News from Roanoke Rapids, Weldon and Halifax County

News from Roanoke Rapids, Weldon and Halifax County (7283)

The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue — Edward R Murrow

A woman who served time with three others for stabbing her grandparents in 1995 was charged early yesterday morning for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend, the Roanoke Rapids Police Department said this morning.

Police Chief Jeff Hinton said Stephanie Childers was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assaulting an EMS worker, assaulting a government official and damage to property. She was jailed under no bond under state domestic violence laws.

Michael Spruill, 33, of Pine Drive, reported he was stabbed in the right arm with a kitchen knife after he and Childers, 29, got in an argument.

Hinton said after Spruill was stabbed, Childers went walking and was apprehended by police. She assaulted an EMS worker and police officer at the scene, Hinton said.

Childers was a member of the Blackhearts, a loosely organized gang at Roanoke Rapids High School students known for wearing black when she and three other people stabbed and robbed her grandparents in 1995.

She was convicted in 1997 and was released in 2001.

Charles King’s family thinks he’s crazy. He doesn’t think so. He just loves Roanoke Avenue.

King, who lives in Midlothian, Va., owns five buildings on the Avenue, from Java Junction to the Halifax County Arts Council.

Today he spoke to members of the Roanoke Avenue Business Alliance about his passion for the Avenue and his buildings.

“It’s been in my prayers Roanoke Rapids would see a new day, a revival in business,” King told the gathering at the Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall. “Lord, just let me see it happen before I die. I don’t think I’m ready to go yet. At one time I felt like I was crying in the wilderness.”

The buildings were the legacy of his grandfather, he said. “My grandfather was really a strong businessman. It seems like he was gifted with business skills.”

The Great Depression, however, affected his health and he eventually died, leaving the buildings to King’s father.

After carving his own life as a minister and raising a family, King became reacquainted with the buildings in the 80s. “I really was not involved with the property at all.”

As his father’s health failed in the 90s, it became his time to get deeply involved with the property. “If something broke, it was don’t repair it, fix it. In 20 years we’ve never had a leak.”

The only problem King ever encountered through his ownership was from naysayers in the city, he said. “Why are you putting awnings up?” He said people asked. “They said it wouldn’t help the buildings. Maybe not, but it helped me because I have pride in the buildings.”

He remains proud of his property, he told the audience. “That’s why I’m so hopeful this effort will succeed. Let’s do everything we can to make it successful.”

King would like to see the Avenue business district be like the one in the mountain town of Waynesville. “Even if a building is vacant,” he said, “You don’t know it’s vacant. There’s no parking on the street because they’re full. You have to use the lots in the back. It’s just unique.”

He likes the businesses he has in his buildings. “I have five of the best tenants in the city,” he said.

King gave the alliance a $1,000 check. “I did it because I want to do it.”

In other matters at the meeting today it was announced:

• The Design Shop will be holding a contest where it will design windows for the monthly winner. City hall will get the first window makeover.

• A new travel agency will be coming to the Avenue in November.

• The alliance received $1,296 from the city which was money left over from a previous business district association.

• There will be a festival Nov. 7 with a chili cook-off featuring recipes made by firefighters, EMS and police, band performances by groups currently competing in the Battle of the Bands every Friday at Java Junction and either a turkey trot of turkey walk race.

• The next roast is Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at david’s. The guest of honor is tentatively slated to be Gene Minton.

Another man was arrested today in a Sunday pistol whipping, bringing the total to three, the Halifax County Sheriff’s said.

Detective Rich Somogyi said in a press release Brock Eugene Sampson, 29, of Roanoke Rapids, was arrested for first-degree burglary, assault inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, felony conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

The sheriff’s office said yesterday it arrested a second person in the case and served more warrants to the man originally charged, Kendrell Robinson.

The case goes beyond the pistol whipping. It is also linked to an armed robbery of two citizens in the Littleton community and a stolen gun which was used in both crimes.

An officer from the Littleton Police Department was investigating the larceny of the firearm at the time of the investigation of the assault.

Officer Dwayne Daniels from the Roanoke Rapids Police Department located Robinson and turned him over to Cpl. Chris Scott of the sheriff’s office.

