Cherokee NC Sheriff Office Arrests Man for Sexual Assault of a Minor

Arrest Reports, News, Police & Government

CHEROKEE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SHERIFF DERRICK PALMER FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, November 05, 2018 For more information call 828.837.2589

MURPHY MAN ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the October 30th, 2018 arrest of Harry James Verner, a 18 year old Murphy North Carolina man for charges stemming from the sexual assault of a minor.

On or about October 15th, 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a young child had been sexually assault on or about October 13th, 2018 at a residence in the Hiwassee Dam Community of Cherokee County North Carolina. Pursuant to that information an investigation was conducted in which Verner was identified as the suspect which lead to his October 30th, 2018 arrest.

Harry James Verner is currently being held in the Cherokee County Detention Center for First Degree Statutory Sexual Offense with a Child and Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child. Verner’s secure bond is currently $200,000.00. Verner currently has November 08th, 2018 District Court date.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “We thank the Cherokee County Schools, and the District Attorney’s Office for their cooperation and assistance in this investigation. These are difficult cases for all concerned. Because of the age of the victim and the nature of the crime there will be no further press releases from this office.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Georgia Woman Charged with Child Abuse

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 5th, 2018 arrest of Elisha Keri Lowman, a 28 year old Ellijay Georgia woman for possession of methamphetamine and child abuse.

On June 5th, 2018 a Deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office observed Lowman operating a vehicle in which she committed a traffic violation. While the Deputy was investigating the traffic violation he observed in plain view an article of paraphernalia. A second Deputy arrived on scene and found a container that had a small amount of methamphetamine. Lowman was arrested for the possession of the illegal substance.

During the traffic stop the deputies found three small children in the car along with a pit bull. A Cherokee County Department of Social Services worker came to the scene and arranged for the children to go home with a relative at the request of Lowman. The pit bull was brought to the Sheriff’s Office where it was kept until another relative of Lowman could come get it.

Lowman was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where she was taken before the North Carolina Magistrate set a $5,000.00 bond. Lowman is currently incarcerated awaiting either bond or a June 12th, 2018 District Court date.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Good work by the deputies both with getting the drugs off the street and making it safe for the children. We also thank the Cherokee County Department of Social Services for their assistance in the matter.”

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.

Andrews man arrested for sexual assault of a minor

Press Release

MURPHY, N.C. — Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the May 25, 2018, arrest of 33-year-old Ryan Alexander Hamilton, of Andrews, North Carolina, for charges stemming from a sexual assault investigation.

Following a May 5, 2018, report of a sexual assault of a minor female child committed in the town of Andrews, North Carolina, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation, which included the assistance of the HAVEN Child Advocacy Center. From that investigation, Hamilton was identified as a suspect in the case. Information gathered during the investigation was presented to the North Carolina Magistrate, who issued warrants for the arrest of Hamilton.

Ryan Alexander Hamilton was arrested at his residence without incident. He was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where the magistrate set a $10,000 secure bond for the charges of sexual battery and assault on a female. Hamilton is currently incarcerated at the detention center awaiting a June 12, 2018, District Court date.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “We want to reach out and thank the staff of HAVEN for their invaluable assistance they provide, not only in this particular case, but in all the cases involving our youth!”

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

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.

 

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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.

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