Two Chapel Hill Teenagers Charged After Threat Against Local School

A lawyer representing two teenage suspects appeared in court on Tuesday following a threat against a local school.

Two Chapel Hill High School students were arrested and charged with making a false report of mass violence on educational property on Monday, and defense attorney Amos Tyndall appeared in court representing the teenagers on Tuesday afternoon.

17-year-old Shane Long allegedly sent a message to his stepbrother, 16-year-old Caleb Ethridge, via the social media site Snapchat on Monday with a picture of two boxes of ammunition with the caption, “Ready to shoot the school up!”

Ethridge then allegedly sent the same picture and caption out on Twitter.

Officials in the Chapel Hill – Carrboro School system were alerted of the message on Monday morning.

Long and Etheridge were questioned by Chapel Hill Police and arrested on Monday evening.

District Court Judge Beverly Scarlett extended the suspects curfew on Tuesday afternoon to run from seven o’clock in the evening to seven o’clock in the morning. Scarlett also ordered the suspects to attend school every day, unless they had a doctor’s note excusing their absence, and complete coursework as it was assigned by their teachers. The suspects were ordered to not possess or consume any alcohol or controlled substance, except by prescription, or to possess any firearm, weapon, explosive device or ammunition.

Tyndall said in court that the suspects would likely be disciplined by the school but did not want to comment on the record after the hearing, saying that it was too early to have much information.

Both suspects are being charged as adults on the class H level one felony, meaning the suspects could each face a maximum of eight to 19 months in prison, according to Orange County sentencing guidelines.

North Carolina and New York are the only two states in the country that treat 16 and 17 year old suspects as adults, regardless of the crimes they are accused of.

Long and Etheridge are due back in court on January 8, 2016.

Chapel Hill Police Make Arrest in Pedestrian Hit and Run

Chapel Hill Police have made an arrest in a hit and run from late October.

30-year-old Tyson Kim was extradited to Chapel Hill on Wednesday in connection with felony charges, according to police records.

Chapel Hill Police Lt. Josh Mecimore says the charges stem from a report on October 25 near the Eastgate Shopping Center.

“Officers arrived and the fire department arrived and found a person who had been hit by a vehicle, possibly run over by a vehicle,” Mecimore says, “no life-threatening injuries but was certainly injured and was subsequently taken to the emergency room.”

Mecimore says police were able to quickly identify Kim as a suspect and get a description of the vehicle he had been driving.

Mecimore adds the victim had been a passenger in Kim’s vehicle before being struck.

“The passenger decided to get out of the car, after some sort of issue between the two,” Mecimore says. “He got out and the driver of the vehicle, Mr. Kim, subsequently ran him over or ran into him at the very least with the vehicle.

“And so [Kim] was charged with assault inflicting bodily injury, hit and run with injury and then driving while his license was revoked.”

Mecimore says the incident that led to the victim exiting the vehicle was the passenger attempting to intervene in an argument between Kim and a female passenger.

The assault inflicting bodily injury and hit and run with injury are both felony charges.

Mecimore says authorities were able to identify that Kim had fled the state. South Carolina law enforcement officials arrested Kim after he was stopped in the Palmetto State in early November.

Kim was taken to Orange County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond and was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday afternoon.

UNC Assistant Professor Arrested on Sexual Exploitation Charges

A UNC faculty member is scheduled to appear in court Monday after being arrested late last week.

33-year-old Kuohsiung Yang is a research assistant professor at UNC, and he was arrested last Thursday and charged with 10 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation with a minor, according to police reports.

The 10 counts are all felony charges.

Yang, of 120 Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill, has been a UNC employee since August of 2012, according to WRAL.

The FBI is reportedly involved in the case where Yang duplicated videos of young girls being sexually assaulted, according to police reports.

Yang was transported to the Orange County Jail under a $500,000 bond.

Chapel Hill Police Traffic Stop Leads to Multiple Felonies

A traffic stop led to multiple felony charges in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill Police arrested 35-year-old Ricardo Anthony Dixon on Tuesday afternoon and charged him with seven felony counts for various offenses, including breaking into Culbreth Middle School.

