Entries in North Carolina (94)


Retrial Begins for NC Man Accused of Killing Pregnant Wife

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- The second trial of a man who is accused of beating his pregnant wife to death in their North Carolina home began this week with testimony from the dead woman's sister that the defendant was unfaithful with multiple mistresses.

Jason Young, 37, is on trial for first-degree murder a second time, after a jury was deadlocked while deliberating last July. Michelle Young was 29 years old and five months pregnant with their second child when she was found face-down in a pool of blood by her sister, Meredith Fisher, in 2006.

Jason Young was released from jail in July 2011 after posting a $900,000 bond but now could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Fisher went to the couple's house after receiving a voicemail from Jason Young asking her to do a favor and see if she could find an item in the house near the computer.

In emotional testimony, Fisher described finding her sister, who was a star employee at Progress Energy, beaten with her then 2-year-old daughter, Cassidy, nearby.

"That's the small of her back, that I touched her and felt that she was cold," Fisher recalled.

Fisher tried to encourage Cassidy, the only witness and now age 7, to speak on the 911 call: "Sweetie do you know what happened to mommy?  Did she fall?" Cassidy responded, "She's got boo-boos everywhere."

Young says that he was at a hotel on a business trip in Hillsville, Va., 160 miles from their home in Raleigh, the night that his wife died.

The prosecution argued that Young drove back from Hillsville that night to murder Michelle, and then tampered with the hotel's security equipment to cover his tracks.

Keith Hicks, a worker at the hotel, testified that he found an unplugged security camera and an open emergency exit door.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Woman Uses Bible Verses to Ward Off Attacker

George Doyle/Thinkstock(SHELBY, N.C.) -- A North Carolina woman read the Bible to her attacker for an hour and a half after he slashed her throat before the man apologized and left.

Lindsay Wood, 32, of Shelby, N.C., had just arrived home from Bible study on Wednesday. Wood asked her 15-year-old son to collect the trash can from the curb. During this time, Wood’s attacker walked into her home and slashed her neck.

“She told him please not to hurt her, that she loved the Lord and her son,” neighbor Faye Cooke told ABC affiliate WSOC.

Police said Wood’s son heard what was happening and hid in the backyard out of sight while Wood continued to reason with the man.

“She offered her car up, as well as money,” Rick Stafford, a captain in the Shelby Police Department told WSOC.

But the man took none of those things.

Despite her injuries, Wood opened her Bible and read to her attacker.

He listened. She even invited him to her church.

After an hour and a half, her attacker apologized and left.

Wood is in the hospital recovering from her injuries, which required 20-25 stitches and staples in her neck.

Meanwhile, police are hoping to apprehend the man, who didn’t seem to want anything more than to hurt an innocent person.

“We want him off the street,” Stafford said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NC Community College Locked Down After Reports of Gunman

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- A community college in Raleigh, N.C., was put on lockdown Tuesday morning after a gunman was spotted near the main campus, ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV reported.

Around 10:30 a.m., Wake Technical Community College (@waketechcc) tweeted that the "Main Campus lockdown has been lifted."

No other details were immediately available at the time.

The lockdown was prompted after 9 a.m., when police say they received a call about an armed person on campus.

Wake Tech then issued a message on its website, saying: "Lock Down procedures are in effect for Main Campus. No one is allowed in or off of Main Campus at this time."

The entrance to the school was blocked off by authorities, WTVD reported, but traffic nearby was not affected.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Shooting at North Carolina Lumber Company Leaves 3 Dead

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(STAR, N.C.) – Three people have died and another is injured after a disgruntled employee shot up a lumber company in North Carolina before turning the gun on himself, police said Friday.

Ronald Dean Davis, 50, of Ether, is accused of shooting four people at McBride Lumber Co. in Star, N.C., around 6:30 a.m. Friday before later shooting himself at home. Police found Davis in critical condition at his home after the shooting, and he was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Three of the victims, meanwhile, have died, and the fourth victim was airlifted to a hospital where he is in critical condition, police said.

The shooter was a disgruntled former employee who left a note about the shootings.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Edwards Seeks Delay in Criminal Trial for ‘Medical Issue’

Steve Exum/Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Attorneys for John Edwards are seeking to delay his criminal trial --  in part because the former Democratic presidential candidate has developed a medical issue that cannot be resolved before the scheduled trial date in late January.

