On Tuesday, officials in Winston-Salem held a press conference announcing coordinated efforts to deter gun violence in the city. As the Winston-Salem Journal reports, there were more homicides in Winston in 2019 than in any other year in the past quarter century. Chief of Police Catrina Thompson, Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough, District Attorney Jim O’Neal, U.S. Attorney Matt Martin, Mayor Allen Joines, and Councilman James Taylor all spoke at the press conference, with Thompson saying that they would “use every one of the resources [they] have” to pursue individuals involved in violent crime. Keep reading for more information about the efforts in Winston and other criminal law news.
As the New York Times reports, Attorney General William Barr said this week that a shooting at a naval air station in Pensacola, Florida, last month was an act of terrorism and asked Apple to unlock two iPhones used by the shooter. In early December, a Saudi Air Force cadet training in Florida, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, killed three sailors and wounded eight others after opening fire in a classroom where he was training with the U.S. military to become a pilot. Attorney General Barr said that Apple had not provided substantive assistance in accessing Alshamrani’s iPhones but Apple disputed that claim, saying that it had been working with the FBI since the shooting occurred and had given investigators access to his iCloud account and other data. As the Times report notes, the standoff is reminiscent of a 2016 case where Apple refused to break the encryption of a phone used by a shooter in a California terror attack. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading →
Among the most significant North Carolina criminal news stories last year was the tragic shooting on the campus of UNC Charlotte that killed two students, Reed Parlier and Riley Howell, and injured four others. This week, the Charlotte Observer reports the proposal of a $1 million permanent memorial and reflection space to commemorate and remember the victims of the attack. Keep reading for more information about the memorial and other news.
As the Asheville Citizen-Times reports, earlier this month the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was the victim of a damaging cyberattack that caused widespread damage to tribal networks and affected critical systems including 911 dispatch. Almost two weeks out from the December 7 attack, the tribe still is working to repair their network and bring systems back online. A former IT employee who was suspended two days before the attack, Benjamin Cody Long, has been arrested in connection with the incident. A report from the Cherokee One Feather covering Long’s detention hearing in Cherokee Tribal Court has detailed information about the attack and includes a quote from the judge describing the damage as “immense and unprecedented.”
This is the last blog post of the year. Thanks to all of our readers for engaging with the blog this year, we hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading →
As the New York Times reports, a prolonged shootout at a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City, New Jersey, on Tuesday terrified the city and left six people dead, including a police officer. Now being investigated as an anti-Semitic hate crime, it appears that the supermarket was purposefully chosen as a target. Suspects David N. Anderson and Francine Graham, who both died during the attack, are thought to have shot Detective Joe Seals, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, in an encounter at a cemetery and then to have driven to the market where they began shooting at people with rifles. When police arrived at the scene, they were immediately fired upon and a lengthy gun battle ensued, eventually concluding when an armored vehicle was used to ram through the front of the market. Keep reading for more news.
As the News Roundup previously has noted, Charles Ray Finch was released from North Carolina prison earlier this year after serving more than 40 years for a murder that he did not commit. This week the News & Observer reported that Finch has filed a federal lawsuit against Wilson County, Sheriff Calvin Woodard Jr., two former Wilson County deputies, and two staffers with the SBI. According to the N&O, the suit alleges that deputies with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, then led by W. Robin Pridgen, organized the 1976 robbery that resulted in store owner Richard Holloman’s murder and then framed Finch for the crime. Keep reading for more news.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Joe Wiseman has reached a civil settlement with Buncombe County that requires him to pay the county $150,000 related to his participation in bribery and kickback schemes with former county officials. The settlement also requires Wiseman to provide testimony and otherwise cooperate in potential future prosecutions. The Citizen-Times additionally notes that Wiseman recently reported to federal prison to begin serving the sentence resulting from his guilty plea earlier this year. Keep reading for more news.
As the L.A. Times reports, there was another school shooting in the United States this week. Early on Thursday morning just as classes were beginning, a student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, opened fire with a handgun while standing in the school’s quad. Two students were killed and three others were wounded. The gunman, apparently a 16-year-old boy whose birthday was Thursday, shot himself but survived and was being treated at a hospital at the time of writing. Keep reading for more news.