Latest North Carolina News:
Another NC mini-session begins, with no action expected
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly is bypassing work this week during another reconvened session that had been previously announced to take up any unexpected business. The House and Senate gaveled in their floor meetings at midday Wednesday, and both adjourned within 15 minutes. Republican leaders say there are no plans for recorded votes before the session ends Friday. A similar mini-session occurred in early April without action, either. The General Assembly’s traditional budget-adjusting session begins May 18. Senate leader Phil Berger says he and House Speaker Tim Moore are aiming to complete that session by July 1.
US Rep. Butterfield tests positive for COVID-19
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has tested positive for COVID-19. The Wilson Democrat who has represented northeastern North Carolina since 2004 made the announcement on Wednesday. He says he has mild symptoms and is vaccinated and boosted. Butterfield plans to work from home this week during an isolation period. Butterfield is the latest in a number of political figures who serve in Washington to announce a positive test, including Vice President Kamala Harris. U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross, a Democrat from Raleigh, announced a positive test last week. Butterfield is not seeking reelection this fall to his 1st Congressional District seat.
Alabama church of ‘Bloody Sunday’ on endangered places list
An Alabama church that was at the center of the voting rights movement in the 1960s is now eaten up by termites and damaged by water leaks. Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma tops this year’s list of endangered historic places from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., works to highlight and preserve sites that are in danger of being lost. A Brown Chapel member says the church shut down at the start of the pandemic, and members found extensive damage when they returned. The building was constructed in 1908 and was the starting point for voting rights marches in 1965.
2012 MURDER CASE-ARREST
North Carolina sheriff’s office arrests man in 2012 murder
CLINTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a North Carolina man has been arrested in connection with a murder case dating back to 2012. News outlets reported the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday that Glen Allen Stewart, Jr. was identified as a person of interest during the initial investigation into the death of Kim Douglas Mckoy Jr., whose body was discovered on a road on July 19, 2012. But authorities said there was not enough evidence to proceed with charges. Last September, investigators met with District Attorney Ernie Lee, who determined there was sufficient evidence against Stewart to bring the murder charge. He was indicted in October and served with an arrest order on Tuesday.
INFANT DEATH-FATHER CHARGED
North Carolina father accused in death of 3-month-old son
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff’s office says a North Carolina man is facing a murder charge after his 3-month-old son died this week. News outlets reported the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said 27-year-old Andrew Chance Weckesser was charged on Wednesday with murder for the death of his son, who died on Tuesday from his injuries. Sheriff’s deputies began their investigation on April 22 after responding to an assault call from Wake Medical Hospital. Staff members told law enforcement that a 3-month-old was admitted and was on life support. The staff also told investigators that the child had signs of trauma consistent with abuse.
North Carolina woman charged in fatal hit-and-run
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police say a North Carolina woman is accused of driving away after her car hit and injured a pedestrian last fall. The victim died this week. News outlets report Greensboro police say 22-year-old Nyquasia Shybreal Rowell of High Point was driving south on North Spring Street in Greensboro in the center travel lane early on Oct. 16 when she entered an intersection at Friendly Avenue on a green light. Police say 28-year-old Scarlett Ann Hill was crossing Spring Street within a crosswalk but against the pedestrian signal when Rowell’s car hit her and left the scene. Hill died on Sunday.
ATLANTA POLICE-TOURIST SHOT
Atlanta agrees to pay nearly $1M to man shot by officer
ATLANTA (AP) – The city of Atlanta has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a North Carolina man who was shot and injured by a police officer as he was leaving an event downtown in February 2017. The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved a $999,000 settlement for Noel Hall. Hall and his family had come to Atlanta because his son was participating in a supercross event. A police sergeant working off duty as security shot into Hall’s vehicle when Hall turned left after being told he couldn’t. The police sergeant was fired a few months later and was indicted the following year. He pleaded guilty in early 2020 and was sentenced to serve probation.
APPEALS COURT-NEW TRIALS
NC appeals court orders new trials in murder cases
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s intermediate appeals court have ordered new trials for two men convicted separately of first-degree murder. One Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday that Tevin Demetrius Vann was entitled to a new trial involving the 2016 death of Ashley McLean in Wilmington. The court says the trial judge erred when he declined to provide deliberating jurors the chance to review trial testimony, particularly of the defendant. Another panel ordered a new trial for Travis Davenport. He was convicted in the 2016 death of Mike Griffin in Martin County. At issue was admitted evidence about Davenport’s prior incarceration, gang involvement and tattoos.