News Roundup

Chapel Hill police announced yesterday afternoon that Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares was arrested on Thursday morning and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Faith Hedgepeth, a UNC student who was killed in September 2012 in her off-campus apartment.  Keep reading for more on this story and other news.

Hedgepeth.  Faith Hedgepeth’s murder has been among the most notable unsolved crimes in the Triangle for the past decade and developments in the case, though scarce at times, have been noted in this blog for years.  While few details surrounding the arrest of Salguero-Olivares were available at the time of writing, officials at the news conference announcing his arrest indicated that DNA technology contributed to the probable cause necessary for the arrest, with Attorney General Josh Stein commending the work of analysts at the State Crime Lab.

Patterson.  WRAL reports that the FBI continues to investigate the disappearance of Abby Patterson from Lumberton, who was last seen in September of 2017 getting into a brown Buick near her home on East Ninth Street.  Contact details for investigators is available for anyone with information about the case at the WRAL link.

Gymnastic Testimony.  There was searing testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week where elite gymnasts sharply criticized the FBI, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee for failures related to sexual abuse perpetrated by team doctor Larry Nassar.

Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols recounted abuse by Nassar and said that they knew of people who Nassar abused even after the FBI had been told of allegations against him in 2015.  FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized for the agency’s failures related to the Nassar investigation and reported that an agent who failed to properly investigate the allegations had been fired.

Georgia Prisons.  As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the U.S. Department of Justice announced this week that it has commenced an investigation into violence and poor conditions in the Georgia prison system.  Twenty-nine people died of suicide in Georgia prisons in 2020 and there have been regular reports of terrible living conditions.  In early August, Georgia Department of Corrections officials denied state lawmakers entry to the state’s largest women’s prison when the lawmakers came to investigate reports of inhumane conditions.

Vetos.  Governor Roy Cooper vetoed two closely watched bills late last week.  One, H805, provided enhanced penalties for inciting a riot and for engaging in a riot that causes serious injury or death.  The bill also would have required a judge rather than a magistrate to set conditions of pretrial release for defendants charged with riot and looting offenses.  The other bill, H324, prohibited public school units from promoting certain enumerated concepts related to racism and sexism.  As ABC 11 reports, the bill was seen by opponents as an effort to prevent the teaching of what has come to be known as Critical Race Theory, but was seen by supporters as an effort to prevent teaching that one race or sex is superior to another.