for July 2.

Graham is represented by Murphy attorney Gerald R. Collins, and Judge Coward set Graham’s next court appearance for July 2.

Graham, 45, was indicted by a grand jury and arrested by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Thursday, Feb. 8, and later released from the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $2,500 bond. According to the Cherokee County School System, the principal was suspended with pay Jan. 26, prior to the arrest. Since then, Jason Forrister has served as acting principal of Murphy High School.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Andrews man charged with murder

Police & Government

MURPHY, N.C. — Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the March 4. 2018, arrest of 36-year-old James Donald Taylor Jr., of Andrews, North Carolina, for second degree murder.

On March 4, 2018, the Cherokee County 911 Communications Center received a call for service to an address in Andrews, North Carolina. The nature of the call was that a female inside the residence had been shot. While law enforcement and emergency services personnel were en route to the scene, further information became known that Taylor had fled the scene in a small unknown make and model vehicle. Additional information was later given that Taylor was still armed.

Information was broadcast concerning the make and model of the vehicle that Taylor was occupying. A short time later, a deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office observed the vehicle inside the town limits of Murphy. A felony stop was initiated which included several officers of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and Murphy Police Department.

During the arrest of Taylor, information was later made known that the victim was deceased. Investigators with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by agents of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation worked late into the night continuing the investigation and seizing several items of evidence from the Andrews, North Carolina, residence.

Taylor has been booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on the charge of second degree murder. Currently, Taylor has no bond.

Sheriff Palmer stated, “This investigation is in its early stages as we continue to collect information. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and the community as we all experience this loss. We appreciate the assistance that has been provided by the Murphy Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.”

Sheriff Palmer asks if you should have any information concerning this case or any other case to report suspicious activity and suspected violations of the law, please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

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