Swimmer sentenced for 2018 murder

A Cherokee man was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being found guilty of second-degree murder by a federal jury. Shane McKinley Swimmer, 22, will also have to serve eight years of supervised probation following his release from 365 months in prison. 

Cherokee man receives 30 years for 2018 murder

A Cherokee man was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being found guilty of second-degree murder by a federal jury. Shane McKinley Swimmer, 22, will also have to serve eight years of supervised probation following his release from 365 months in prison.

Cherokee man faces homicide charge

A Cherokee man is being held without bond after allegedly shooting two people outside McDonald’s in Cherokee on Friday, Feb. 25. 

‘Mountain Murders’ podcast celebrates one year

There’s just something so mysterious about Southern crime stories. Small towns with big characters and dark family secrets. People taking the law into their own hands and crooked cops turning a blind eye. If there’s one thing mountain folk appreciate, it’s a tall tale woven together through the decades.

Bullock murder case remains unsolved after 55 years

Ronnie Evans tries to remember his cousin as the beautiful and spunky woman pictured on the cover of his new book — the sparkle emanating from her party dress and her eyes — but the image he can’t get out of his head is the one of her lying on a cold slab following her autopsy in 1963. 

“I see these beautiful photos of her and realize she’d be 95 today if she lived, but I also saw her on a slab after the autopsy was done,” he said. “That and knowing how it happened to her — to know what she was subjected to — that’s why I’ve kept searching for answers.”

Sentence delivered in 2015 Smokemont murder

A Cherokee resident will spend four years in federal prison for his involvement in the 2015 stabbing death of 25-year-old Tyler Gaddis, of Whittier. 

Blizzard of 1993 is catalyst for a fine first novel

In True Stories At The Smoky View (She Writes Press, 2016, 325 pages, $16.95), Vrai Stevens Lynde — the “Vrai” is short for Vraiment — finds herself and a 10-year-old runaway boy trapped in a room at the Smoky View Motel near Bristol, Tennessee, during the great blizzard of 1993. Snowbound for several days — the monster storm has completely closed I-81, and the motel desk clerk delivers food to the stranded travelers on a tractor — Vrai and Jonathan begin comparing notes and sharing stories from their life, an exchange of information resulting in a lifelong friendship and a mutual decision to embark on a crusade to right an injustice.

Jury deliberating fate of jailer who helped murderer escape

The jury deciding the fate of a former Swain County jailer who helped a murderer escape and then ran away with him to California began deliberating Tuesday morning (Dec. 3).

The how-to of a jail break

It was a fairly simple inside job in the end, one easily borrowed from the playbook of any Hollywood jailbreak.

Anita Vestal was just a novice jailer, with less than six months on the job at the Swain County jail. But she single-handedly sprang an inmate charged in a bloodbath of a double murder.

Awaiting her fate: Jailer helped murder suspect escape jail, fled with him to California

fr vestalThe jury trial of a Swain County jailer accused of springing a murderer from jail more than four years ago will conclude next week with a certain guilty verdict.

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