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Archive for Haywood County

Waynesville Police: Man pulls knife, pepper sprays security at store

An Old Fort man is facing several charges after police allege he stole merchandise from K-Mart in Waynesville then pulled a knife on security, pepper sprayed one of them and was later found with drugs.

Jackson C. Whisnant, 37, of 122 Parker Padgett Road, Old Fort, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery and possession of methamphetamine after an incident at the store on Dec. 20.

According to Waynesville police reports, Whisnant stole several items from the K-Mart on Russ Avenue and after being confronted by the store’s security, Whisnant pulled a knife.

According to statements made by the security team, Whisnant pulled a knife from his pocket after he was seen putting several items into his pockets and being asked to come back inside.

Two security personnel grabbed the suspect in an attempt to unarm him. Whisnant allegedly yelled “I will kill you, I will kill you” to the two men trying to take the knife.

After a short scuffle, in which Whisnant allegedly assaulted one of the men, Whisnant also sprayed pepper spray into one of the security guard’s eyes.

Police arrived to find Whisnant fleeing from his truck in the parking lot. Police said Whisnant was shirtless, due to the scuffle and wearing two pairs of pants, one of which was stolen from the store.

After being taken into custody, police found pepper spray in Whisnant’s pocket. Whisnant said the guys assaulted him causing him to retaliate with the pepper spray.

Police then found several plastic baggies containing a “clear/white in color crystal substance” stashed in the hood of Whisnant’s truck, where police believe he was trying to hide it upon their arrival.

The substance tested positive for methamphetamine, the police report said.

Whisnant was taken to Haywood County Detention Center where he remains on $50,000 secure bond.

Waynesville Woman Sentenced to Prison on 29 felony counts

71456_10201081841596141_1793747546_nThe wife of a prominent Waynesville business owner was sentenced on Friday to at least 10 months in prison for breaking and entering.

Jennifer Elliot was convicted in November on 29 felony counts for stealing jewelry from the homes of her friends. She stole more than $90,000 worth of items from her victim’s homes to pay for her $200-400 a day pain pill addiction.

Elliot will also have to pay $78,000 in restitution for the stolen jewelry and will be on probation for five years.

Tuscola Prom Problems

Tuscola High School

Tuscola High School

Organizers at Tuscola High School moved the prom from the Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore, to the much smaller Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville. Prom organizer Maggie Melville says the prom was moved because it had gotten too expensive to have in Asheville. She says in February, they limited ticket sales to Juniors and Seniors, and told students about the change. But by mid-March, only three tickets had been bought. Then sales opened up to the whole school and they quickly sold out. Prom organizers say they may consider finding a different venue next year.

Haywood County Bank Robbery

Matthew Mark Lloyd

Matthew Mark Lloyd

A local bank was robbed today and the quick thinking of the tellers helped deputies catch the suspect. The robbery happened at the BB&T Bank on Soco Road in Maggie Valley. The suspect, 36-year-old Matthew Lloyd of Lenoir, was arrested just seven minutes later on Highway 276. Deputies say the tellers took down his license plate number and direction of travel which helped deputies locate him. Lloyd is being held on $30,000 bond.

Haywood Bridge Replacement

NCDOT LogoTheN.C. Department of Transportation will temporarily close part of Hemphill Road in Haywood County beginning next week for a bridge replacement project. During construction, crews will be replacing a bridge over a branch of Jonathan Creek with a culvert. The $331,162 project also includes grading, drainage, paving and installing signage around the new structure. The existing bridge was built in 1955 and is considered functionally obsolete, which means that although the bridge is safe, it was built to design standards no longer in use. The project contractor, NHM Constructors, LLC, will begin installing the detour during the first week of April. The detour will remain in place until mid-July. Motorists will take Hemphill Road to N.C. 276, and then take Grindstone Road back to Hemphill Road. For real-time travel information any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.

Haywood County Video Gambling Busts

Video Gambling Machine's

Video Gambling Machine’s

Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Waynesville Police Department, served two search warrants on business establishments believed to have been housing electronic video gaming machines in violation of state laws. The searches were conducted at 1190 Asheville Highway outside Canton and at 1659 South Main Street in Waynesville.  A total of 34 machines were seized from the locations, as well as U.S. currency and related business records. The investigation was prompted by numerous complaints to law enforcement from citizens throughout the county concerned about illegal video gaming and the negative impact it has had on the community. There have been no arrests made at this time, but individual cases are being forwarded to the grand jury.  The investigation is ongoing.

Child Sex Charges

Stephen Hurley

Stephen Hurley

On February 5th, Police responded to an attempted suicide at the Maggie Valley Motel. There they found 68 year old restaurant owner Stephen Hurley. They also found a note in the room with him. This led the Maggie Valley Police to investigate the alleged sexual assault of two children. A total of 44 sexual molestation related counts and felony warrants have now been served against Hurley. He was arrested and is now in the Haywood County Detention Center under 1 million dollars bond. The warrants charge Hurley with molesting two children under the age of 16 in 2006 and 2007. Other Charges include indecent liberties with a minor and crimes against nature. The alleged victims are now of age and are cooperating with authorities. Residents and those who personally knew Hurley were shocked, stunned and disgusted.

Haywood County Woman Dead After Tragic Shooting

 The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office says the mother, 72 year old Barbara Brennen got into a heated discussion with her son Thomas Brennen outside of their home on Grindstaff Cove on Wednesday morning. According to eye witnesses, Barbara pulled out a gun and shot her son Thomas in the arm in front of their house, as he sat bleeding Barbara went to the back of the house where neighbors say they heard another shot. After receiving the call at about 10:22 am deputies from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office along with Maggie Valley and Waynesville police officers responded to the scene and found Thomas Brennen bleeding form a gunshot wound to the arm, and Barbara Brennen dead behind the home. Thomas Brennen was transported to Mission Hospital to be treated for his wounds. The investigation continues but no charges are expected to be filed.