Local and State Headlines for Tuesday, March 27, 2018

posted by Mark Starling -

Judge Wants Police Video Footage Released (Asheville, NC)

A Buncombe County Superior Court judge wants all body camera footage of a police beating released to the public.  The initial video that showed former officer Chris Hickman beating Johnnie Rush for an accused jaywalking was leaked to the Citizen-Times last month.  Judge Mark Powell made the ruling despite objections from District Attorney Todd Williams.  Williams says it will make it harder to prosecute the case if the videos are released.  There are a reported nine videos from the August 2017 incident.  

Jackson County School Evacuated Again For Threat (Jackson County, NC)

Threats are causing major distractions for classes at Cullowhee Valley School in Jackson County.  The school was evacuated for the second time in two school days after a bomb threat was found written on the wall of a girl's bathroom.  Students were sent to a nearby gymnasium during the threat investigation.  School officials then decided to cancel class for the day when a note was found advising of a possible gun on campus.  Superintendent Dr. Kim Elliott says its time for students and parents to discuss the seriousness and dangers of these threats.

Driver Guilty In Head-On Collision Case (Henderson County, NC)

A man accused of killing a high school senior in a head-on collision is heading to prison for a sentence of more than 16 years.  A Henderson County jury found Matthew Schmieder guilty of second-degree murder in the death of East Henderson High School student Derek Miller on Kanuga Road.  Investigators said Schmieder tried to pass a line of cars in a no-passing zone and crashed into Miller's car.

Deputy Accidentally Shoots Hand (Transylvania County, NC)

A Transylvania County sheriff's deputy is recovering from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand.  The deputy was reportedly responding to a disturbance in East Fork when a pit bull attacked him.  Sheriff David Mahoney says the deputy fired a shot that hit the dog and his own hand.  The injury is non-life threatening.      

Suspect Arrested For Threats To Blow Up Courthouse (Buncombe County, NC)

One man is in jail for threatening to blow up the Buncombe County Courthouse.  The county says a few different offices received several calls from the suspect, who demanded money during the threats.  The sheriff's office and Asheville Police Department quickly worked together to arrest Lowell James Williams, Jr. for making the calls.  Williams is in custody for three counts of extortion and five counts of making a false bomb report.  

Earth Fare Closing Three Out-Of-State Stores (Asheville, NC)

Asheville-based Earth Fare is closing two stores in Atlanta and one in Columbus, Ohio due to "real estate challenges."  The natural foods grocer also closed a few stores in multiple states two years ago over similar concerns.  Earth Fare was founded in 1975 in Asheville and originally called "Dinner for the Earth." There are a total of 46 locations in the southeast and mid-west U.S. 

Rowan County Man Sentenced In Grandmother's Death (Huntersville, NC)

A Rowan County man is heading to prison for the death of his grandmother.  Curtis Wayne Trexler reached a plea deal to serve 26 to 34 years for second-degree murder in the July 2016 incident.  Investigators said Trexler called 911 to report his grandmother had fallen and needed help.  What they found instead, says the sheriff, was a woman who had been assaulted.  Joyce Ann Trexler was 75-years-old.

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