As ABC 11 reports, four inmates at Butner Correctional Institution have died in recent days from COVID-19. Over last weekend, Charles Richard Rootes, Gary Edward Nixon, and Andre Williams died from complications caused by the virus. On Monday, another inmate died but his name had not been released publicly at the time of writing. All of the Butner inmates were being treated in hospitals when they passed away. On Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that 66 inmates and 25 staff members at the prison had tested positive for the virus.
Escape. The News & Observer published a story yesterday that includes a FaceTime interview with an inmate who escaped from Butner Correctional after becoming concerned that he would contract the coronavirus in the facility. Richard R. Cephas contacted the News & Observer from an undisclosed location in Durham after escaping from Butner on April 2. Explaining that he has neutropenia, a medical condition that affects his ability to combat infections, and that “[i]f it wasn’t for COVID [he] never would have left,” Cephas told the N&O that he would like to turn himself in if he could be assured that he could complete his sentence without being exposed to the virus.
Coronavirus Checkpoints. Some counties around the state have implemented traffic checkpoints as part of strategies to limit travel into the counties by non-residents. The Outer Banks Voice reports that one such checkpoint in Dare County resulted in drug trafficking charges when a man was discovered to be in possession of approximately 13 pounds of marijuana and other drugs. David Warren Raney of Willow Creek, California, was charged with trafficking in marijuana and maintaining a vehicle for keeping or selling a controlled substance.
UNCC Ceremony. WCNC reports that UNC Charlotte will hold a virtual remembrance for the victims of the shooting on the school’s campus last year. The News Roundup previously noted that the Niner Nation Remembrance Commission had recommended holding an annual day of remembrance for three years, with the first scheduled for the anniversary of the shooting later this month. The event will be held on April 30 at 5:10pm.
Trooper Adopts Puppy. WLOS reports that North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Jonathan Maybin has adopted a puppy that he and a fellow trooper found in the middle of Interstate 26 when they responded to an automobile wreck in late March. A car traveling along the interstate crashed into a camper shell that had blown off a truck, apparently along with a small dog kennel. Maybin and Trooper Tony Osteen found an injured puppy nearby and took her to the Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital where she was diagnosed with a broken leg, a broken tail, a tibia fracture, and bruised lungs. Maybin has since adopted “Emory” and she is expected to make a full recovery.
Chocolate Delivery. The Fayetteville Observer reports that local chocolate salesman Wayne Hair delivered 3,000 chocolate bars to the Fayetteville police department this week as part of an effort to thank first responders who are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The Observer report also notes that Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins and other volunteers have been sewing masks for the department’s patrol officers.