Somogyi charged Robinson, 21, of Roanoke Rapids, with assault inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary, felon in possession of a firearm and felony conspiracy.

Littleton Police Chief Mike Suggs charged Robinson with felony conspiracy, robbery with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of communicating threats and larceny of a firearm.

Robinson was wanted in an assault on Justice Branch Road in Littleton where he and Sampson allegedly struck the victim several times with a handgun causing severe damage to the victim’s head and face. The beating was allegedly over something the victim did not want his assailants to touch, Somogyi told The Spin today.

Further investigation led Lt. Bobby Martin to serve outstanding warrants on Crashawn Montay Vincent for his involvement in the crime spree. 

Somogyi charged Vincent, 23, of Littleton, with first-degree burglary, felony conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious injury.

Suggs charged Vincent with felony conspiracy and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Vincent was secured in the Halifax County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.

Sampson was jailed on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 9. The investigation is continuing and additional arrests are expected.

Friday, 21 August 2009 15:58

Domestic violence: A survivor's story

Pamela Bryant lived to tell her story. If the three bullets had went anywhere else or her parents didn’t insist on quality medical care, she would have been dead, murdered by a gun fired by her abusive boyfriend on April 24, 2007, outside Scotland Neck.

Bryant spent seven years in a hellish relationship, beatings, in and out of the police station and the courthouse and finally in a hospital bed where she was in a coma for four days.

Even as she stood before a group of social workers, mental health providers, law enforcement officers and judicial officials, Bryant carried the wounds of domestic violence. She’s deaf on one side and she has to take medicine to prevent blood clots because some of the bullets couldn’t be removed.

“He tried to take my life but the Lord was not ready,” she said during a Lunch and Learn sponsored by Making Abusers Accountable for Intentional Actions in Halifax yesterday. “He shot me three times and I’m still here.”

From what she thought was love came jealousy, she said. “He became jealous. He didn’t want me to go out with my friends.”

The first time, the man, Douglas Jamal Pender, who is serving a 15- to 19-year sentence for attempted first-degree murder, knocked out her teeth. In six months she had a black eye. “He said he didn’t mean it, he’s sorry.”

There was still that jealously and during one argument he told her if she left he would kill her. Even after she took out a restraining order, he wanted to make up. “We ended up together again,” she said.

The couple had a son together and she knew she had to work, Pender all but unable to hold a good job because of a previous criminal record. “He wanted me to sit at the house. If I was not at the house he would accuse me of cheating.”

Even while she worked, Pender would call her job, telling supervisors she was selling drugs. “He was to the point he didn’t want me to work,” she said.

Then came April 24 and a set up by Pender as her parents tried to persuade her to leave the man. “I felt in my heart I should listen to my parents,” she said.

He called her to come to his parents’ house on Winslow Road. He would eventually come to the house with a gun in his hand, his son sitting in his girlfriend’s lap. Then he fired, a shot to the ear, a shot to the neck and a shot to the breast.

As she lay there bleeding — she would eventually lose 5 pints of blood — she could hear him still fussing. He took off with his son and then fired shots when he was outside. He remained on the lam for seven days before his parents took him to Halifax to turn himself in.

She was airlifted to Duke University Medical Center where she fell into a four-day coma. She was in intensive care at Duke for 48 days and had two aneurysms while there.

“The next couple of months I felt I was losing vision in my left eye,” she calmly said. “They found another aneurysm.”

Bryant believes Pender should have got more time. “I’ll never know why he did it,” she said. “He was mean, hateful and jealous.”

Halifax County District Attorney Melissa Pelfrey clearly remembers the case, starting Bryant’s case, but leaving for another job before it got to court and a plea was accepted. Still, the DAs office became close to Bryant. “My office wanted to be here when they found out she was speaking,” she said.

 

Available resources

 

The MAAFIA task force works with community agencies which include the Halifax Department of Social Services, District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, Hannah’s Place and the judicial system, along with the community to enhance safety in domestic violence situations. It is the group’s goal to promote unity, heighten domestic violence awareness, facilitate domestic violence prevention and locate service delivery models to help victims of domestic violence.

