Chapel Hill Man Arrested on Child Sex Offense Charges

A Chapel Hill man was arrested by Chatham County authorities on child sex offense charges, authorities announced on Monday.

69-year-old David Laurey, of Environ Way, was arrested on August 28 for sexual offense with a child and indecent liberties with a child.

Laurey was released after posting a $192,000 secured bond, according to law enforcement.

He is due back in Chatham County Court on September 21.

2 Chapel Hill Businesses Added to Wrongful-Death Lawsuit

The two bars that 20-year-old Chandler Kania visited the night that he allegedly drove his 2005 Jeep Wrangler the wrong way on I-85 and hit another vehicle head on, killing three people, have now been added to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Multiple media outlets are reporting the lawsuit that was filed by the daughter of one of the women killed last month has now expanded to include ownership groups of Chapel Hill establishments La Residence and He’s Not Here. Kania allegedly used a fake ID to purchase alcohol and stopped at both businesses before the crash.

The initial lawsuit only included allegations against Kania’s family.

Tests show Kania’s blood-alcohol content was a .17 the night of the crash, more than twice the legal limit to drive in North Carolina.

49-year-old Felicia Harris, of Charlotte, 46-year-old Darlene McGee, of Charlotte, and six-year-old Jahnice Baird, of Brooklyn, were killed in the crash. Nine-year-old Jahnia King was the lone survivor from the Suzuki driven by Harris; she suffered two broken bones in her left leg and a broken right collarbone, according to officials.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission told WCHL that the state agency received the report from North Carolina’s Alcohol Law Enforcement and local authorities last week, and they are now reviewing the data before making a decision regarding regulations at either business.

Chandler Kania, who would have been going into his junior year at UNC, is under house arrest after posting a $1 million bond. He’s awaiting trial on three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, one count of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving the wrong way on an interstate, careless and reckless driving, driving after consuming alcohol as a minor, possession of alcohol by a minor and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Meyer: Identity Protection Bill Will Help NC Families

Children, disabled adults or other residents living in North Carolina who have limited ability to monitor their credit will now have a means of proactively preventing the theft of their identity.

Orange County Democratic Representative Graig Meyer and Guilford County Republican Representative Jon Hardister held a joint press conference Wednesday to further explain what House Bill 607 will mean for North Carolinians as it broadens the existing Identity Theft Protection Act from 2005.

Meyer, who was the bill’s lead sponsor, says children seem to be especially vulnerable to identity theft because they typically don’t have any credit history and their unused Social Security numbers provide an easy and valuable resource for identity thieves. He adds this legislation will provide more protection for caregivers across the state.

“If you are caring for someone who is a sibling with a disability where they needed you to be their legal guardian,” he says. “Or if you had an aging parent who needed your care and your legal guidance because they weren’t able to take care of their own responsibilities anymore.”

This bill allowing protected consumer security freezes passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law by Governor McCrory on August 5.

Meyer says new parents are now being made aware of the new legislation.

“So we know that newborns will start to get protected,” he says. “But we will be working with many of the people who are in this room [advocacy groups] to make sure that we will let all of those who are caring for disabled adults know that they can go ahead and take advantage of this.”

The law will become effective on January 1, 2016.

Victim’s Family Files Suit Against Wrong-Way I-85 Crash Suspect

The family of a Charlotte woman killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 85 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Multiple media outlets report that attorneys for the family of 46-year-old Darlene McGee said Tuesday they want punitive and compensatory damages from 20-year-old Chandler Michael Kania.

The UNC-Chapel Hill student faces multiple charges, including second-degree murder. The N.C. Highway Patrol says Kania was driving north in the southbound lanes near the split of I-85 and Interstate 40 in Orange County on July 19 when his Jeep Wrangler collided with a Suzuki.

Killed were McGee and 49-year-old Felicia Harris, also of Charlotte, and 6-year-old Jahnice Baird, of New York. A 9-year-old suffered serious injuries. Prosecutors Kania’s blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit and he had marijuana in his system.

DA Prepares To Prosecute Plethora of Orange County Drug Cases

The Sheriff’s Office announced 61 arrests last month, following a six-month undercover investigation of illegal narcotic sales in Orange County.