In a document filed Thursday in federal court in North Carolina, the defense lawyers wrote that Edwards “has unexpectedly encountered a medical issue which makes the trial of this case in the January 2012 criminal term extraordinarily difficult.”  The defense was seeking a 60-day delay.

The details of the medical condition were not revealed in the public portion of the court filing but were provided to the court and the prosecutors in a sealed exhibit accompanying the defense motion. Edwards’ attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Edwards was charged in June in a six-count indictment alleging his complicity in a scheme to solicit -- from two wealthy supporters -- hundreds of thousands of dollars that were used to support and seclude Rielle Hunter, with whom Edwards had an extra-marital affair and fathered a child. The government contends the money was spent to protect Edwards’ campaign, in violation of election laws.   Edwards pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and his defense team contends that the government’s case is based on flawed interpretations of campaign finance laws.

Aside from the medical issue, the defense team argues that -- given the sheer volume of material handed over to them by the government -- they would have inadequate time to prepare if the trial were to proceed in January. According to the motion, the prosecutors have produced more than a half a million pages of documents since August.

The government immediately filed a response opposing the delay on the grounds of inadequate time to prepare -- but took no position in regards to the medical condition cited by Edwards.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Novelist Convicted of Wife’s Murder Released; Will Get New Trial

Comstock/Thinkstock(DURHAM, N.C.) -- Novelist Michael Peterson was released from prison Thursday nearly a decade after being convicted in the first-degree murder of his wife, Kathleen, in a bizarre case in Durham, N.C., that was dubbed “the staircase murder.”

Peterson secured $300,000 bond Wednesday. The integrity of the original case was called into question when the testimony of a key prosecution expert was discredited.

Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson ruled that Duane Deaver, a State Bureau of Investigation analyst, misled jurors about the strength of bloodstain evidence in the 68-year-old’s 2003 trial, according to ABC News affiliate WTVD in Raleigh, N.C.

After his release Thursday afternoon, Peterson spoke to reporters who had gathered, expressing his gratitude: “I have waited over eight years, 2,988 days as a matter of fact, and I counted for an opportunity to have a retrial. I want to thank Judge Hudson for giving me that opportunity so that I can vindicate myself and prove my innocence in a fair trial this time. I want to thank all the people who’ve supported me from all over the world. It’s impossible for me to express my gratitude. What I want to do now though is to spend some time with, you know, my family and with my children. And certainly at a later time, I’d be happy to talk with everybody and share more. Thank you very, very much.”

According to a WTVD report, Deaver was fired earlier this year after an independent review found that he either “misreported test results, withheld results that could have helped the defendant or overstated the strength of the evidence to the benefit of prosecutors” in more than 30 cases.

In a statement, Deaver’s attorney, Philip Isley, said:  “We respectfully disagree with Judge Hudson’s beliefs about our client, Duane Deaver. Our client did not perjure himself or mislead the jury in the original Peterson trial, in any way.”

Peterson will get a new trial and must remain under house arrest until then.

Peterson is a former newspaper columnist and one-time Durham mayoral candidate. He and his wife, a Nortel Networks executive, lived in a sprawling white house in Durham. By most accounts, it was a storybook second marriage for both.

But the outward appearances came under serious scrutiny when Peterson called police on the morning of Dec. 9, 2001. In a frantic 911 call, he claimed to have discovered his wife alive but unconscious at the bottom of a staircase.

She died later that day.

From the beginning, Peterson maintained that his wife had simply slipped on the stairs in a tragic accident after drinking wine and taking valium. However, according to police who arrived on the scene, the amount of blood spilled across the stairs and on the victim immediately raised suspicions of foul play.

Peterson was arrested and charged with murder.

Peterson’s well-known novels include “The Immortal Dragon” and “A Time of War.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Thank Fort Bragg Troops Ahead of Iraq Withdrawal

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will travel with the first lady to Fort Bragg Wednesday morning, where he will deliver a speech to troops and their families, thanking them for their service.

