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Archive for January, 2012

Berger released from jail after being arrested for failure to appear

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Brian Berger was back behind bars Friday. The New Hanover County Commissioner was arrested this morning after he failed to appear in court.

Berger is no stranger to running behind schedule, but today there was a serious price to pay for his tardiness.

For more than half an hour sheriff’s deputies walked around Berger’s home Friday morning after he did not show up to court. After finally making contact with him, officers arrested Berger for failure to appear.

The deputies said Berger thanked them for their professionalism, but they did not discuss why he had not made it to court.

Downtown, court waited on Berger. He was scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. for a violation of a domestic violence protective order filed by his ex-girlfriend Heather Blaylock, who was in the courtroom.

Fellow County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield was subpoenaed to testify. He waited more than an hour before the judge let him and other witnesses go. Barfield said he had a busy day, which was wasted waiting for Berger.

“We’re wasting taxpayers’ dollars,” Barfield said. “For those of community action who are just sitting here for the last hour and a half, those folks could have been at work as well doing their jobs. So I just see it as a total lack of respect and disregard for other people’s time.”

Almost two hours after the hearing was scheduled to begin, Berger finally arrived at the court house in hand cuffs. Judge Shelly Holt quickly issued a $25,000 secured bond pending a forensic evaluation for competency. The evaluation must be done within seven days. The judge may then revisit the bond depending on the results.

The sheriff’s office says Berger’s case was handled according to protocol.

“Mr. Berger has had issues in court the past couple of months, and we’ve tried to address those equally the way we do with anybody else,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said.

We tried to talk to Commissioner Berger’s attorney Thom Goolsby after the bond hearing, but he declined to comment.

According to an e-mail sent out by Sgt. Brewer at 9:30 pm Friday, Berger has posted bond and was released from the New Hanover County Detention Facility.

Berger is scheduled to be back in court for this charge Tuesday.

More: continued here

Man wanted in connection with Wilmington bank robbery

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department has obtained a warrant for the arrest of 26-year-old Branden Paul
Kolterjahn in connection with an armed robbery at a bank in Wilmington.

The robbery happened around 1:30 on Friday afternoon. Police say that a white, male suspect allegedly robbed the TD Bank at 802 South College Road. Police say the suspect produced a note threatening bank tellers with a gun, but never displayed one. Employees handed over cash and the robber left.

Anyone with information about Kolterjahn is asked to call (910) 343-3600. Information also may be submitted anonymously through Text-A-Tip: enter text Tip708 and the message and send to CRIMES 274637 (or see www.TIP708.com).

More: continued here

Ex-girlfriend Blaylock reacts to Berger’s arrest

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Brian Berger’s now multiple arrests, consistent tardiness, and flip-flopping on issues has not helped his cause. We spoke to a few folks, including ex-girlfriend Heather Blaylock to get their reaction to Berger’s dramatic day.

“When I found out that they had arrested him, I was more relieved because I was like well at least if he’s taken into custody he can’t hurt himself or do anything stupid,” said Blaylock.

She says she was not surprised he was late to court, but says she hopes he gets the help he needs.

I was really happy that the judge stipulated that he needed to get a mental evaluation because I do think he needs some help and I don’t think he would have done it on his own,” said Blaylock.

New Hanover County Commission Chairman Ted Davis says he reached out to Berger last week to discuss how he can regain competence with voters and fellow board members.

“I said, so it’s going to take time, but you’ve got the opportunity to build yourself back up if you just simply do that and it’s not even a week later and here we are again with the same type stuff,” said Davis.

Ben McCoy, who has been an ardent supporter of Berger says he believes everyone in a leadership role should be held equally accountable, but feels the way Berger has been treated by the media and law enforcement has been excessive.

“You would not see a front page picture of Jonathan Barfield or Jason Thompson in leg irons and a green jump suit appearing in front of a judge and you probably wouldn’t even find it buried on page seven in the newspaper,” said McCoy. “It would probably be handled completely discretely because they are county commissioners.”

Davis says he is very disappointed in Berger’s actions Friday and during the time he has spent on the board.

“So if Brian cannot straighten himself out and get himself the help that he needs then he does not need to be a member of this board of commissioners because what good can come out of it.”

More: continued here

North Carolina man to face trial in beheading plot

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Shkumbin Sherifi was arrested last week in Wilmington

More: continued here

Third Street work will mean detour

Friday, January 27th, 2012

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