The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Murphy, NC – Sheriff Derrick Palmer of the Cherokee County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Office reported the February 24th, 2020 arrest of six individuals living in Cherokee County, North Carolina following an investigation into individuals who were illegally possessing and distributing controlled substances.
The following individuals were charged on federal indictments:
Matthew Wondra – 1 count of conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine, 4 counts of distribution of crystal methamphetamine, 2 counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and 1 count of felon in possession of a firearm.
Jamie Allen – 1 count of conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine and 1 count of possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine.
Derek Wilson – 1 count of conspiracy to distribute crystal methamphetamine and 1 count of possession with intent to distribute of crystal methamphetamine (in custody of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office).
Leslie Cartwright – 1 count of possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine.
Brian Majercik – 1 count of possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine (in custody with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office).
Christopher Price – 3 counts of possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine, 2 counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and 2 counts of felon in possession of a firearm (in custody with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office).
DEA-Asheville Post of Duty / Western North Carolina HIDTA is comprised of the following: Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Swain County Sheriff’s Office Cherokee Indian Police Department – to include their SWAT Team Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Asheville Police Department CHEROKEE COUNTY NORTH CAROLINA SHERIFF’S OFFICE SHERIFF DERRICK PALMER FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, February 26, 2020 For more information call 828.837.2589
Henderson County Sheriff’s Office North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Drug Enforcement Administration Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives United States Postal Inspector Service
Sheriff Palmer said “We are glad to work with these agencies to help with the illegal distribution of controlled substances in Cherokee County. We will continue to work with our federal partners to address the continued drug problems we face.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release
Note from WKRK: We have read news reports from 2 different news organizations and they did not seem to tell the same story. We decided to wait until we could confirm details with the Sheriff's Office, using official statements from all parties involved, before we shared information due to the discrepancy in the different news articles that broke this story. The Cherokee Scout did an excellent job of building a timeline using 911 calls and appropriate family interviews. Below is the press release from Sheriff Derrick Palmer.
The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
On February 10th, Danny Mayberry made the complaint of excessive force to Sheriff Palmer and Lt. Holland. Pursuant to Sheriff’s Office Policy, Sheriff Palmer ordered an internal investigation. Internal affairs determine if the complaint is the result of a policy violation or a violation of NC General Statute. Pursuant to Sheriff’s Office Policy internal investigations are conducted by the Chief Deputy. At the conclusion of the investigation, the facts are presented to the Sheriff.
The NCSBI was contacted on the week of 02/10 and advised of the situation
An ADA with the District Attorney was consulted with on 2/18 and advised that the investigation was almost completed and a meeting was requested to discuss it.
On Thursday February 6th at 9:19 p.m. Katherine Mayberry called 911 and reported that her husband Danny Mayberry had taken her truck without permission and has been gone for several hours. Katherine told the dispatcher that it was unlike Danny to be gone that long. Katherine then told the dispatcher that Danny had just sent her a text and told her to call 911. Katherine said that was unlike Danny and he had text “help call 911”. Katherine said, “that’s unlike him.” Katherine then stated that is unlike him i don’t know if he has wrecked someone or is hurt.” Katherine then stated to the dispatcher, “Just now everything in the siren wise went out.” Dispatcher then told Katherine they would send a Deputy to her residence. Dispatchers then called back to obtain further information. Katherine told Dispatchers that she last heard from Danny at 1:00 p.m. on the 6th when he called her and told her he had to meet with his probation officer at 2:00 p.m. Katherine states she had not heard from Danny since. Katherine states that at 8:45 p.m. Danny sent a text saying “hey sweetie call 911.” Katherine said that is the last time she had heard from Danny. Katherine went on to tell the dispatcher that Danny was drinking and something bad has happened or he would not have text that message because he would not want the law involved.
Danny’s cell phone was pinged and provided possible location results. Patrol Deputies searched those areas with negative results. Deputies were unable to locate Danny from the cell phone location. Deputy Dillion Daniels then responded to the residence and took an initial report.
Later in the initial investigation, Deputy Daniels received information that Danny had been in a wreck involving a fatality. That information was provided by one of Katherine's family members. That family member states Katherine had sent a message to them saying that Danny was in a wreck involving a fatality.
After receiving that information, Daniels contacted on-call investigator Tyler Faggard. Faggard advised Daniels to respond back to the residence and asked Katherine about the message she sent indicating Danny had been in a fatality, and to obtain further information on Danny’s associates.
Faggard contacted Investigative Lt. Tiffany Holland. Lt. Holland then came back to work due to the possibility of a death investigation. Holland also requested that Detective Faggard come back to work to assist with the investigation.
