Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT
Sheriff’s office involved in 2 fatal shootings in 24 hours
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is looking into two unrelated shooting deaths involving the same sheriff’s office within 24 hours.
News organizations report two Guilford County sheriff’s deputies were shot Monday during a standoff with a man barricaded in a house in High Point. After the 11-hour standoff, deputies entered the house, exchanged gunfire with the man and shot him dead.
Authorities say deputies had been trying to serve the man with civil papers. The two deputies were hospitalized, but one has since been released.
In the other shooting, deputies were performing a welfare check Tuesday at a home in Jamestown. A department spokesman says when deputies arrived, the man fired at them as he stood outside the home. The deputies fired back and killed him.
APPEALS COURT-HOTEL ARSON
Murder, arson convictions upheld in death of Army veteran
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina court has upheld a man’s first-degree murder and arson convictions in the death of an Army veteran set on fire in a hotel room.
The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected arguments by Garry Joseph Gupton, now serving life in prison for Steven White’s 2014 death. Gupton’s lawyer failed to convince the three-judge panel that prosecutors lacked evidence to prove it was arson and that Gupton was sane when the crime occurred.
Court documents show Gupton and White met at a Greensboro gay bar and appeared intoxicated. Gupton testified he “started freaking out” and hallucinating after White became sexually aggressive at the hotel. Evidence shows Gupton struck and strangled White and lit the bed’s comforter on fire before putting it on him. White died days later.
Deputies shot, man dead in North Carolina eviction standoff
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say an hours-long standoff over an eviction in North Carolina has ended with two deputies shot and a man dead.
News outlets report a Guilford County deputy went to the man’s home in High Point Monday morning to serve him notice to leave the property.
Capt. Brian Hall says the man pushed the deputy away and locked himself inside the house. A deputy then heard gunfire from inside the home. Hall says negotiators then spent hours trying to persuade the man to come outside, but he stopped responding.
Two officers finally entered the home Monday evening, and were met by gunfire. The officers fired back, and the man was pronounced dead.
The deputies’ names and conditions haven’t been released.
The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.
Court tosses another protection against sweepstakes machines
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina appeals court has overturned another lower-court decision that prevented law enforcement officers from shutting down certain kinds of video sweepstakes machines through which patrons who buy gift cards can win prizes.
A three-judge panel on Tuesday threw out a 2017 permanent injunction which declared sweepstakes prohibitions didn’t apply to the Gift Surplus kiosk machines marketed by Sandhill Amusements.
The state Supreme Court overturned a similar 2015 injunction involving an earlier version of the kiosks. But changes were made to the machine games, leading to the second injunction from an Onslow County judge.
Court of Appeals Judge Hunter Murphy wrote that the machines still violate the ban because the sweepstakes are conducted through “an entertaining display” in the form of video games that look like slot machines.
Maryland police ID man killed in crash of semi hauling beer
NORTH EAST, Md. (AP) – Maryland state police have released the identity of a semitruck driver who was killed over the weekend when his vehicle overturned on Interstate 95.
The News Journal of Wilmington reports 32-year-old Benjamin Pula died in the Sunday morning crash near North East and Rising Sun. The newspaper says Pula’s LinkedIn page says he was a semitruck driver based in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he also helped manage a dairy goat farm.
His semitruck overturned just miles from the Delaware state line. Photos show the flipped vehicle’s cab cut in half by a guardrail and the rest of the vehicle split open, leaving hundreds of cases of beer spilled across the roadway.
Traffic was diverted for hours. The cause of the crash is unclear. An investigation is ongoing.
2 men accused in fraud scheme that raised almost $6 million
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CORNELIUS, N.C. (AP) – The Securities and Exchange Commission says two North Carolina businessmen are accused in a scheme that raised nearly $6 million, including from friends and family.
The Charlotte Observer reports the SEC filed a complaint against Dana Bradley and Marlin Hershey and eight companies owned by either one or both. The SEC says they told investors they would use the money for developing and rehabilitating homes in Charlotte, but instead used the money to repay other investors and themselves a combined $1 million in commissions.
According to the SEC, neither Bradley nor Hershey was registered as a broker with the SEC during the time period of the securities offerings detailed in the complaint.
Two Charlotte attorneys representing the men say they disagree with the SEC’s characterization of their clients.
WHOSE BIGFOOT IS THIS
“Somebody’s got a big foot”: Man to hunt for fabled creature
(Information from: WCNC-TV, http://www.wcnc.com/)
CASAR, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man says he plans to spend a night hunting for a fabled North American creature because he found a footprint that seemed to be larger than a human could make.
Electrician Joe Scarborough tells WCNC-TV that he was working near Casar last week when he spotted what appeared to be fresh footprint about 13 to 14 inches long. He says “I was looking at that real close and … I said ‘Somebody’s got a big foot.'”
He says he now plans to spend the night in the area with some game cameras to see what happens, because “why not?” He says it’s hard to believe in any sort of supernatural finding until you see it for yourself.
AP analysis: Wide gaps in legal protection of LGBT workers
The Supreme Court’s decision on whether federal law shields LGBT people from job discrimination could leave millions of gay and transgender workers vulnerable in large areas of the U.S. where no protections exist at the state or local level.
The court appeared divided last week during arguments over whether a federal agency can continue treating LGBT-based harassment and firings as illegal sex discrimination.
An Associated Press analysis has found that half of an estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers live in 28 U.S. states with no state laws prohibiting discrimination targeting gay and transgender workers.
Among them is Rachel Mosby. She’s a transgender woman who served as fire chief of Byron, Georgia, before her firing in June, 18 months after she openly transitioned. As a man, Mosby held the job for a decade.