Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
REVENGE PORN LAWSUIT
North Carolina woman awarded $3.2M in revenge porn case
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman has been awarded $3.2 million in a libel and revenge porn lawsuit against her ex-husband and his new girlfriend.
A jury on Monday sided with Elizabeth Ann Clark in her case against U.S. Army Maj. Adam Clark and Lt. Col. Kimberly Rae Barrett. The Fayetteville Observer reports this appears to be the first revenge porn lawsuit to reach a jury verdict in the state.
Elizabeth Clark says Adam Clark posted revealing photos of her online and spread lies, including that she had an eating disorder. He’s also accused of stalking her; related misdemeanor charges are pending against him. Elizabeth Clark’s lawyer, José Coker, said Barrett testified she’s under military investigation for adultery and other allegations including accessing the medical records of Elizabeth Clark and her children.
The Latest: NC court hears cases on racism and death penalty
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A defense attorney is asking North Carolina’s highest court to weigh in on what he called hundreds of years of racial discrimination in jury selection. But an attorney representing the state says the decision facing the state Supreme Court is limited to whether the provisions of a repealed law still apply.
The state Supreme Court began hearing arguments Monday in the cases of six inmates who say they ended up on death row because of racism and that they were incorrectly returned to death row when a law designed to help them, called the Racial Justice Act, was repealed.
Under the act, condemned men and women were able to seek a life sentence by using statistics to show that race tainted their trials.
ALARM TRIPPED-HOMEOWNER HANDCUFFED
Black man handcuffed after home alarm accidentally tripped
(Information from: WTVD-TV, http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they’re investigating the actions of officers who handcuffed a black man in his boxer shorts after his burglar alarm was accidentally tripped.
ABC 11 reported Sunday that Kazeem Oyeneyin is seeking an apology for the Aug. 17 incident.
The 31-year-old said a friend stayed over and unknowingly tripped the alarm when he left. Oyeneyin disengaged the alarm and returned to bed.
Oyeneyin said he soon heard screaming. He grabbed his gun and encountered police downstairs. He complied with orders to drop his gun, for which he had a permit. He tried to explain that he had just spoken to the alarm company.
Oyeneyin believes he was handcuffed because of his skin color. Raleigh police said they’re investigating but have repeatedly failed to reach Oyeneyin to discuss the incident.
SCENIC INN-WORKER KILLED
Man pleads guilty to killing co-worker at mountain inn
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A former employee at a well-known North Carolina mountain inn has pleaded guilty to killing a co-worker who was an aspiring chef.
Derek Shawn Pendergraft, 22, entered the plea Monday in federal court to first-degree murder and aggravated sexual abuse resulting in death.
Pendergraft admitted to killing Sara Ellis, his co-worker at the Pisgah Inn along the Blue Ridge Parkway, in July 2018. An autopsy found that Ellis died of strangulation.
Prosecutors say in a news release that the plea deal includes a life sentence without parole, though a sentencing date hasn’t been set.
Pendergraft initially told authorities the two went for a hike and he lost track of Ellis after she turned back in the rain. Authorities found her body off an embankment near the parkway.
Deputy shoots, kills dog after it attacks colleague
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a dog after investigators say the owner intentionally set it on him and his fellow deputies as they tried to serve arrest warrants.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office told news outlets that three deputies sent to the owner’s home on Sunday to serve domestic violence-related arrest warrants found the man sitting in front of his house. His pit bull then charged and bit one deputy on the leg, and continued the attack until another deputy shot and killed it.
The sheriff’s office says 27-year-old Stanley Tyson of Farmville is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and is jailed on a $75,000 bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.
Teen registers people to vote while in chicken sandwich line
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina teen has helped more than a dozen people who lined up to buy a chicken sandwich get the chance to line up at the polls.
News outlets report 17-year-old David Ledbetter says he registered 16 people to vote at a Popeye’s restaurant in Charlotte on Saturday.
Many people have flocked to Popeye’s nationwide to try the new menu item. A tweet announcing the sandwich’s release sparked a Twitter war with Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s. Consumers have been comparing chicken sandwiches sold at the fast-food restaurants.
Ledbetter isn’t old enough to vote himself, but says he noticed a lack of young people involved in politics. He says he was happy to find the majority of chicken sandwich lovers waiting in the drive-thru were already registered.
Over 20,000 AT&T workers in the South struck over weekend
NEW YORK (AP) – More than 20,000 AT&T workers in nine Southern states went on strike over the weekend, saying that the telecommunications company isn’t bargaining in good faith over a new contract.
The union, the Communications Workers of America, says AT&T isn’t sending negotiators who have the authority to make decisions.
When asked if there will be service interruptions for customers, AT&T said that it’s prepared for a strike. The workers who have walked off are technicians and customer service representatives for AT&T’s “wireline” home and business internet and phone division, not its cellphone division.
AT&T says it disagrees with the union’s claims of bad bargaining practices.
FORMER TRAINER-PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
Ex-athletic trainer indicted on child pornography charges
STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A federal prosecutor says a grand jury has filed a superseding indictment against a former athletic trainer intern who he says tried to entice young boys to send him sexually explicit images.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said in a news release on Monday that the 21-count indictment was returned against 23-year-old Frank Darrell Cromwell of Boone. Officials say Cromwell met some of the victims through his Appalachian State University internship as an athletic trainer at Watauga High School.
Prosecutors say Cromwell used a cell phone app and other means to entice victims to produce and send him sexually explicit images and videos. He’s also accused of using female names and images to convince the minors to produce and send him child pornography and to engage in sexual activity.