Orange and Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall says his office should have no problem handling the volume of cases.

“These are cases that we know how to work through; we do it as just part of our job,” says Woodall. “If these were some other type of crime, these could really cause us difficulty because of staffing, but because they are controlled substance cases we can work them through the system a little bit easier and a little bit quicker.”

The same can’t be said for the state lab where the seized substances are tested.

“Unfortunately the state lab is so backed up that it will take them well over a year to get all the controlled substances analyzed, unless we find money to go to a private lab for analysis, so that actually gives us time to work through the cases.”

In many cases involving controlled substances, Woodall says defendants don’t wait for the official lab report before agreeing to a plea deal.

“Probably a majority of the cases will be disposed of prior to getting a lab back from the state laboratory,” says Woodall. “There will be some of the cases where the actual charges are dependent on the weight, so in those cases we’ll probably have to wait for the lab. Occasionally we have used outside labs and that may be a possibility in some of these cases.”

Sheriff’s deputies in June issued a total of 343 charges against 62 suspects. The charges range from drug possession to drug trafficking to selling narcotics near a school.

The operation netted more than 7,000 grams of cocaine, 693 doses of heroin, 110 pounds of marijuana and multiple prescription drugs as well as several firearms.

Narcotics officers say they’ve already launched a second round of investigations that will likely culminate in more arrests this fall.

Alert Carolina Late to Alarm Students of 2 Armed Robberies

UNC Police are investigating reports of two armed robberies on the Carolina campus last night.

An Alert Carolina message says that the robberies occurred near Aycock Hall and Raleigh Road just before 11 o’clock last night. Police are searching for two suspects, one estimated 6′ tall and the other approximately 5’10”.

In the first robbery, the suspects reportedly brandished a handgun and demanded the male victim’s wallet.

A female victim was approached shortly after the first robbery by the same two suspects who were in a white four-door sedan.

The Alert Carolina message told students to: Go inside immediately; Close windows and doors; Stay until further notice; and Follow directions from emergency responders or University officials.

While the Alert Carolina message reports the robberies occurred just before 11 o’clock, the message wasn’t sent out through the system until 11:35. The “All Clear” message was sent out at 11:50.

UNC officials say the system failed and a full review will be launched immediately to ensure this breakdown in communication does not happen again.

The university apologized for the system’s failure.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects is asked to call 911 or contact the UNC Department of Public Safety.

Police: “If you see something, say something” After Chapel Hill Break-Ins

Chapel Hill Police are investigating a string of break-ins.

Chapel Hill Police Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says the department is taking this opportunity to remind residents to always lock their vehicles and homes after a series of break-ins with a common theme – it was unlocked.

Mecimore says most reports have been vehicle break-ins but there were two apartment break-ins last week in the Chapel Ridge apartment complex.

“In both incidents, the occupant woke up [and] saw a man standing in their bedroom,” he says. “He takes off running and leaves, didn’t steal anything.

“We want to encourage people to always lock your door…whether you’re home or not, just have it locked.”

Mecimore has some tips to keep your items safe.

“Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen an increase in break-ins to vehicles and the common theme with them is that they are unlocked,” he says. “Sometimes nothing is taken. Sometimes things are taken.

“We always try to encourage people to lock their vehicles, take items of value out of the vehicle; don’t leave things visible inside the vehicle. If you do have to leave something in it, maybe put it in the trunk or have a place to hide it.”

Mecimore says authorities are still investigating the incidents and looking for suspects.

“I don’t know that there’s a relationship between the car B&E’s and the apartment B&E’s,” he says. “In the last month, we’ve made an arrest in a couple of those car break-ins, and I think may have some additional charges coming out on the same person that we arrested for those.

“I don’t think for a minute that all of those are the same person.”

Mecimore says police are looking for help from citizens in making an arrest.

“If you see something, say something,” he encourages. “You know what’s normal in your neighborhood. If you see something that seems out of the ordinary, suspicious, or causes you any concern, then call us.”

Mecimore reminds residents a call on something suspicious is not a waste of time if it turns out to be nothing illegal, adding that could be the call that leads to an arrest.

