Life in Prison for Charlotte Man Convicted of 2010 Shooting Death

From, August 28, 2013

A Charlotte man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday in connection with a 2010 murder.

Franklin Grullon, Jr., guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in the January 2010 shooting death of 29-year-old Kelvin Clark.

Life in prison for man convicted of 2010 shooting death

                                Raymond Ervin, Franklin Grullon

Clark was found dead at a vacant apartment off Chasewood drive in southeast Charlotte.

Two girls– teenagers at the time of the crime and Grullon’s co-defendants in the case, along with 38-year-old Raymond Van Ervin, have all pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

6 Sentenced in Mecklenburg Drug Cases


From The Charlotte Observer, August 29, 2013

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office says it got convictions or guilty pleas in six of seven drug cases heard in Superior Court last week.

The one exception was in the case of James Mayfield, a 27-year-old accused of cocaine sale and delivery. A mistrial was declared after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Convicted in jury trials were Roland Hughes and Brandon Lindsey. Four other suspects – Justin Gadsden, Erron Orr, Belbin Valles and Ricardo Viera – entered guilty please.

Hughes was convicted on three drug-related charges and was sentenced to 25 to 30 months in prison. He was arrested in January 2012, after Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a search of Hughes’ residence turned up evidence of a hydroponic marijuana-growing operation. Police said they found 140 marijuana plants and 51 bags of cut marijuana.

Lindsey, 32, was convicted on a charge of cocaine possession. He was sentenced to eight to 10 months in prison, but that sentence will be suspended if he completes a 30-day probation period.

Gadsden got 12 months’ probation on a drug paraphernalia guilty plea. Orr, 38, received 18 months’ probation on a felony marijuana possession charge. He also must complete drug education classes.

Valles, 41, was sentenced to 35 to 42 months in prison after pleading guilty to cocaine trafficking, sale and delivery, and possession with intent to sell or deliver.

Viera, 20, was sentenced to 11 to 23 months in prison after pleading guilty to sale and delivery of heroin, and possession with intent to sell or deliver. Viera’s prison term was suspended if he completes an 18-month probation period and serves 39 days in county jail.

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Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

4 Charged with Robbery, Beating Charlotte Pizza Delivery Driver

From, August 27, 2013 by Mark Becker

Police in Charlotte have charged four people with the robbery and beating of a pizza delivery driver in south Charlotte late Monday night.

Detectives said the suspects had lured the 24-year-old driver to the apartment complex off Arrowood Road and then attacked him with a bat before taking pizza, wings and soda.

Police said the attack fractured the driver’s skull and late Monday he was listed in stable condition at the hospital.

Detectives charged Gerbrea Martin, 19, Xavier Wilkes, 19, and Kristopher Clyburn, 20, with attempted murder, armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of stolen property.

 4 charged with robbery, beating pizza delivery driver, police say photo

They charged Torres Wilkes, 20, with conspiracy and possession of stolen property.

Police said they had found the four by tracking the cellphone that placed the pizza order to the same apartment complex where the attack happened.

Officers arrested them at that complex off Arrowood Road about 6 a.m. and detectives spent the day questioning them.

As officers led them to patrol cars late Tuesday afternoon, two of the suspects offered what sounded like apologies.

“We hurt an innocent man,” Christopher Clyburn said.

“I regret everything,” said Xavier Wilkes as he stepped into the patrol car for the ride to jail.

Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 8:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Attorney for Charlotte Club Says More Security Hired After Neighbor Complaints

From by Tina Terry, August 27, 2013

Neighbors who live near a west Charlotte nightclub told Eyewitness News that they’re fed up with crimes that they say stem from the club.

Club 935 is near the intersection of Summit Avenue and Morehead Street. Neighbors have said that club patrons park their cars in the residential areas and that draws crime.

“It’s unacceptable to feel afraid in your own home,” said Shannon Hughs, neighborhood association president for the Wesley Heights Community.

In February, Eyewitness News reported that one man was shot and killed in a parking lot near Club 935. Hughs said since then, there have been four other shootings and violent crimes. He said most happened after the club closed for the night.

