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Archive for Haywood County Sheriff’s Department

Missing Georgia Man Found

A Georgia man who had been missing since Monday was found dead from what authorities believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Crabtree community of northern Haywood County Saturday afternoon.

The body of 46-year-old Douglas Michael Shockley was found by search and rescue personnel at 1:42 p.m. approximately three-fourths of a mile from where his pickup truck was found Thursday. An autopsy will be performed to verify cause of death.

“This is a sad and tragic situation that has changed a family’s dynamics forever,” said Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher. “Our prayers are with the family.”

More than fifty search and rescue personnel from numerous area law enforcement, fire, rescue squad, emergency services and canine handlers had been combing the woods and rocky terrain of the Crabtree/Fines Creek area daily since Thursday in an attempt to locate Mr. Shockley.

Mr. Shockley was reported missing from the Bridgemill area in Cherokee County, Georgia, around 9 a.m. Monday, May 11. On Thursday, May 14, Haywood County Sheriff’s deputies received a call reporting an unoccupied vehicle on the side of a road in the Crabtree/Fines Creek area. Deputies checked the white 2015 Nissan Frontier pickup truck and found it was registered to Shockley.

“This was a total team effort that included many agencies I am thankful to have as partners,” Sheriff Christopher said. “I appreciate every agency and individual who has assisted us these last three days.”

Search and rescue personnel from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services, 911 and Rescue Squad were joined by others from Waynesville and Canton police departments, as well as Henderson, Jackson and Buncombe County rescue squads, N.C. State Highway Patrol, fire departments from Fines Creek, Crabtree, Cruso and Asheville, the State Bureau of Investigation, NC Search and Rescue Dog teams and the Independent Search & Rescue Canine Handlers in the three-day attempt to locate Mr. Shockley

Haywood County Car Chase Ends in Arrests

A car chase that ended in a single-vehicle wreck in a pond on the Junaluska Golf Course this morning led to several felony charges for the vehicle’s occupants.

Haywood County Communications received a call shortly after 5:30 a.m. reporting two Duke Energy trucks had been stolen from the plant at the Waterville Dam in northern Haywood County. One truck had been abandoned in the nearby construction zone on Interstate 40, but the other was still missing.

A Haywood County deputy spotted a Duke Energy truck matching the stolen truck’s description near Lake Junaluska around 7:30 a.m. and attempted to stop the vehicle. Instead of stopping, the Quad-cab F250 increased speed and drove at high rates of speed on U.S. 19/23/74, Jones Cove Road and Interstate 40, driving the wrong way into on-coming traffic on at least two occasions.

Due to the recklessness and endangerment to which the driver had subjected the public, a deputy used his shotgun in an attempt to disable the vehicle near the Clyde exit. The truck sustained damage to the left rear tire and exited the interstate. The damaged truck continued down U.S. 19/23/74 and proceeded toward Lake Junaluska. The truck then drove out onto the Junaluska Golf Course and into a pond.

There were no injuries.

Deputies arrested 30-year-old Matthew Neal McCullough and 25-year-old Tiffany Marie Brainard; both of Travelers Rest, SC. Each was charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering a motor vehicle, felony breaking and entering, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, felony possession of a motor vehicle, and felony flee to elude arrest. Each was jailed in lieu of $15,000 secured bond.

Their court date has been set for May 28. The case remains under investigation.

Couple Sought In Stolen Equipment Case

Deputies are asking for the public’s help in locating two people they believe are stealing and trading heavy equipment in Haywood County and in surrounding states.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has drawn warrants against 44-year-old Robert Eugene Woodward, of Gastonia, and 19-year-old Madison Brooke Hall, of Anderson County, South Carolina on charges of feloniously obtaining property by false pretense and felonious larceny and possession of a motor vehicle.

Detectives believe the pair rented a small excavator from an equipment rental business in Columbia, South Carolina, and then instead of returning it, traded it for a motorhome in Haywood County. The 2005 Trail Light motorhome is still missing.

The couple is wanted elsewhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia in reference to similar crimes.

Equipment rental companies in the area are advised to be vigilant and watchful concerning rentals at this time.

Anyone with any information regarding Woodward or Hall SHOULD NOT APPROACH them, but instead consider them potentially dangerous and contact Haywood County Communications at (828) 452-6666 or their local law enforcement agency immediately.

Haywood County Man Killed in Lawn Mower Accident

At approximately 9 p.m. Sunday, Haywood Communications Center received a 911 call in reference to an accident with injuries on Pot Leg Road in the Jonathan Creek community. First Responders, Emergency Medical Services and Haywood County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded.
Upon arrival, responders attended 64-year-old Ronald Ray Brown, who sustained injuries when the lawn mower on which he had been riding slid off a bank and rolled over on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No other persons were involved.

4 Arrested in Haywood County Stabbing

Four women have been arrested and another is being sought in the stabbing of a Haywood County woman Sunday.
Haywood County investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Jamie Marie Long Sutton, 36, of Bryson City in connection with the assault. Sutton is described as American Indian, between 5 ‘3” and 5’6” tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Haywood County deputies were dispatched emergency to 61 Fisher Lane in the Balsam community shortly after 2 p.m. in response to a 911 call reporting a woman had been stabbed. Officers arriving on the scene discovered a female victim who had sustained injury consistent with wounds from a bladed weapon. The victim was taken to Haywood Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Investigation later led to the arrest of four suspects:
Brooke Lynn Bushyhead, 34, of Clyde;
Ashley Jean Godbee, 22, of Waynesville;
Justice Rochelle Godbee, 20, of Waynesville; and,
Christina Setzer, 34, of Waynesville.
The women were each charged with felonious assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Each was jailed in lieu of $30,000 secured bond. They are scheduled to appear in court May 13.
The investigation is continuing.
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Jamie Sutton should not approach her, but instead immediately contact Haywood County Communications at (828) 452-6666 or their local law enforcement and speak with an officer.

