Man Charged With Killing Mother; Wildfire Threatens Homes; Roof Sentenced

Apr 11, 2017

A 26-year-old man has been charged with stabbing his mother to death in Charlotte Monday. Meanwhile, a wildfire near Pisgah National Forest is threatening homes and affecting air quality in western North Carolina. And at South Carolina state court,  Dylann Roof has been sentenced to nine life terms in the shooting deaths of nine people at a Charleston church in 2015.

MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING HIS MOTHER

Police have charged a 26-year-old Charlotte man with killing his mother in northeast Charlotte Monday morning. Dionte Long is charged with the fatal stabbing of 50-year-old Marcella Lightner Thrash. She was found dead at a home on Hubbard Point Drive, and Long was arrested at the scene. He’s being held at Mecklenburg County jail.  

It's the 28th homicide in Charlotte this year.  WFAE is tracking the rise in homicides with an interactive timeline.

WILDFIRE THREATENS HOMES, AFFECTS AIR QUALITY

A wildfire is threatening about three dozen homes in McDowell County in western North Carolina. The U.S. Forest Service says the fire has spread to Pisgah National Forest. 

No injuries have been reported in the blaze, known as the Dobson Knob Fire. It started Sunday and had spread to about 300 acres as of Tuesday morning. Authorities don’t know the cause.

State air quality officials issued an air pollution advisory for western North Carolina on Tuesday because of the smoke.

The advisory warns that “residents throughout the area could be exposed to Code Orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups) levels of particle pollution through Tuesday evening. Particle pollution consists of extremely small particles that can be harmful to breathe."

ROOF GETS 9 LIFE SENTENCES ON STATE CHARGES

Convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof has been given nine life sentences for the 2015 shootings at Emanuel AME Church. That sentence came in exchange for his guilty plea in state court. 

The plea entered Monday by the self-avowed white supremacist marks the end of his court cases, and signals his departure for the federal prison system, where he'll await execution. 

The deal with state prosecutors avoids a second trial. The 23-year-old Roof was sentenced to death earlier this year in a federal trial.

HOME SALES UP IN THE CHARLOTTE REGION

Charlotte Regional Realtor Association reports home sales were up 11.5 percent in the area in March, compared to the same month last year. 

Carolina Multiple Listing Services figures show 3,965 properties were sold, up from 3,557 in March 2016. Sales were up 54 percent compared to February 2017. The average sales price in March increased more than 10 percent, to about $271,000.

For the first three months of this year, completed home sales are up almost 12 percent.  

“The spring selling season is definitely off to a good start with sales up 11 percent and homes selling almost as quickly as they’re listed,” association president Roger Parham said in a press release. “Buyers are still challenged with low inventory across the region, which means price increases and multiple offer situations can happen.”