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(Editor’s Note: Readers should be cautioned that several of the descriptions of scalping and related practices presented in this column are graphic.)     

When I was a boy, incidents of scalping by Native Americans were a staple in the old-time movies about the “Wild West.” And there is no doubt whatsoever that the western tribes utilized that practice. But what about the Cherokee, Creek, Catawba and other southeastern tribes — to what extent was scalping a part of their warfare and ritual?

Four people accused of entering into fraudulent marriages with non-U.S. citizens will plead guilty to the charge of marriage fraud, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Charges against two Charlotte teens arrested following the shooting of 21-year-old Jacob Alexander Ray, of Hendersonville, have been upgraded from attempted murder to first-degree murder as of Monday, Oct. 16.

Jury acquits in rape case

Nearly three years after a Sylva Halloween party resulted in his indictment for statutory rape, Cody Jenkins is a free man following a two-week trial culminating with a not guilty verdict Aug. 25.

After two weeks of testimony, a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty on all counts in the case of Cody Jenkins, who in 2014 was accused of statutory rape following a Sylva Halloween party that involved underage drinking.

Numerous law enforcement agencies led by the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office are engaged in a search for Phillip Michael Stroupe II, a suspect who is known to be armed and dangerous.

Court-appointed lawyers are the crux of the U.S justice system because it is their duty to ensure every U.S. citizen is granted their constitutional right to a fair trial, but many lawyers in Western North Carolina are concerned a new pilot program implemented by the state could threaten that right.

Macon is one of six counties across the state that is being included in a pilot program in which court-appointed lawyers are compensated using a flat-fee schedule instead of an hourly rate. According to data from the Indigent Defense Office of North Carolina, indigent defense costs increased 168 percent between 1989 and 1999 while caseloads increased by 90 percent. Capital defense costs rose 338 percent during the same time period.

State charges against the two teenagers arrested in connection with November’s deadly Gatlinburg fires have been dropped, but prosecution could resume with federal charges.

A Haywood County woman has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for filing bogus unemployment claims on behalf of unsuspecting victims, a scam that bilked the government for more than $29,000 in fake unemployment benefits over a two-year period.

Cherokee’s only bail bondsman is facing federal charges for allegedly having sex with female clients in lieu of loan repayment, and for allegedly sexually abusing a teenager younger than 16.

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