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Archive for June, 2012

Murdered father’s beliefs keep killer son from death penalty

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It may seem hard to believe, but the personal beliefs of a murdered father may have kept his son and killer off death row today.

The Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office says it’s one of the most unique cases it’s ever seen. John Heller pleaded guilty to second degree murder of his own father. He avoided the death penalty because his father, an attorney, was against it.

“We met with the family and decided to take that off the table, and after talking to the family we wanted to help go with their wishes, and their wishes were to be able to spend some time with him after he got out,” Assistant District Attorney Karen Richards said.

It was an emotional day in the courtroom for the Heller family. John Heller, 23, admitted shooting and killing his own father last year.

“The victim leaves behind his wife, a daughter, a grandchild, and we’ve also met with the brother of the victim,” Richards said.

Deputies arrested Heller in May 2011 after a cab driver called and said Heller did not pay his fare. They found Heller on the porch of his Winnabow home with a shotgun. A blood trail in the house led to his father Tom’s body and a message written in blood.

Prosecutors say the murder happened after the father and son had a fight inside the house.

“It seems like one of those things you would see on ‘Law & Order’ or ‘CSI,'” Richards said. “The way it played out it was a little sensational.”

John Heller faces at least 20 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to robbery with a firearm, which added to his sentence.

We tried to talk to members of the Heller family at the courthouse today but they did not want to speak on camera.

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House overrides Perdue veto of student loan opt-out

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The House has overridden a veto by Gov. Bev Perdue on legislation to give all North Carolina community colleges the ability to decline to offer certain low-interest federal student loans.

The House voted Thursday to cancel Perdue’s veto by a vote 70-46 – just enough of a margin to override. The bill now goes to the Senate, which would need the same outcome to enact the bill into law.

Perdue vetoed the bill in April 2011 because she said it would prevent access for students to inexpensive loans to help retool their careers. Community college presidents said they feared high default rates could jeopardize access to all federal financial aid.

The Legislature already bypassed her veto by passing local bills giving more than 25 colleges the ability to opt out.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Insurance agent charged with embezzlement

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

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Helicopter crash reported off Oak Island

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Emergency officials were responding Thursday afternoon to a report of a helicopter crashing off Oak Island, according to Brunswick County dispatch.

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Water main leak in Lake Waccamaw

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — The water consumers of the Lake Waccamaw Water System in Columbus County are experiencing periods of low pressure and outages in the distribution system due to a Leaking Water Main along Lake Shore Drive. The effected locations are between 102 Lake Shore Drive and 506 Lake Shore Drive and includes ALL of Ash Street, Cameron Street, Central Avenue, Lakeview Drive, Dogwood Avenue, Nancy Street and Dallas Avenue. Periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system increases the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system.

Therefore, the Division of Water Resources advised that when water is restored consumers boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water.

Vigorous boiling for one (1) minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water.

This office is strongly urging the water consumers to conserve water whenever possible. This advisory remains in effect until further written notification is issued.

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