The Obamas' visit to the North Carolina military base comes as America's involvement in the near nine-year war in Iraq comes to an end later this month. Just over 5,000 U.S. troops remain there in advance of the Dec. 31 withdraw deadline, down from the peak of 170,000, during the successful "surge" in 2007.

The White House says the president, "will speak about the enormous sacrifices and achievements of the brave Americans who served in the Iraq War, and he will speak about the extraordinary milestone of bringing the war in Iraq to an end."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Severe Weather Sweeps Southeast

Comstock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Severe storms, including tornadoes, swept across the southeastern United States on Wednesday.

The storms raked through Alabama and Mississippi, where there are reports of people trapped in their homes.

One person was killed by a falling tree in Georgia, and another person died in the York County area of North Carolina.

The York County victim's identity has yet to be released, and officials have not indicated how he or she died.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


East Carolina University Locked Down on Report of Man Carrying Gun

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(GREENVILLE, N.C.) -- A lockdown at East Carolina University has been lifted, about three hours after police reported spotting a man with an assault rifle near the campus.

“The situation has ended and there is no threat to the campus at this time,” ECU news services office spokeswoman Jeannine Manning-Hutson told ABC News.

The school, located in Greenville, N.C., was on lockdown for about three hours following a security camera sighting of a man believed to be carrying an assault weapon, a backpack and a cowboy hat.

No one was taken into custody, but authorities are still investigating.

Manning-Hutson said Greenville police spotted the man on security cameras and reported the sighting to the ECU police.

No shots were fired and the ECU police is working with the Greenville Police Department and the Pitt County Sheriff’s Department to investigate the sighting.

At 10:11 a.m., the school sent out an alert reporting an armed individual and the instructions to “secure offices and buildings.”

Residence halls were locked and all campus buildings were searched by authorities.

The school has an enrollment of nearly 28,000 students.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


After NC Fire, Duke Energy Advises Customers to Suspend Use of Electric Car Chargers

Stockbyte/John Foxx/Thinkstock(MOORESVILLE, N.C.) -- Duke Energy, the southeastern utility, has advised 125 customers with electric or hybrid cars to avoid using their home-charging stations during the investigation of a fire in Mooresville, N.C., that apparently started near a charging station the company installed.

One hundred of its customers in Indiana and 25 in the Carolinas have the same Siemens charging station found in the garage by firefighters responding to the Oct. 30 fire, according to Paige Layne, a Duke Energy spokeswoman.

“Because the early report said the fire started somewhere in the vicinity of the charging station, we suggested they may not want to use them out of an abundance of caution,” Layne said. There was no reason then to believe it was caused by the charger, she said, adding, “We still don’t think there is.”

Firefighters said a General Motors car was connected to a charger in the home’s garage when they responded to the fire, which did an estimated $800,000 worth of damage to the home, according to ABC affiliate WSOC.

Iredell County Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Garland Cloer investigated the garage Monday morning with representatives of GM, Siemens, Duke Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation to ascertain how the fire started. Firefighters said other electric appliances were plugged in in the garage when they responded to the fire, the report said.

It could take several days to take everything out of the garage, Cloer said, according to WSOC.

“From the electrical wiring to the house, to the vehicles, to anything in the garage, it could have even spontaneously combusted,” Cloer said. “We won’t know until we sift through it and find all the evidence that we can find.”

WSOC said the charger was a 240-volt unit built by Siemens for use with GM cars. The car is most likely the hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volt, GM’s most prominent hybrid car model.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers has been a prominent proponent of electric vehicles (EVs), WSOC noted, adding that he has said he wanted to see more EVs and charging stations in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, which will be held there in 2012.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following statement:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aware of the fire that was reported in Mooresville, N.C., this past weekend and will be conducting a post-incident analysis. No conclusions have yet been reached regarding the cause of the fire. We are continuing to monitor the situation.

NHTSA researchers began studying earlier this year whether lithium ion batteries—the type of battery in the GM Volt—pose a fire hazard, reported.

“We don’t want anyone to burn down their house when they’re charging their car,” said Kevin Vincent, the agency’s chief counsel, according to the report.

GM has assisted the study, giving researchers a tour of the battery lab that produces Volt batteries, the report said.

GM did not respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Department Energy did not respond to inquiries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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