The group meets the third Thursday of every month at 1 p.m., usually in the Grand Jury room of the Halifax County Courthouse. For more information contact Arnethia Nicholson at 252-536-6553 or Michele Braswell at 252-536-6559.

The following are numbers to call when these situations arise:

  1.  Hannah’s Place crisis line at 252-535-5946.

  2.  Halifax County DSS at 252-536-2511.

  3. Five County Mental Health Authority at 1-877-619-3761.

  4. Halifax County DAs Office at 252-583-4801.

  5. Legal Aide at 1-800-682-0010.

  6. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

  7. North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-888-232-9124.

While Roanoke Rapids School Superintendent Dennis Sawyer got a contract extension Tuesday, he also got a 10 percent bonus, minutes from the school board meeting show.

The minutes confirm after meeting in closed session, the school board came back into open session and board member Fred Wier made a motion to give Sawyer a bonus equal to 10 percent of his salary. Five members voted for the bonus while three voted against it, according to the minutes.

School board Chairman Vernon Bryant told The Spin today the board had the option to give the superintendent anywhere from no bonus up to 10 percent. Last year the superintendent got between a 5 to 7 percent bonus, Bryant said.

The majority board members believed the superintendent has done an excellent job, with three of the four schools in the system meeting Adequate Yearly Progress and the requirement of the ABCs of Education, Bryant said.

The only school which did not meet those requirements was Roanoke Rapids High School, barely missing the marks by slightly less than one percentage point, Bryant said.

Even the three casting dissenting votes, Bryant said, “Felt he was entitled to the bonus. The amount they didn’t feel would set well.”

The bonus is equal to between $8,500 to $10,000, Bryant said.

Sawyer had more than a year left on his contract and the school board extended it three years for the superintendent who is beginning the fourth year of his first contract.

Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:55

Two charged on pot counts

Two Roanoke Rapids men were charged yesterday on marijuana counts following ongoing surveillance, the city Police Department reported this morning.

Deputy Chief Adam Bondarek said narcotics agents and detectives were conducting surveillance when what he described as the target vehicle pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store and laundry business at the intersection of Bolling Road and Oakley Avenue.

The officers surrounded the vehicle and a passenger, Tyrone Garner, 22, fled but was caught after a short foot chase.

He was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and attempt to flee the scene. He was jailed on $10,000 bond and has an Oct. 14 court date.

Also arrested was Jonathan Richmond, 23, of Roanoke Rapids. He was jailed on $1,000 bond and charged with maintaining a vehicle to store illegal narcotics. His court date is also Oct. 14.

Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:55

Two charged in domestic case

Two people were arrested following a domestic dispute yesterday in the Deer Run subdivision in Roanoke Rapids, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Bobby Martin said in a news release deputies Chris High and Emerson Carroll were dispatched to an assault call.

When the deputies arrived they found Travis Johnson, 35, and Samantha James, 25, in the yard. According to the investigation by the deputies, an argument between James and Johnson ended in a physical assault by both parties.

The deputies noticed scratches on the faces of both individuals and a vehicle owned by Johnson had been damaged by the tires being cut.

Martin said James and Johnson both admitted they assaulted and caused injuries to each other.

Carroll arrested Johnson and charged him with assault on a female.

Johnson was placed in the Halifax County Jail under no bond due to state domestic violence laws.

High charged James with assault and injury to personal property. James also was placed in the Halifax County Jail under no bond due to the domestic violence law.

The injuries the two received from each other were minor and medical attention was not needed. 

Court dates were not available at release time.

Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:54

Pistol whipping probe leads to more arrests

More arrests have been made from the investigation of a Sunday pistol whipping, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said today.

Detective Rich Somogyi said in a news release during the investigation, detectives determined the firearm used in the assault was stolen from a house in Littleton. 

Investigators linked the firearm to an armed robbery of two citizens in the Littleton community.

An officer from the Littleton Police Department was investigating the larceny of the firearm at the time of the investigation of the assault.