Removing a Member of the Board of Governors

Speculation has surrounded the future of a member of the UNC Board of Governors after news of his arrest last month on domestic violence charges.

UNC System General Counsel Thomas Shanahan says policy was adopted in April of this year that lays out guidelines for Duties, Responsibilities, and Expectations of Board Members.

Outside of missing a number of meetings or being appointed to a conflicting board, however, there is no clear policy for criminal charges.

61-year-old R. Doyle Parrish was arrested at his home on Kingsley Road in Raleigh, on May 12, after a report was filed by his wife Nancy Parrish, who was listed as the victim. Parrish was charged with simple assault.

Parrish was appointed to a four-year term on the Board of Governors by the North Carolina House in 2013.

The policy that the board adopted in April has an ethical conduct category, but that focuses on the confidential nature of some work of the board.

The fourth section of the policy centers on removal of a board member. The procedure laid out calls for the chair of the Committee on University Governance to submit written specification of reasons to consider the board member’s removal.

The member would then have a chance to respond before the entire board considers the case. The board is also permitted to recommend removal of a board member to the appointing body, in this case that would be the state House.

Joan MacNeill is currently serving as the University Governance Committee Chair for the Board of Governors. MacNeill did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

At a special meeting called by the Board of Governors on Thursday, where many members – including Parrish – participated via conference call, the situation was not discussed.

The Wake County Court Calendar shows Parrish’s next court appearance is slated for August 26th.

UNC Board of Governors Member Arrested in Alleged Domestic Assault

A member of the UNC Board of Governors was arrested in May for misdemeanor assault of a female, according to police reports.

61-year-old R. Doyle Parrish was arrested at his home on Kingsley Road in Raleigh on May 12 after a report was filed by his wife Nancy Parrish, who was listed as the victim. Parrish was charged with simple assault.

Parrish was appointed to a four-year term on the Board of Governors by the North Carolina House in 2013.

National Institute for Money in State Politics figures show that Parrish donated to campaigns for Thom Tillis, Pat McCrory, Phil Berger, Bev Perdue, and Mike Easley, according to WRAL.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Parrish was ordered to be held in the Wake County Jail on a mandatory domestic violence hold for two days. A district court judge on May 18 ordered Parrish released on his promise to appear at his next court date and ordered him to stay away from his wife.

The Wake County Court Calendar shows Parrish’s next court appearance is slated for August 26th.

A UNC System spokesperson says they “have no comment to offer.”

Carrboro Police Seek Info In Armed Robberies

Carrboro police are still investigating a pair of armed robberies at two apartment complexes last week.

One Carrboro resident was robbed at gunpoint, and another was threatened with a gun in separate incidents on the evening of March 30th.

Now, Captain Chris Atack says Carrboro police are looking for help from the public.

“This certainly rises to a level that is concerning to all,” says Atack. “We are asking anybody who has any information, any tips, any ideas on what parties might be responsible for these activities to please call us or call Crimestoppers.”

According to police reports, an armed suspect forced his way into an apartment at Collins Crossing just after 10:00 p.m.

The suspect, who covered his face and carried a rifle, allegedly shoved the resident of the apartment. Although the victim suffered minor injuries, nothing was reported stolen.

Moments later, at 10:47 pm, a woman reported she was robbed at gunpoint by a man with a rifle in the parking lot of Carolina Apartments, directly behind Collins Crossing.

The gunman reportedly took her wallet, car key, driver’s license and credit card.

Atack says the suspect or suspects didn’t steal much of value, but the presence of a firearm is still cause for concern.

“Especially when you have the potential for violent crime arising from someone with a firearm using it to threaten people, there’s always a greater potential for harm,” says Atack.

The suspect in both robberies is described as a 20-year-old black man. Atack says it’s not yet clear if the two incidents are related.

“With the proximity and the closeness in time and distance, obviously you’d initially believe there’s some sort of connection,” says Atack. “That’s something that we’re looking at, trying to get as much information as we can from witnesses. That is something we are dutifully pursuing.”

If you have any information, call Carrboro Police at 919-918-7397. You can leave an anonymous tip either online or over the phone at Crimestoppers: 919-942-7517.