Police have increased patrols, but Hughs said the club no longer fits in the neighborhood. He wants it shut down.

“We are transitioning. Club 935 could have been a good fit nine years ago, but now we’re moving beyond that,” he said.

He said he wants city leaders to help, but Tuesday, Councilman James Mitchell said crime only seeped into the neighborhood after businesses banned club patrons from parking in their lots. The ban took place shortly after the shooting in February.

“If we can get parking addressed, that would cut down on some of the problems at Wesley Heights,” Mitchell said.

Club 935 attorney John Gresham said his client has hired several off duty police officers to patrol outside the club. He said the owner is also addressing the parking problem himself.

“They’re in the process of improving their parking at the club,” said Gresham.

He also said the complaints about violence are coming from a small group of neighbors and not all of them.

Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 7:59 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Charlotte Church Break-In Suspect

From, August 27, 2013

CMPD Officers are searching for the person who broke into a southeast Charlotte church and did damage.

Police responded to the break-in at Saint Johns United Methodist Church on Monroe Road.

The thief smashed three windows sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, causing $800 worth of damage.

It is not clear yet exactly what the thief took.

Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 7:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Man Says He Was Targeted for Robbery on Facebook

Arrested Man was on probation, and police said he was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the robbery.

From by Nate Stewart, August 27, 2013

A man told Channel 9 that he was targeted for robbery on Facebook, and that the thief was after a pair of shoes.

Man targeted for robbery on Facebook

Tuesday night Eyewitness News learned information on how easily the suspect was captured.

“Great way to make money actually, if you know what you’re doing,” said a man who wanted his identity kept a secret.

He said he uses Facebook to sell shoes. He uses a group called the Carolina Sneakerhead Society, and he said it is quite a business for collectors in Charlotte.

While he doesn’t want reveal his identity, this man said he uses Facebook because, “It’s more like an obsession. More like a collector’s item, certain shoes people have been looking for, for years.”

After messaging with someone over Facebook, he told Channel 9 on Tuesday night that he agreed to sell Charles Barkley sneakers.

Eyewitness News found similar pairs online — selling for more than 300 dollars.

Police said the buyer used the fake name of “Brad Piff,” but they said he was really Brandon Ayers.

Eyewitness News found out Ayers has been arrested five times in the past three years.

The two men agreed to meet after dark on Coker Avenue, but then the sale turned to robbery.

“I gave him one of the shoes to look at, he just looked at the shoes to see if they had insoles. I told him I didn’t, then after that, he just put it right to me,” said the victim.

Police said Ayers pulled out a gun and then took the expensive shoes and the victim’s cellphone, but from there it was not too difficult to catch the suspect.

Police arrested Ayers at his home on Maury Street just blocks away from the robbery.

Ayers was on probation, and police said he was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the robbery.

Tonight Brandon Ayers is still in jail. He is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Says Communication is No. 1 Crime-Fighting Tool

From, August 27, 2013

Police in Charlotte’s Providence division said communication has become their No. 1 crime-fighting tool.

Business burglaries are down more than 50 percent this year.

Officers send out crime alerts and visit business to go over specific ways they can better secure their property.

They also let businesses owners know about security grants offered by the city, that partially reimburse them for making certain enhancements.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Former Charlotte Area Realtor Pleads Guilty to Selling Stolen Appliances from Vacant Homes

From, August 27, 2013

A former Charlotte area realtor pleaded guilty on Monday to selling household appliances she unlawfully removed from vacant homes owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sember Lynn Smathers, 49, formerly of Shelby, N.C., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to steal government property, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to the criminal indictment and plea agreement, Smathers was a real estate agent and, in that capacity, had access to listings of vacant HUD real estate owned properties in Charlotte and surrounding communities in North and South Carolina.

According to court records, from September 2008 to July 2009, Smathers used a master key to enter the vacant HUD homes and unlawfully remove appliances – such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers – and other items from the homes. Smathers and her co-conspirators usually conducted these “clean outs” one or two times per week. Court records indicate that Smathers then sold these items from her home in Shelby.