Officer Dwayne Daniels from the Roanoke Rapids Police Department located Kendrell Robinson and turned him over to Cpl. Chris Scott of the sheriff’s office.

Somogyi charged Kendrell Robinson, 21, of Roanoke Rapids, with assault inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary, felon in possession of a firearm and felony conspiracy.

Littleton Police Chief Mike Suggs charged Robinson with felony conspiracy, robbery with a deadly weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of communicating threats and larceny of a firearm.

Robinson was wanted in an assault on Justice Branch Road in Littleton where he allegedly struck the victim several times with a handgun causing severe damage to the victim’s head and face.

Meanwhile, further investigation led Lt. Bobby Martin to serve outstanding warrants on Crashawn Montay Vincent for his involvement in the crime spree. 

Somogyi charged Vincent, 23, of Littleton, with first-degree burglary, felony conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault inflicting serious injury.

Suggs charged Vincent with felony conspiracy and two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Vincent was secured in the Halifax County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.

Somogyi said the matter is still under investigation and more charges are pending. “This is a good example of local officers working together to fight crime throughout the Littleton area of Halifax County,” he said in the news release.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 15:53

Tea time: Locals attending national Tea Party

This is not about healthcare. This is about government intrusion. Not just perceived intrusion by the current White House administration, but the former administration, says local Tea Party organizer Pat Croisetiere.

That’s why Croisetiere has organized a Sept. 12 bus trip to Washington to join what is expected to be as many as a million other people who are fed up with everything from bailouts to cap and trade.

Croisetiere organized the Roanoke Valley Tea Party earlier this year and the attendance astounded her. “I expected 50 people,” she told The Spin yesterday. At its peak there were 400 people there and then when Croisetiere looked at the sign-in sheets there were people who signed in as couples, meaning attendance was more like 450 to 460.

“That was with two weeks planning,” said Bobby Norwood, who also plans to attend the September event.

Because of the success of the local Tea Party, Croisetiere believes it’s time to join others who have had enough of big government. A bus with a 55-person capacity is leaving early that morning and there are still a few spots available, she said.

“There’s no one issue,” Croisetiere said. “It’s big government. It’s the culmination of years of cram it down your throat politicians.”

This is neither a right or left wing movement, Croisetiere said, explaining people who were once cast in either ideology have joined the Tea Party movement.

Norwood knows firsthand what government run healthcare is like. He is a veteran who would have to wait two to four weeks to get a doctor’s appointment for a simple health problem. “In my opinion they’re not doing our will,” he said of the government. “They’re doing their will.”

Cap and trade is another issue to which the group is opposed, Croisetiere said.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, cap and trade is an environmental policy tool that delivers results with a mandatory cap on emissions while providing sources flexibility in how they comply. Successful cap and trade programs reward innovation, efficiency, and early action and provide strict environmental accountability without inhibiting economic growth, the agency says on its website.

To Croisetiere, it is more government interference which has the possibility of the government telling people what light bulbs to buy, setting emissions ratings for air conditioners and other appliances. “We’ve always had recycling,” she said. “The thing is it is your choice, it was not being forced upon us.”

Under cap and trade, people won’t be able to sell a house “until the government approves it being green enough,” she said.

If people don’t get involved, Croisetiere said, there is the chance they will be paying for government programs for decades to come. When her daughter asked her why she was getting involved she said she told her, “I’m doing it for you and my grandchildren. Who’s going to pay back trillions of dollars? Your grandchildren and my grandchildren.”

Croisetiere said people in the Tea Party movement are not trying to reach Obama or McCain supporters, but the 100 million people who didn’t vote. “We’re trying to let them know what their vote does mean.”

Currently 45 people have signed up for the trip and the bus holds 55. For more information email Croisetiere at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or log onto the group’s website at www.roanokevalleypatriots.com. The group can also be found on the social networking website Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Roanoke-Valley-Patriots/117041191732.

Page 800 of 810

Latest Comments

Search

VA Pork Festival

Latest Events

Sat May 13 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Free movie Monday
Fri May 19 @ 6:00PM -
Walk for Life
Tue Jun 13 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Free movie Monday

Who's Online

We have 914 guests and one member online

Login Form