Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
TEEN SHOOTING SUSPECT
Authorities seek teen suspect in North Carolina shooting
SANFORD, N.C. (AP) – Police are searching for a 15-year-old boy they say is a suspect in the death of a man and the shooting of a 16-year-old girl.
Officers tell local media they responded to a home in Sanford at around 11 p.m. Saturday. There, they found 48-year-old Monty Leroy Simmons, dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
A 16-year-old girl who had also been shot was taken to a hospital for treatment.
A secure custody order was issued for a 15-year-old boy for one count each of murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a minor. Police haven’t released his name or a possible motive for the shooting.
CHEMICAL PLANT DEATH
Worker dies after falling into tank at NC chemical plant
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina chemical plant is on shutdown as the company and investigators explore why a worker died.
A spokeswoman for Dutch chemical-maker AkzoNobel said Sunday the man fell into an empty tank at the company’s Salisbury plant. Spokeswoman Stephanie Murray says the site produces polymers used in everyday personal care products.
She said she doesn’t know if the worker died from falling 10 feet into the tank or as a result of some chemical reaction. Murray says investigations are under way. The worker was involved with operations to load the tank around 4 a.m. Saturday.
Murray says production at the plant has been suspended since the incident.
Feds charge man with carjacking semi-trucks on NC interstate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a botched effort to hijack a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 in North Carolina temporarily blocked part of the major East Coast highway.
U.S. Justice Department prosecutors in Raleigh are charging Raymond Lee Bryant Jr. of Roseboro with carjacking and using a firearm during a series of attempted armed robberies Thursday on I-95 in Dunn.
Prosecutors contend Bryant pointed a gun and fired a shot to force a driver and passenger out of one truck. But he jack-knifed the truck while backing up to make his getaway, blocking I-95’s northbound lanes.
Officials say Bryant tried to strong-arm another semi-truck, but the driver bailed out as the gunman approached. Bryant then confronted the two occupants of a third vehicle, and he sped from Harnett County.
GOLD MEDAL VETERAN
NC vet gets top US civilian award for facing enemy, racism
(Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com)
NASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina veteran can now boast about receiving the highest civilian honor awarded by the U.S. government in recognition for his Marine Corps service at a time of segregation.
The Rocky Mount Telegram reports that 93-year-old Allen Seth Johnson received the Congressional Gold Medal on Saturday as a surviving Montford Point Marine. They served during World War II and rest of the 1940s at a time Marines were trained separately at a camp next to North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune called Montford Point.
Johnson and the other Marines faced harsh racism in broader American society even as they were breaking down barriers in the military.
Johnson choked up with tears after receiving his medal and award plaque, thanking supporters at the ceremony in Nashville.
NORTH CAROLINA AWARDS
Deadline for names for NC’s highest civilian award is May 15
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The deadline to nominate someone for North Carolina’s highest civilian honor is around the corner.
The state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources extended the 2018 nomination period by a month to May 15 after not enough nominations were submitted in some categories.
Department spokeswoman Michele Walker says it’s not unusual to have to extend the nomination period.
The award recognizes notable accomplishments by North Carolina citizens in the fields of literature, science, fine arts and public service. Previous recipients include historian John Hope Franklin, basketball coach Dean Smith, musician Branford Marsalis and author Reynolds Price.
Winners are selected by a committee appointed by the governor. The recipients will be honored during ceremonies this fall in Raleigh.
SHERIFF’S CANDIDATE INVESTIGATED
Search warrants unsealed after AP, other media intervene
NEWTON, N.C. (AP) – Search warrants unsealed after The Associated Press and other media organizations intervened show authorities are investigating a sheriff’s candidate in North Carolina for possible violation of misdemeanors of stalking, cyberstalking and willfully failing to discharge duties.
No charges have been filed against Jason Reid, a candidate in Tuesday’s GOP primary to replace the current sheriff, his father, Coy Reid.
Jason Reid resigned in February as a narcotics officer. The warrants show he’s now classified as a reserve officer.
Superior Court Judge Jeff Carpenter decided Friday to unseal a redacted version of the warrants at the request of The AP and other media.
Judge Daniel Kuehnert had sealed the search warrants and all related information in a closed hearing on April 19.
INNOCENCE CLAIM-APPEALS COURT
Federal court to hear NC man’s innocence claim in 1976 death
(Information from: The Wilson Daily Times, http://www.wilsondaily.com)
WILSON, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court wants to hear the case of a North Carolina man who has spent more than 40 years in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit.
The Wilson Times reports the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the case of 79-year-old Charles Ray Finch, who was convicted in 1976 in the killing of Richard Holloman.
Finch has maintained his innocence since he was charged with shooting Holloman to death in a failed robbery attempt inside Holloman’s country store.
The Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic is representing Finch. Clinic co-director Jim Coleman says attorneys convicted the court that Finch has “a legitimate claim of innocence.”
Prosecutors have said previously that Finch received a fair trial.
NC man acquitted in wife’s death reaches $200K settlement
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – The attorney for a dentist acquitted of a murder charge in his estranged wife’s death says his client has reached a $200,000 settlement in his lawsuit alleging that State Bureau of Investigation agents in North Carolina tried to frame him.
Attorney John Vermitsky tells the Winston-Salem Journal the settlement was reached in the lawsuit filed in 2011 by Dr. Kirk Alan Turner. That lawsuit said two SBI agents fabricated blood evidence at his trial.
The jury found Turner not guilty by reason of self-defense. Turner said his wife, Jennifer, stabbed him in the groin with a 7-foot spear.
Testimony showed Jennifer Turner’s trachea and windpipe were cut, and her jugular vein and carotid artery were hit. Her cervical spine was cut in two places.
The settlement was reached during mediation in March. .