A horrifying attack on the Appalachian Trail near the North Carolina state line that left one person dead and another person seriously injured was a major national news story this week. As the hiking website The Trek reports, Ronald Sanchez was stabbed to death early on Saturday morning as he and another hiker walked away from an area where they had broken camp in order to distance themselves from a man who was threatening them and acting unstable. That man, James Jordan, now is in custody and has been charged with murder and other crimes. Reports say that Jordan recently became known to law enforcement after several incidents where he menaced other hikers. Keep reading for more news.
Pilot Arrested for Murder. WRAL reports that an American Airlines pilot who lives in Raleigh recently was arrested at a TSA checkpoint at the Louisville International Airport and charged with murder for allegedly killing three people in Kentucky in 2015. Christian Richard Martin is accused of killing Calvin and Pamela Phillips as well as their neighbor Edward Dansereau. At the time of the murders, Calvin Phillips reportedly was set to testify against Martin in a child abuse case in military court.
Gun at School. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a teacher at Paisley Magnet School, Sarah Melissa Wilson, was arrested this week after it was alleged that she stored a handgun in her classroom last month after obtaining it from a student and then returned it to the student at the end of the day. Details about the incident are sparse, but it came to light during an investigation of the same gun being back on the school’s campus this month.
CBD Arrests. A while back, Phil blogged about the legality of CBD, the cannabis-derived product that is becoming increasingly popular in North Carolina and across the nation. It can be difficult to distinguish some CBD products from illegal marijuana and CBD products are not legal in all states. Two North Carolina women recently were in the news because of these issues. As WLOS reports, a Hickory woman, Hester Burkhalter, was arrested in Florida while visiting Disney World when security guards discovered CBD oil in her purse. Though CBD is not legal in Florida, the charges were dropped and Burkhalter is demanding an apology from Disney.
The News & Observer reports that a Four Oaks woman, Amanda Furstonberg, recently was arrested at her home for possession of both marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Furstonberg claims that the alleged contraband was actually hemp that she had purchased from stores in Garner and Raleigh (see Phil’s post for an explanation of the differences between hemp and marijuana), and the N&O link includes anecdotes from attorneys about similar recent cases.
Deputy Pleads Guilty. WRAL reports that a Wake County deputy pleaded guilty this week to failing to carry out his duties based on an incident last year where he unleashed his K-9 on an unarmed man who was acting irrationally in the middle of a Raleigh street. Cameron Broadwell pleaded guilty to that misdemeanor and also agreed to end his law enforcement career as part of a deal where felony charges were dropped.
Keg Party. A Charlotte brewery that was the victim of an automobile heist this week has hit upon an innovative and effective method for solving crime – offering free keg parties to helpful community members. The Unknown Brewing Company’s beer delivery van was stolen on Monday, which in itself is perplexing because the van is adorned with giant neon green lettering clearly indicating that it is the company’s property. Upon discovering the crime, the brewery took to Twitter to offer a free keg party to anyone who found the van – 42 minutes later the van was recovered.