Haywood County Student Jailed After Bringing Handgun to School

A 16-year-old Haywood County student is in jail after being charged with bringing a handgun to school.

According to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, deputies arrested Dakota Levi Rose at Central Haywood High School and charged him with felony possession of a gun on educational property after he was found to have a .22-caliber revolver on him while on school campus. The weapon was not loaded and no ammunition was found on Rose.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. after another student reported to a teacher that Rose had a gun. Rose was arrested without incident.

Rose has a pending charge for an arrest October 7 for misdemeanor assault and battery involving another student.

Rose was jailed in lieu of $5,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for November 5.

LOCAL SHERIFF OFFERS TIPS FOR A SAFE HALLOWEEN

Christopher_3519 3504 Hi JpegSoon our streets will be scattered with little ghosts, goblins, and witches trick-or-treating this Halloween. “Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher of Haywood County.

The Sheriff reminds all Haywood County residents to follow these safety tips:
Motorists:
• Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
Parents:
• Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
• Check the sex offender registry at sexoffender.ncdoj.gov/ when planning your child’s trick-or-treat route. You can view maps that pinpoint registered offenders’ addresses in your neighborhood and sign up to get email alerts when an offender moves nearby.
• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
• Make sure older kids trick-or-treat in a group.
• Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
• Establish a return time.
• Tell your youngsters not to eat any treats until they return home.
• Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
• All children need to know their home telephone number and how to call 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
• Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address, and telephone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
Costume Design:
• Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
• Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
• Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard.
• Make sure that shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.
• If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Face Design:
• Do not use masks as they can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
• When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” “Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
• If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Accessories:
• Knives, swords, and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
• Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
• Carrying flashlights with fresh batteries will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

While Trick-or-Treating:
• Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

Treats:
• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.
• Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped or has a strange odor, color, or texture.

Homeowners/Decorations:
• Keep candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
• Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
• Keep candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from curtains, decorations, and other combustibles that could catch fire.
• Do not leave your house unattended.

“Halloween is a fun time in Haywood County,” Sheriff Christopher concluded, “but let’s make it a safe time as well. The major dangers lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, if there are no sidewalks.

Treats:
• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.
• Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or partially wrapped or has a strange odor, color, or texture.

Homeowners/Decorations:
• Keep candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
• Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
• Keep candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from curtains, decorations, and other combustibles that could catch fire.
• Do not leave your house unattended.

“Halloween is a fun time in Haywood County,” Sheriff Christopher concluded, “but let’s make it a safe time as well. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes. “

Waynesville Teen Dies

Randy Tyler Jenson, 18, of Waynesville

Randy Tyler Jenson, 18, of Waynesville

A Waynesville teen died after falling out of the bed of a moving pickup truck around 330 am on  Wednesday morning in the Fines Creek area of Clyde.

Emergency workers and law enforcement responded to the call on Shelton Laurel where Randy Tyler Jensen, 18, had been riding in the back of a pickup truck when he fell out.

Jensen was pronounced dead at the scene. No others were injured. The incident remains under investigation.

Have You Seen This Man?

Freddie LopezThe Haywood County Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a Haywood County man charged with sexually assaulting a woman yesterday.

A warrant has been issued for 20-year-old Kaiser Israel Lopez, who goes by the name “Freddie,” for felonious second degree sexual offense. Lopez is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information as to Mr. Lopez’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 452-6666 or the CrimeStoppers line at 1-877-92-CRIME (877-922-7463).

Haywood County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Help

Jeremy Ryan ClarkThe Haywood County Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance from the public in locating a local man accused of using community ties in attempts to defraud citizens.

Warrants have been drawn on Jeremy Ryan Clark, 28, of Canton, charging him with two counts of feloniously attempting to obtain property by false pretense. He is accused of approaching residents at their home, claiming to be the son of a locally well-known citizen or friend, then asking for money or claiming money is owed him.

Clark was arrested last November and charged with defrauding $200 from a 93-year-old man by claiming his child was sick and needed medication.  He was arrested in January and February this year and charged with similar crimes.  His court date on those pending matters is slated for July 30.

Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher cautions citizens about similar fraud schemes, and warns against giving money to strangers or even casual acquaintances.

Clark is described as a white male, approximately 6’5” and weighing about 160 pounds with short, curly brown hair and brown eyes.  He was last known to have sideburns and a goatee.

Anyone who has had a similar encounter or has information as to Jeremy Clark’s whereabouts is asked to immediately contact the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 452-6666, or the CrimeStoppers line at 1-877-92-CRIME (877-922-7463).

Information Sought in Haywood County Burglary

John Cleveland Meris is wanted in connection with a robbery in the Hemphill community in Haywood County.

John Cleveland Meris is wanted in connection with a robbery in the Hemphill community in Haywood County.

One Canton man has been arrested and another is wanted in a breaking and entering that resulted in the theft of more than $150,000 in money and jewelry from a home in the Hemphill community Wednesday.

 

James Cleveland Meris, 32, of Canton was arrested and charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny, conspiracy, and possession of stolen property.  He was also charged with felony obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

 

James Meris was jailed Thursday night in lieu of $50,000 secured bond.  He was released from custody after posting bond Friday afternoon.  His court date is set for June 25.

 

Also wanted in the incident is 56-year-old John Cleveland Meris, of Carson Street, Canton. He is described as a white male, approximately 5’9” tall, weighing about 140 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes.  He is believed to be driving a green Ford F-250 4×4 truck.  Anyone with any information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 452-6666.

 

The case remains under investigation, and additional arrests and charges are expected.