Chapel Hill Police Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says the arrest started with an officer checking motorists speed on Highway 54, just past 15-501.

“[The officer] clocked a car speeding into town, 66 in a 45,” Mecimore says. “He turned around to stop the vehicle. They were, sort of, driving suspiciously after he got behind them and then refused to stop when he tried to stop them.”

Mecimore says as the suspect led officers on a brief chase, one individual jumped out of the car and waited for authorities on the side of 15-501.

Dixon, who was driving the vehicle, later jumped from the car and ran into the woods.

“Officers pursued him into the woods,” Mecimore says. “Then we started setting up a perimeter around the area that he was in and got one of our K-9 units to come.

“Probably not the best day to be running because all of our dogs were actually here for training.”

Mecimore says only one of the department’s four police dogs was needed to track down Dixon in the woods near where the vehicle was abandoned, around Coker Drive.

Dixon was taken into custody just before four o’clock Tuesday afternoon.

Mecimore says investigators linked Dixon to a break-in at Culbreth Middle School that occurred early Tuesday morning.

Dixon was charged with several felonies including breaking and entering, larceny, possession of a stolen vehicle, speeding to elude arrest and possession of burglary tools. He is also facing misdemeanor counts including reckless driving, damage to real property and possession of stolen goods.

Durham Police also charged Dixon in connection with a series of break-ins at Durham Public Schools similar to the break-in at Culbreth. Dixon is facing multiple counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, injury to property and conspiracy in Durham.

Dixon is being held in the Orange County Jail under a $52,500 secured bond and was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

Dixon’s passenger that jumped out of the car and waited for authorities was not charged with any crimes.

Case Against Suspect in Fatal Wrong-Way Crash Continued

20-year-old Chandler Kania appeared in the Battle Courtroom in Hillsborough on Tuesday morning facing three counts of second-degree murder, among other charges, relating to a fatal wrong-way crash on I-85 in July.

The case was continued until January 12, 2016. Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman asked for the continuance as the state is still awaiting the crash reconstruction from the State Highway Patrol.

Kania’s attorneys, Roger Smith Jr. and Wade Smith, had no objections to the request.

Chandler Kania and members of his family sat in the middle rows of the courtroom as Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour was presiding over the proceedings.

Kania is still on crutches recovering from broken bones suffered in the crash, but Roger Smith says the mental recovery will take much longer than any physical recovery for his client.

“He’s doing the best he can,” Smith says. “He’s struggling every day with what’s happened here and just struggles with his thoughts about the victims’ families here.

“His prayers go out to them. But he’s struggling every day with this.”

Smith adds that the distress permeates through all of the members of Kania’s family.

“He has real genuine concern,” Smith says, “and you can see it in his entire family’s face. They’re just doing the best they can, and they struggle day by day.”

Wade Smith says the Kania family is still concerned for the families of the victims of the crash, while also coming to the realization that Chandler will very likely be spending time behind bars.

“They think about the victims in this case as much as they think about their son,” Smith says. “I don’t think his mom has stopped weeping since this happened. They realize that this is a long journey. There’s a long way to go.

“And that their son will certainly go to prison, there’s no doubt.”

Smith adds the family remains hopeful Kania will have chance to have a life after prison that would honor the victims and their families.

Chandler Kania is accused of driving his 2005 Jeep Wrangler the wrong way on I-85 in Orange County for at least six miles before striking another vehicle head on, killing three of the four passengers. 49-year-old Felicia Harris, 46-year-old Darlene McGee and six-year-old Jahnice Beard were all killed in the crash. A nine-year-old girl suffered several broken bones as a result of the accident.

Court documents show Kania’s blood-alcohol content was a .17 the night of the crash, more than double the legal limit to drive in North Carolina, and that several of Kania’s friends had fought with Kania to take away his keys. Kania allegedly physically fought them off before leaving the fraternity house on the UNC campus.

Kania was a student at UNC and was enrolled in classes this fall at Carolina before the crash but is no longer a student. Kania was found with the identification of an older brother in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at UNC the night of the crash.

