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June 27, 2018 - 12:00 am


North Carolina prison violence stats show 4 assaults per day

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — New data shows that about four assaults have taken place in North Carolina's prisons each day in the first five months of the year.

The tally of 227 workers and 349 inmates attacked in the first five months of the year comes from a new effort by state prison officials to hone in on the details of inmates attacking employees or other prisoners.

The state has intensified its focus on prison violence since four workers were killed during a failed inmate escape attempt from an Elizabeth City prison in October. A correctional officer was killed at a Bertie County prison six months earlier.

If the rate of assaults keeps up this year, about 567 employees will be attacked with fists, blades and other weapons, or with sprays of urine or other substances.


North Carolina man gets at least 13 years in wrong-way crash

(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal,

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who drove without a license the wrong way on a highway has been sentenced to at least 13 years in prison for a wreck that killed a woman last year.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that 28-year-old Roberto Jose Lemus Martinez pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court on Tuesday to second-degree murder, felony serious injury by motor vehicle and several other charges.

Eighty-year-old Dollie Jean Lawrence High died after the wreck on U.S. 52 on June 15, 2017.

Police said the Winston-Salem man drove 70 mph (113 kph) for 4 miles (6 kilometers) on the wrong side of the highway, passing three exits before hitting the car in which High was a passenger.

Martinez was sentenced to between 13 years and nearly 17 years in prison.



3 dead, 1 hurt in shootings in North Carolina city

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Three people have died and one person has been hurt in shootings in a North Carolina city.

The most recent shooting was reported around 7:30 p.m. Monday in Greensboro.

New outlets reported that the death of 28-year-old Michael Jaytuan Ingram of Greensboro is being investigated as a homicide.

One person died and another was hurt at an apartment complex Monday afternoon. The names of the victims have not been released.

The first shooting was reported shortly before 11 a.m. Police Capt. Nathaniel Davis said 36-year-old Darren Denard Herbin of Greensboro was killed

No arrests have been made in any of the shootings.


North Carolina police chase leaves pregnant woman dead

(Information from: News & Record,

EDEN, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Highway Patrol continues to investigate after a pregnant woman died after a crash involving a chase by a trooper last weekend.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported that a passenger in a car that did not stop died after the wreck Friday night.

Eighteen-year-old Meranda Leigh Galindo of Eden was taken to Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, where she died from her injuries.

A trooper had tried to stop a car for speeding but the driver refused to stop. The driver later crashed into a tree. The driver and another passenger were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

Sgt. Christopher Knox says charged are pending against the driver.



North Carolina woman charged with trying to poison 2 sons

(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer,

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has been arrested and is accused of trying to poison her two sons with cream soda laced with lighter fluid.

The Fayetteville Observer reports 34-year-old Octavia Latosh Robinson of Fayetteville has been charged with two counts each of distributing food containing noxious or deleterious material and misdemeanor child abuse.

At a court appearance Tuesday, Robinson asked a judge to terminate her parental rights. The newspaper reports she later began yelling and cursing during the hearing in the Cumberland County jail.

Judge Beth Keever said it was too soon to decide on parental rights and asked that the public defender's office represent the woman. Keever also ordered a psychiatric evaluation.

She's accused of giving the poisoned soda to her 6-year-old and 10-year-old sons Sunday. One of the boys tasted it and they went to a neighbor, who called police. The boys were released from a hospital.



North Carolina employees challenge discipline measures

(Information from: The News & Observer,

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some state employees in North Carolina have sued, saying supervisors and managers have been improperly writing discipline reports on employees to prevent them from getting pay raises.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported the lawsuit filed Monday focuses on the Department of Public Safety, particularly the prison system.

The lawsuit contends that Public Safety Department officials have ordered prison supervisors to issue unnecessary or even made-up written warning to correctional officers and other prison employees to keep them from getting raises.

The lawsuit also says prison officials used the faulty disciplinary methods to prevent workers at the state's worst prisons from transferring to better ones.

Public Safety Department spokesman Jerry Higgins says the agency does not comment on pending lawsuits. But he said the department supports its employees.



Senate votes to override vetoes on voting, farm litigation

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly has started overriding two of Gov. Roy Cooper's latest vetoes of measures that would adjust early in-person voting and restrict litigation filed by neighbors of big livestock operations unhappy with nearby odors.

The Senate voted Tuesday to enact the legislation over the formal objections Cooper announced Monday. Those measures now return to the House.

The early voting measure adjusts the current 17-day period by eliminating the final day now scheduled for Saturday before Election Day and moving up the start by one day.

The agriculture industry pushed for the legislation making it harder for nuisance lawsuits to be successful following a multi-million dollar verdict against Smithfield Foods. Bill supporters say without it litigation could force farmers out of business.


The Latest: Crime victims' rights amendment going to voters

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Voters will be asked this fall to decide whether to change the North Carolina Constitution to rework a current section that lays out the rights of crime victims.

The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to accept changes in the proposed constitutional amendment made by the Senate. Now the item will be placed on all ballots in the state this November in an up-or-down referendum.

Supporters say the amendment known as "Marsy's Law" would expand rights already in the state constitution approved by voters two decades ago. The changes make clear victims can go to court and seek redress when they feel their rights aren't being satisfied.

Chief sponsor Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary says the proposed changes won't cost the state any additional money for court officials to comply with in the near future. Some House members questioned why the changes couldn't just be altered using conventional legislation.


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