Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
FBI asks for deer camera video to aid kidnapped teen search
LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) – The FBI is asking deer hunters to turn over surveillance video from the North Carolina county where a 13-year-old girl was kidnapped more than two weeks ago.
News outlets report the agency said in a statement Tuesday that they needed “every piece of video” that could help determine the exact movements of the SUV stolen from the mobile home park where Hania Aguilar was kidnapped Nov. 5.
Relatives say the eighth-grader went outside to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the school bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into an SUV and drove off.
The SUV was later found in Lumberton, several miles from the mobile home park.
Authorities searched more areas on foot Tuesday using drones and dogs.
ASHEVILLE SHOOTING DEATH
New trial ordered as jurors weren’t told about defense law
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appellate court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted in a fatal shooting he argued was self-defense.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the state Court of Appeals said Tuesday that jurors in Kelvin Oyakahil Irabor’s first trial weren’t told about the state’s “stand your ground” law. The 33-year-old Irabor was convicted last year of murder in the 2015 shooting of Dondre Keyshaw Nelson. Irabor admitting to shooting Nelson and said it was in self-defense.
The appellate court says in its unanimous opinion that a jury could have decided the state’s stand your ground law applied to the shooting. It says trial testimony indicated an altercation precipitated the shooting, and Irabor said then that he was afraid of what Nelson would do.
Man straps self to machine to protest West Virginia pipeline
LINDSIDE, W.Va. (AP) – Authorities have arrested a protester who strapped himself to construction equipment at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site in West Virginia.
News outlets report state police haven’t released details about the Monday arrest at the Lindside site. The man was strapped that morning to the equipment roughly 20 feet above the ground with a sign that said “No pipelines on stolen land.”
Authorities arrested him by late that afternoon. A group of protesters also gathered in a nearby parking lot with signs asking to stop the pipeline.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 300-mile (483-kilometer) natural gas pipeline that is being constructed in West Virginia and Virginia and has used eminent domain to acquire project space.
Pipeline developers recently submitted an application to extend pipeline into North Carolina.
NORTH CAROLINA-VOTER ID
N. Carolina lawmakers propose allowing range of voter IDs
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republican legislators implementing a new change to the state constitution are thinking about allowing a relatively broad range of photo identification to validate voters who cast in-person ballots in future elections.
Proposed legislation state Senate staffers circulated Tuesday would require voters to show a driver’s license, passport, state university ID, tribal enrollment card, or a new type of photo ID issued free by county elections boards. IDs that expired after a voter’s 70th birthday also would be accepted.
The General Assembly returns to work next week after voters this month approved a state constitutional amendment requiring photo identification to vote in person.
Federal judges struck down a 2013 voting law requiring photo ID, ruling Republicans passed it to discriminate against minorities. Republicans say they were protecting election integrity.
Lawsuit continues against novelist Sparks, school he started
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge says the former headmaster of a private Christian school founded by novelist Nicholas Sparks can continue to sue the author, the North Carolina school, and the foundation Sparks created to support it.
U.S. District Judge James Dever III ruled last month that a jury should decide whether the author of “Message in a Bottle” and “The Notebook” defamed Saul Hillel Benjamin and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Sparks allegedly told parents, a job recruiter and others that the former Epiphany School of Global Studies headmaster suffered from mental health problems. Benjamin was in the position for less than five months and said he was forced out.
Attorneys have proposed settlement discussions for next month and a potential trial starting in March. Sparks’ public relations firm and attorneys didn’t respond when invited to comment.
Official: 911 call about active shooter prompts lockdowns
CARRBORO, N.C. (AP) – Officials in North Carolina say a 911 call reporting an active shooter near an elementary school and daycare turned out to be false.
Carrboro Police Capt. Chris Atack said the department received a 911 call around 11 a.m. Tuesday reporting an active shooter, but said police “have no reason to believe this is a legitimate active shooter,” adding that an investigation into the call is underway.
Carrboro Elementary School Principal Jillian LaSerna said in a statement that the school would remain on a soft lockdown. Parents were directed to town hall to pick up their children.
Carrboro United Methodist Childcare Center Director Achlee Alston said by telephone that police found nothing when they searched the building and they’ve lifted the lockdown.
Carrboro is adjacent to Chapel Hill.
Felon’s sentence stands after driving SUV through house
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A felon who plowed his speeding SUV through a sleeping woman’s bedroom while fleeing North Carolina law officers can’t claim he was wrongly convicted based on insufficient evidence he caused more than $1,000 in damage.
The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Donald Leon Gorham II was rightfully convicted of speeding to elude arrest through three counties and a neighborhood near Burlington.
Gorham tore through Reidsville’s city limits at 80 mph (130 kph), hit a guardrail, steered up a driveway, splintered through a house, and clipped a shed. A woman was lying in her bed with her head less than a foot (.3 meters) away from where Gorham’s Chevrolet Tahoe passed through the house.
Gorham was convicted as a habitual felon and is serving a 10-year prison sentence.
CENTRAL TEXAS-DRUG RING
17 sentenced in Texas drug ring, ties to North Carolina
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Prosecutors say 17 people have been sentenced for their convictions in a Central Texas cocaine and methamphetamine ring with ties to North Carolina.
A federal judge in Austin on Tuesday ordered sentences ranging from nearly 22 years in prison to probation or time served for the ring operating since 2016 in the Taylor area.
Records show 20 people were indicted in November 2017 and arrested the following month on trafficking-related conspiracy charges. They’re from Laredo, Round Rock, Taylor, Pflugerville, Temple and Austin, plus Sanford, Broadway and Cameron, North Carolina.
Members of the ring, which also dealt in pharmaceutical narcotics, transported drugs from Laredo to Central Texas, then to North Carolina and other U.S. points.
Prosecutors say 20 people have been convicted, along with seizure of cash, drugs and guns.