WMNC News, Friday, July 25th
Storms moved through the area late in the day Thursday, causing a string of problems. There were reports of trees and power lines down in several areas. In Morganton a tree came down on top of a Chevy Malibu stopped at the intersection of Burkemont Avenue and West Union Street. That happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. according to Morganton Public Safety. A little earlier than that, the driver of a Honda lost control and hydroplaned on West Union Street, the vehicle crashed into an apartment building at 709 West Union. Lightning is believed to be responsible for a fire at Wendy B's Embroidery and Screenprinting on Highway 18 South. The business sustained smoke and water damage but there was not much structural damage. No serious injuries were reported in Thursday's storm related incidents. The storms affected several counties in western North Carolina.
A man arrested and charged with murder in connection with a stabbing in Catawba County was scheduled to appear in court today. The victim tried to drive himself to the hospital according to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, but did not make it. According to reports, police were called to the 2100-block of Stove Drive in Newton early Thursday morning and found 20-year-old Jason Margarita in a car, bleeding heavily. He was rushed to the hospital, but deputies say he died on the way. Deputies say he was stabbed during a fight with 34-year-old Kevin Jamal Haqq of Newton. Haqq was arrested and charged with murder. Deputies say the suspect was still at the scene when they arrived. Reports state that he has claimed self-defense. Haqq (pictured) was placed in the Catawba County Jail under no bond, a court appearance is scheduled for today.
A Burke County man faces multiple meth charges filed in Caldwell County. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office arrested 33-year-old William Mitchell Lee Pope of Connelly Springs. He's charged with felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling to keep controlled substance, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Pope is also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Pope was placed in the Caldwell County Jail under $220,000 secured bond.
A Caldwell County man is charged in connection with an alleged strangulation. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office arrested 48-year-old Ronald Wayne Richardson of Lenoir. He's charged with felony counts of assault by strangulation and restraint and a misdemeanor count of assault on a female. Richardson was placed in the Caldwell County Jail under $5,000 secured bond following the arrest.
A bank robbery suspect is being sought by authorities. Marion police officers and McDowell County sheriff's deputies are currently searching for this man, who allegedly robbed Fifth Third bank on Main Street shortly before 5:00 p.m. Thursday. He is described as a white male who stands 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs approximately 175 pounds. He was wearing a black hoodie, light-colored pants and a ball cap and had masking tape wrapped around his hands. Anyone with information concerning the suspect's identity or whereabouts is asked to call the 911 communications center at 652-3231.