Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
3 charged in North Carolina after ‘Kitty’ found mutilated
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina are searching for a third suspect in the mutilation of a family cat.
News outlets reported Monday that 26-year-old Shariah Jessamyn Metzger and 29-year-old Jace Lee Greene have been arrested on charges of improper burial of an animal. Asheville police are searching for Zackery Eugene Greene on the same charge.
Officers were alerted to social media images of showing the dead cat strung up and sliced open, posed with needles in its body and drugs in its mouth.
A Brother Wolf Animal Rescue spokeswoman, Andee Bingham, says the cat was microchipped.
Owner Aaron Nastor told the local ABC affiliate WLOS that Kitty was their sweet family cat, and crimes like this are not what Asheville is about.
It’s unclear if the suspects have lawyers.
Teen shot in head at North Carolina barn party dies
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) – A teenager who was shot in the head at a large party at a North Carolina barn venue has died.
Citing an Orange County sheriff’s release, news outlets report that 18-year-old Rashiya Melton died Monday. She was found behind the barn early Sunday morning and airlifted to a hospital.
A second person was shot in the leg but wouldn’t cooperate with investigators.
The sheriff’s office says around 300 people attended the party at Smokehouse Valley Farm, northwest of Hillsborough. Around 150 people were still there when deputies arrived.
Orange County Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes says many attendees were high-school age and aren’t cooperating. No arrests have been announced, but Sykes says charges are pending.
Sheriff Charles Blackwood says alcohol was involved.
FATAL DOG ATTACK
Sheriff: N Carolina toddler dies from attack by family dog
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff’s office in North Carolina says a 1-year-old girl has died from injuries sustained when she was attacked by her family’s dog.
News outlets report the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office was told last week that a 6-year-old pit bull-mix was “slinging the child around in its mouth.” The sheriff’s office said Monday that Triniti Harrell has since died.
The girl’s mother, Miranda Harrell, says she tried to stop the attack by hitting and stabbing the dog, but it had no effect. Sheriff Clee Atkinson says a detective arrived and shot the dog twice. Atkinson says the first shot didn’t affect the dog, but the second shot killed it.
Authorities on scene attempted to stabilize Triniti, who was then taken to a hospital. No charges are expected to be filed.
NORTH CAROLINA-SCHOOL SHOOTING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Authorities identify high school shooting victim
MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) – Police have identified the North Carolina high school student who authorities say was fatally shot by a fellow student just before classes began.
Matthews Police Department Capt. Stason Tyrrell said at a news conference that 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen was shot Monday and died at a local hospital. McKeithen was a 10th-grader at Butler High School in Matthews, southeast of Charlotte.
Tyrrell said 16-year-old ninth-grader Jatwan Craig Cuffie is charged with first-degree murder. He is charged as an adult and is being held in the Mecklenburg County jail.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the shooting appears to have stemmed from a case of bullying “that escalated out of control.” Neither Wilcox nor Tyrrell said which student was being bullied.
Wilcox said classes at the high school have been canceled for Tuesday.
Mother charged after 1-year-old son died in hurricane
MONROE, N.C. (AP) – The mother of a 1-year-old who was swept into floodwaters created by Hurricane Florence has been charged in the boy’s death.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page 20-year-old Dazia Ideah Lee of Charlotte is charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving on a closed or unopened highway.
Lee told news outlets she wasn’t from the area and was unfamiliar with the roads. Authorities said the water from a rain-swollen creek pushed her car off the road and left her stuck in a group of trees on the night of Sept. 16. Lee said she was able to get Kaiden Lee-Welch out of the car, but the water caused her to lose her grip.
Multiple law enforcement teams searched for Kaiden that night and again in the morning, when his body was found.
N Carolina early voting ballots already exceed 2014 total
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – With four days of early in-person voting remaining, North Carolina already has cast more early ballots than it did during the last midterms in 2014.
The North Carolina elections board announced over 1.22 million people had voted at early voting sites or by traditional mail-in ballots as of Monday afternoon. Board spokesman Pat Gannon said the 2014 early-vote total of 1.18 million was exceeded earlier in the day.
Early in-person voting began Oct. 17 and ends Saturday. There were only 10 such days in 2014, when a U.S. Senate race was atop the ballot. Six constitutional referendums and four court seats are the statewide races this year.
Final 2014 voter turnout was 44 percent, or 2.9 million votes. Turnout so far this year is more than 17 percent.
Governor aims for cut in North Carolina greenhouse gases
CARY, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor says he’s trying to lessen the force of erratic and powerful storms like Hurricane Florence by ordering state agencies to work at cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday he wants state agencies that he controls to prioritize electric vehicles when they buy or lease, with the aim of encouraging a market that gets 80,000 zero-emission vehicles on the state’s roads in six years. Cooper also is ordering the administration, health and other agencies under his control to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent before 2025, compared to a starting point of 2005.
Cooper last year responded to President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from a worldwide climate agreement by joining with 14 other states that pledged to keep pursuing their share of the U.S. targets.
Appeals judges: Gag order in hog smells cases went too far
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court panel says a trial judge went too far with a gag order that forbid lawyers or virtually anyone with knowledge of conditions at North Carolina hog operations from sharing information with reporters or on social media.
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled Monday that judges overseeing lawsuits in the Carolinas, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia can issue gag orders only as a last resort. The ruling was sought by farm and journalism groups, including The Associated Press.
Pork giant Smithfield Foods challenged a North Carolina federal judge barring involved parties and “all potential witnesses” from discussing dozens of lawsuits claiming industrial-scale hog farms create unreasonable nuisances.
Juries in the first three trials hit Smithfield with verdicts totaling nearly $550 million.