DA undergoes breast cancer treatment

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch announced that she has breast cancer and is undergoing medical treatment.

Jim Moore rejoins the DA's office

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch announced Thursday that Jim Moore has joined the 43rd Prosecutorial District as an assistant district attorney.

DA searches for larger substitute courtrooms during COVID

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said across the 43rd Prosecutorial District, in the state’s seven most-westernmost counties, court officials are identifying, examining and measuring large spaces for possible transformation into substitute courtrooms.

DA says wheels of justice continue to turn

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said Tuesday the judicial system remains open for business with measures in place to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Sexual assault cases present complex challenges

A recent analysis of sexual assault prosecutions in North Carolina conducted by Carolina Public Press showed a shockingly low number of convictions in the western counties, but District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch says these types of cases shouldn’t be reduced down to a number. 

District Attorney under fire for ‘mishandling’ cases

District Attorney Ashley Welch doesn’t have an opponent in the 2018 election, but an online petition to remove her from office had 237 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Macon sheriff candidate gets Giglio order

Accusations of dishonesty and inappropriate behavior lodged against Macon County sheriff candidate Eric Giles have led the district attorney’s office to label the law enforcement officer as an unreliable witness. 

Welch seeks second term as 30th Judicial DA

Ashley Welch, the first female District Attorney for the 30th Judicial District, is seeking a second term — and is so far unopposed for the seat. 

Did the southeastern Native Americans take scalps?

(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?

State tries to curb indigent defense expenses

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.

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