2017 Homicides Now 40; Voters Ask Court For Deadline On New District Maps

Jun 9, 2017

The number of homicides in Charlotte this year is now up to 40. That’s after police announced charges against two people in separate cases over the past 24 hours. 

51-year-old Gary McGill was charged with killing his wife after she died of burns suffered in an assault last month. Police say 47-year-old Archie McGill died Saturday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.  

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old Charlotte man was charged with killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old child. The child died after being admitted to a hospital yesterday with multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Charges against Christopher Sims faces were upgraded to murder after the child died of those injuries.

VOTERS WANT DEADLINE FOR NEW DISTRICT MAPS

Voters who sued successfully to throw out 28 statehouse districts as illegal racial gerrymanders now are trying to get judges to decide quickly when new maps should be drawn and whether new elections should be held.

Lawyers filed motions Thursday at federal court in Greensboro asking a three-judge panel to require the General Assembly to draw new lines by June 22 or let them file their own. They also want the judges to decide quickly if new elections should be held this fall using new boundaries.

Getting maps by June 22 is unlikely because state attorneys have until June 29 to respond to the motions.

The motions came the same day Republican lawmakers refused Gov. Roy Cooper’s call for a special legislative session to redraw the maps.

BICYCLIST SERIOUSLY HURT IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

A 29-year-old bicyclist was seriously hurt in east Charlotte early this morning after being struck by a car that left the scene.  The incident happened around 12:50 AM in the 200 block of Mattheson Avenue, near North Tryon Street. The driver fled but was found a short time later on North Tryon Street. 23-year-old Tamara Juarez faces felony hit and run, driving while impaired and other charges. The bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. 

BADIN MAN CHARGED IN MURDER

A fight over a woman has left one man dead and another in jail in the town of Badin, about 45 miles northeast of Charlotte. Badin Police Chief Bryan lambert says the two men got into a fight around 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Officers found 66-year-old Charles Maher in the backyard of a home with a gunshot wound to the head. Sixty-year-old Randy Faggart now is charged with first-degree murder. He’s being held in the Stanley County jail.

RESTAURANT OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO TAX EVASION

The owner of a popular Lake Norman restaurant has pleaded guilty to tax evasion.  Peter Gjuraj  owns the Blue Parrott on the waterfront in Mooresville. His plea came today at U.S. District court in Charlotte.  Prosecutors say Gjuraj tried to avoid about $320,000 in taxes between 2012 and 2014 by failing to report about $2.8 million in income. U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose says he spent the money on homes, cars and travel. He has agreed to repay $537,00.  He’ll be sentenced later. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

MAN SUES, SAYING STORES REFUSED RESTROOM ACCESS

A South Carolina man is seeking $5 million in damages in a lawsuit alleging that five convenience stores in Columbia didn't allow him to use the restroom because he's African-American. Richland County resident Daniel Woodard says that in November 2016 he went to the stores, mainly to buy gasoline, and asked to use the restroom. He says that "on each occasion, he was denied.” The suit says white customers were allowed to use the restroom. Hector Tapia manages one of the stores being sued, called El Cheapo. He says he was surprised to learn of the lawsuit and denies Woodard's allegations.

NCDOT WEIGHS PENALTIES OVER I-77 WORK ZONE WRECKS

NCDOT is investigating whether to penalize contractors over two wrecks in the past month involving construction vehicles on the I-77 toll-lane project in Mooresville.  

In the latest, on Tuesday night, a Statesville woman's car was hit by a vehicle coming out of the construction zone on I-77 southbound, near Exit 35. It veered into a guardrail and caught fire. After the crash, the woman was hospitalized. The truck driver was charged with unsafe movement, according to TV station Fox46. NCDOT says it's evaluating the contractor and will have more information in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the DOT also is still reviewing a May 12th incident in which a contractor’s dump truck damaged a sign on I-77 northbound in Mooresville. The accident caused a day-long backup from Mooresville south to Charlotte.