AP-NC Newswatch

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September 12, 2019
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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT


NC officer won’t face charges in fatal suspect shooting
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina district attorney has announced that a police officer accused of shooting and killing a suspect said to be wielding a knife won’t face criminal charges.
WRAL says a Wednesday report by Wake County District attorney Lorrin Freeman concluded that Raleigh officer W.B. Edwards feared for his life when 30-year-old Soheil Antonio Mojarrad ignored commands to drop a knife and approached Edwards with it.
Raleigh police have said Edwards was responding to a possible theft in April when he shot and killed Mojarrad. July autopsy results showed Mojarrad was shot eight times.
The shooting drew scrutiny after it was revealed Edwards’ body-worn camera wasn’t activated and his vehicle camera was pointed away.
Mojarrad’s parents say their son was mentally ill and have questioned if the shooting was justified.



NC man dies in patrol car after encounter with officers
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say a man died in the back of a police car following an encounter where he was handcuffed and detained by officers.
WRAL reports Fayetteville police responded to calls of a man going door-to-door acting strangely Thursday morning. A Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy says they later spotted the man jumping on a car’s hood.
Officers say the man began beating on the hood of a patrol car when they arrived. The outlet reports officers took him to the ground and handcuffed him.
Officers later noticed the man wasn’t breathing and attempted CPR. But the sheriff’s office says he died in the back of the patrol car.
The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident and involved officers have been placed on administrative duty.



‘That was my child’: Transgender deaths take toll in US
LUMBER BRIDGE, N.C. (AP) – A slaying in eastern North Carolina this summer left another victim in a deadly year for transgender people.
The Human Rights Campaign says 23-year-old Avery Scurlock of Lumber Bridge was one of 18 transgender people killed in the U.S. so far this year. Seventeen were black transgender women like Avery. Friends and family in Robeson County accepted Avery as a transgender woman named Chanel, but still called him Avery and used male pronouns unless he was dressed as a woman in public.
They say Avery was meeting a man he met on a dating website when he was shot eight times in early June. A 20-year-old man is charged with murder in the death.
The campaign says black transgender women have also been killed this year in 10 other states.



Small earthquake reported in western North Carolina
CHEROKEE, NC (AP) – The U.S. Geological Survey says there was a small earthquake in western North Carolina.
The agency said on its website Thursday that the 2.5-magnitude quake occurred outside the town of Cherokee. The town is west of Ashville and near the Tennessee border.
Media outlets said there were no reports of damage or that anyone was hurt.
USGS says that people living in the region have felt small earthquakes since at least 1776. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike every few decades with smaller tremors occurring every year or two.
The largest earthquake on record in the area had a magnitude of 5.1 and struck in 1916.



North Carolina’s Disaster Relief Fund approaches $6 million
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper’s office says donations to North Carolina’s Disaster Relief Fund following Hurricane Florence have reached nearly $6 million.
Cooper thanked contributors on Wednesday as he met with storm survivors and non-profit partners in communities affected by the storm. The relief fund has raised $5.9 million from thousands of donors after Florence struck in September 2018. Individuals, schools, corporations, small businesses, foundations, and philanthropists make up the majority of the donors.
A news release from the governor’s office says donations have helped storm survivors with rent and mortgage payments, home repairs and replacement of personal property through grants to nonprofits and community groups.
The Golden LEAF Foundation and the North Carolina Community Foundation serve as the grant-making organizations for the relief fund.



Lawsuit: Zaxby’s worker fired for reporting sex harassment
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a North Carolina Zaxby’s franchise after a worker says she was fired for reporting sexual harassment by the franchise’s general manager.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the complaint states the woman began working at the Greensboro restaurant in November 2018. The complaint says the general manager soon began making sexually inappropriate comments on a near-daily basis and requests to “perform various sexual acts.”
The lawsuit says the manager invited the woman for an expense-paid night at a hotel to have sex in December 2018 and requested she wear fishnet stockings.
The woman says she was fired when she reported the alleged harassment.
A Zaxby’s spokesman wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday.



US Attorney: Virginia inmate sent death threats from prison
POUND, Va. (AP) – An inmate in Virginia has been convicted of sending letters from prison to an official who prosecuted his criminal case, threatening to “put a bullet” in their head.
U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said Wednesday that a jury had found Red Onion State Prison inmate Randall J. Keystone guilty of sending threats to injure through the mail.
The Bristol Herald Courier reports that evidence presented at trial accused Keystone of sending the letters to the home and office of a former prosecutor who’d handled his 1998 attempted rape case.
Keystone reportedly suggested he’d shoot the official, who’s now an assistant U.S. attorney in North Carolina.
Court records show Keystone was previously convicted of sending a letter to the victim in his 1998 case, but the letter was intercepted.



Suspect arrested in death of missing man in North Carolina
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a suspect in the death of a man reported missing last week.
The Craven County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 26-year-old Kion Leonardo Beatty of New Bern is charged with murder in the death 22-year-old Deondre Tyshawn Surles, also from New Bern.
The sheriff’s office says Surles was reported missing by his mother on Sept. 2. Investigators found his body on Tuesday in a wooded area of the county.
The news release says deputies arrested Beatty based on interviews they conducted, but didn’t provide any additional information.
An online jail record didn’t provide information on Beatty’s status on Wednesday.



AP-WF-09-12-19 1520GMT