Chapel Hill restaurants He’s Not Here and La Res have been investigated by state officials for their role in the incident after records show Kania and several other underage patrons were served alcohol.

Chandler Kania has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle, and several charges related to the underage possession of alcohol and driving while impaired.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office does intend to use aggravating factors in arguments for the murder charges.

Kania was indicted on all charges in September.

His next scheduled court appearance is January 12.

Attorney Roger Smith says it is too early in the proceedings to know if a plea deal will be reached or if the case will go to trial.

Chandler Kania was released from the Orange County Jail in July after posting a $1 million bond and has been recovering at his parents’ home in Asheboro.

Pedestrian Struck in Chapel Hill

A pedestrian was struck near Chapel Hill Town Hall on Monday evening.

Chapel Hill Police officials confirmed that a 26-year-old graduate student at UNC was struck while in the crosswalk.

The driver in the incident was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian.

The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to officials.

Chapel Hill Police Arrest Suspect in Attempted Kidnapping

Chapel Hill Police arrested a Durham man, on Saturday, in connection with an attempted kidnapping late Friday night.

An Alert Carolina message was sent to the campus community just after two o’clock Saturday morning warning students of the incident.

The victim reported that she was approached by a heavyset black male in his mid-20’s to mid-30’s, who was armed with a silver handgun, near the intersection of Kenan Street and West Cameron Avenue just before 11 o’clock Friday night.

The victim reported that the suspect attempted to force the victim into a white 2000 Mitsubishi Galant, but the victim was able to escape uninjured when bystanders approached and intervened.

Chapel Hill Police arrested Keith Robert Webster Jr. on Saturday. Webster was charged with second degree kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a felon. Webster was transported to the Orange County Jail on a $100,000 secured bond.

Webster was also arrested in 2008, according to WRAL, on charges of armed robbery in connection with an incident on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

Victims in that scenario reported the suspect approached the men with a shotgun and took money from the victims and fleeing.

Webster is scheduled to make his first court appearance on the new charges early this week.

Chapel Hill Police Investigating Armed Robbery

Chapel Hill Police are investigating an armed robbery, according to an Alert Carolina message sent to the campus community.

Police responded to a reported armed robber around 2:30 in the morning on Friday, October 30th.

A male and a female were walking along North Columbia Street, near Isley Street, when they were approached by two male suspects, according to the message. Each suspect was armed with a handgun and wearing hooded sweatshirts. The suspects reportedly shoved the victims against a fence, took money and property and then walked from the scene on foot.
If anyone has information which might aid in the investigation, please call 911. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 919-942-7515. Calls to CrimeStoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Suspect in Chapel Hill Domestic Violence Case Arrested in Oklahoma

An arrest has been made in connection with a domestic assault in Chapel Hill earlier this month.

Kevin Tyler Schuster was apprehended in Canadian County, Oklahoma, for possessing a stolen vehicle, according to police.

Chapel Hill law enforcement officials say Schuster is awaiting extradition back to North Carolina to face charges stemming from the October 24 domestic assault. Schuster is facing charges of felony assault by strangulation, felony kidnapping, felony motor vehicle theft, felony obtaining property by false pretenses, in addition to misdemeanor larceny and interference with emergency communication.

The victim was transported to UNC Emergency Department with injuries that are not believed to be life threatening, according to police. There was no update given on the victim’s condition.

Hillsborough Police Asking for Public’s Help in Connection with Shooting

Hillsborough Police are looking for information regarding two recent incidents.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting on Faucette Mill Road in Hillsborough, at approximately two o’clock in the morning on Sunday, October 18.

Authorities say police then found 26-year-old Victor Glover in a vehicle at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Glover was reportedly taken to Duke Hospital for treatment.

Hillsborough Police were also called to a scene of an armed robbery at approximately 10 o’clock the night of Tuesday, October 20, at the Domino’s Pizza on John Earl Street. Two employees were at the business when a white male wearing a mask and black clothing entered the business with a handgun and demanded money. The suspect stole cash and was last seen running from the business, according to police.

The employees were not injured in the robbery.

If you have any information regarding either of these incidents, please contact Hillsborough Police.