In February 2009, Smathers and a co-conspirator leased a building in Shelby and set up a business called “Cheap Stuff,” from which they sold the household appliances as well as clothes and lawn maintenance equipment stolen from the HUD properties, according to the release.

According to filed documents, Smathers and another co-conspirator also maintained a storage unit in Shelby to store the stolen appliances, and used Craig’s List, the Shelby Shopper and the Shelby Star to advertise and sell these appliances.

Court records indicate that in one instance, Smathers and another person were conducting a “clean out” while subcontractors were working at the same vacant HUD property.

When the subcontractors questioned Smathers about the removal of the appliances from the home, Smathers falsely represented that she and her co-conspirator also worked for the same subcontractors and had been directed to remove the appliances from the home.

Court records show that Smathers stole over $13,678 worth of appliances from the vacant homes.

Smathers has been released on bond pending sentencing.

She faces a maximum prison term of five years and a $250,000 fine.

A sentencing date for Smathers has not been set yet.

The prosecution is handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Federal Prison for Robbing Family Dollar Store

From, August 27, 2013

A Charlotte man was sentenced on Monday to 11 years in federal prison after he robbed a Family Dollar store in University City in 2010.

Robert Hikeen Seigle, aka “Bam Bam,” 23, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve 136 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and Monday’s sentencing hearing, on the morning of October 3, 2010, Seigle robbed a Family Dollar store located on University City Boulevard in Charlotte.

Seigle, who had previously worked for Family Dollar, entered the store shortly after it opened and pulled a gun on the Family Dollar employee working at the cash register.

Court records indicate that Seigle pointed the gun at the employee, racked the slide on the pistol and asked the employee if he wanted to die, according to the release.

Seigle stole $100 from the cash register and then walked the employee at gun point to the back of the store.

According to information in court documents and court proceedings, Seigle then bound the employee’s hands together at the wrist with wire ties and shoved the employee into the men’s restroom.
Seigle barricaded the restroom door with shelves of merchandise and fled the store.

When CMPD officers arrested Seigle on October 15, 2010, he had in his possession the same .45 caliber pistol used during the Family Dollar store robbery.

In October 2011, Seigle pleaded guilty to Hobbes Act robbery, and to possession and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

In announcing the 11-year sentence, Judge Whitney stated that the robbery was an “extraordinarily dangerous offense.”

Judge Whitney observed that Seigle was lucky that he and the victims were not injured.

Seigle is currently in local federal custody in the Western District of North Carolina and will be transferred into the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another Example of The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Action

Pizza Delivery Man Shoots and Kills Armed Robber

From By Nikki Bowers, Web Producer, August 24, 2013

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 32-year-old Fredrick Lorenza Kelly Jr., who was shot and killed during an Armed Robbery of a pizza delivery driver Friday night.

The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Days Inn motel at 4500 West New Haven in West Melbourne shortly before midnight. Detectives say 54-year-old Bryon Park of Palm Bay had just returned to his vehicle after delivering a pizza to a room in the motel complex, when he was approached by Kelly who had a large knife.

Kelly demanded money from Park and threatened to kill him if he did not comply.  Deputies say that’s when Park, the pizza delivery man who happens to be a former law enforcement officer, grabbed a gun from his car and defended himself, by firing one shot towards Kelly.

Kelly was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.  Deputies say this wasn’t the first offense for Fredrick Kelly Jr.  It turns out he has a lengthy violent criminal history that includes Armed Robbery, Aggravated Battery and False Imprisonment.  Brevard County Sheriff deputies also said that the suspect in this investigation, Kelly, was released from prison in 2009, after serving a reduced sentence for similar violent crimes.”

Sheriff Wayne Ivey says, “Preliminary evidence in the case demonstrates that the intended victim of the robbery acted in self defense while being robbed by a violent criminal who was armed with a knife. 

Published in: on August 26, 2013 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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