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Archive for July, 2012

Father testifies in court-martial over son’s death

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The family of an Army private who committed suicide continues its testimony in a military court.

Sgt. Adam Holcomb of Youngstown, Ohio, is accused of hazing Pvt. Danny Chen to the point that he killed himself while they were deployed in Afghanistan. Holcomb faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted on all charges, including negligent homicide.

The Fayetteville Observer reports (an Tao Chen told a 10-member military jury at Fort Bragg Wednesday that he had a close relationship with his son. The soldier’s mother testified on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Pvt. Chen shot himself in the head after weeks of hazing by Holcomb and seven other soldiers. Defense attorneys argue Pvt. Chen had strained family relations that caused the suicide.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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FIRST ON 3: SBI investigates rape allegation against trooper, alleged victim speaks out

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An area woman says she was the victim of a brutal rape earlier this week. She says her attacker is a state trooper. Now, she’s talking about what happened.

The SBI is investigating rape allegations against Trooper Bryan Phillips. Wednesday night WWAY spoke with the alleged victim, who we’ll call Lynn to protect her identity.

“It’s just so disgusting and I thought he was such a safe nice guy,” Lynn says.

Lynn says she met Trooper Phillips a week and a half ago on the online dating website Plenty f Fish. She says they began talking on the phone and sending text messages, some of them explicit.

Lynn says she drove from her home in Brunswick County Monday evening to Phillips’ Wilmington apartment

“Yes I went there. Yes we talked about sex on texts but no means no,” she says.

Within a few minutes of being in his home, Lynn says she was forced into the trooper’s bedroom.

“He was going to get what he wanted no matter how strong he was or what I was willing to do and you know I cried and I asked him why are you doing this and have you done this to somebody else and the answer was yes,” Lynn says.

She says the attack lasted two hours and when Phillips finally let her leave, Lynn says she ran to her car and sped off.

The next night, Lynn says she went to Brunswick Novant Medical Center for a rape kit and spoke with Wilmington Police detectives.

Lynn’s estranged husband contacted the New Hanover County District Attorney’s office, who requested the SBI investigation.

Though it was difficult for her to come forward because of Phillips’ position, Lynn says she refuses to let him win.

“I want him to know that you might have scared me that night, you might have had your way with me, you might be stronger than I am, but I’m not going to roll over and let you win because your with law enforcement,” she says.

A Highway Patrol spokesman says Phillips is on administrative leave as the SBI investigates and an internal Highway Patrol investigation is done. WWAY called Phillips Wednesday night for comment. He has not returned our call.

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3 men held in NC after heroin found in spare tire

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – Three men from Charlotte are in custody in Gaston County after authorities said they found four pounds of heroin inside the spare tire of a car stopped on Interstate 85 by a state trooper.

The Gaston Gazette reports the trooper stopped the car because it was following too closely. After talking with the men, he got permission to search the car.

Other officers assisted in Monday’s search, which turned up the heroin.

Authorities say 27-year-old Gerardo Beltran Rodriquez, 31-year-old Adolfo Guzman Lopez and 20-year-old Irving Eduardo Rodriquez-Munguia are each charged with two counts of heroin trafficking and one count of conspiring to traffic cocaine.

Court officials assigned each man a public defender. A District Court judge says the men could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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

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Author Nicholas Sparks visits movie set, says film exceeds expectations

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

"Safe Haven" shoots climatic fire scene

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Town known for Christmas lights to vote on alcohol

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina town known as “Christmastown USA” is poised to vote on the sale of alcohol.

The Gaston Gazette reports McAdenville resident Greg Richardson led a petition drive in June and collected enough signatures from registered voters to force a special ABC election on Oct. 2.

Richardson is a Charlotte attorney who launched his petition drive after losing hope that the McAdenville Town Council would put the alcohol referendum on the ballot.

County officials announced the election Tuesday after certifying the signatures.

McAdenville Mayor Farrell Buchanan said he was “blindsided” when he learned the special election had been scheduled. Buchanan said he doesn’t favor putting the measure up for a vote among residents, and said he didn’t know that could happen without the town council’s approval.

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

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