Holland had Deputy Daniels transport Katherine to the Sheriff’s Office for a formal interview. During that interview, Katherine stated that Danny was intoxicated and there was no way he would ask her to call 911 and get the law involved unless something had happened. During the interview at 1:05 a.m. Katherine received a call from Danny. Katherine asked Danny what he was doing and he stated, “Im driving barely, I about lost the (expletive) truck twice.” He also told her that he was somewhere in Peachtree or Mission Dam but didn’t know for sure where he was at. He then told her, “don’t worry I can drive. I just got a lot of (expletive) going on. They are fixing to lock me back up.” Katherine then asked him what the probation officer told him and he stated, “I got two weeks to come with $586.00 or she will violate me and lock my (expletive) up. I don’t give a flying (expletive). The cell phone call then dropped.
Detective Faggard left his residence and began to search the Mission Dam area with no success. Faggard then traveled towards the Mayberry residence in Andrews, NC.
Detective Faggard then traveled to the Mayberry residence. At 2:30 a.m., Faggard radios dispatch and tells them he is pulling into the residence and he believed Danny just pulled into the drive before him.
(Lt. Holland and Katherine then begin to travel back to the residence.)
Faggard and Danny met in the drive of the residence.
Mayberry’s complaint to Sheriff Palmer and Lt. Holland:
In Danny Mayberry's complaint, he states that he left his home to meet his probation officers around 1:00 p.m. on the 6th. He states after meeting the probation officer, he consumed some alcoholic beverages and neglected to come home. He states he got his vehicle stuck on Stewart Rd around 8:45 p.m. and after he got his vehicle pulled out, he went home. He states as he pulled in his drive, another vehicle pulled in behind him, unaware of who it was and he admits to yelling and cursing asking them who they were. He said the person identified themselves as Detective Faggard with the Sheriff’s Office. He states that Detective Faggard grabbed him by the throat with one hand and pushed him up against the vehicle, restricting his airway. He said he told Detective Faggard to turn him loose, that he could not breathe. He said that Detective Faggard yelled at him, “If you ever lay your hands on me, I will kill you, you old (expletive).” Danny states that this was overheard by his stepson Shane Cooper. He states Cooper arrived home about the time Faggard was yelling at him. Danny states that Detective Faggard then let him go and he (Danny) began to walk away. Danny states Faggard then put his hand on his shoulder, spun him around and struck him and he went unconscious.
Incident Report from Detective Faggard:
According to Detective Faggard, he was pulling into the driveway of Kathrine and Danny’s. He could see the black Canyon coming to a stop and the driver, Danny, exiting the vehicle. Detective Faggard advised dispatch that the truck was back home and he would be out with it. Detective Faggard got out of his vehicle and Danny said "who the (expletive) are you?" as he was walking up the ramp to his house, Detective Faggard replied, "Detective Faggard with the Sheriff's Office, where have you been Danny? Your wife called in and said you were hurt." Danny started walking back towards Detective Faggard and and Detective Faggard could immediately smell alcohol on Danny’s person. Danny then said "my wife didn’t call, I’m fine." Detective Faggard responded, "your wife said that you text her saying to call 911." Danny then pulled his cell phone out and moved closer to Detective Faggard. Danny tried to show Detective Faggard his phone, but it was raining and the phone wouldn’t unlock. Detective Faggard said "Deputies have been out for a long time looking for you ... somebody said that you got in a wreck and possibly killed somebody." Danny then poked Detective Faggard’s chest and said, "I didn’t (expletive) kill anybody, you can get the (expletive) off my property." Detective Faggard then pushed Danny up against the Canyon away from him and said "if you ever (expletive) lay your hands on me again, I will take you straight to jail." Danny then said "I have rights, get the (expletive) off my property." Detective Faggard said "the best thing you can do right now is to go inside, and when your wife gets home, we will talk about this." Detective Faggard walked away towards his patrol vehicle and Danny walked up the ramp and into his residence. Sergeant Williams then arrived on scene.
Christopher Shane Cooper Statement:
Chief Deputy Wood interviewed Christopher Shane Cooper on February 14th at his residence located at on Swan Street in Andrews, N.C. Cooper lives behind Mayberry. Cooper states that on the night in question, he was outside in front of his residence and heard Danny come home. He states he could hear the officer was questioning Danny and Danny went to walk away and when the officer grabbed him, Danny began to resist. The officer told Danny “if you ever touch me again, your face is going to be slapped up against the concrete.” Cooper states he then heard the Officer ask Danny about his phone and Danny said he didn’t know how to do that. Cooper states he then walked to the property line where he could see them. He states he saw the officer get back in his car and Danny to the house. He states a few minutes later, two other officers showed up. He then went back into his own residence. He states several minutes later, an ambulance arrived. He states he never saw the officer hit Danny.
Danny Mayberry statement:
Chief Deputy Wood interviewed Danny on 02/11/2020. Mayberry agreed to make a statement. He states Katherine wanted to know what happened to him that night. He states the law started tracking his cellphone. Danny states when he got home, a Deputy pulled in behind him. Danny told the Deputy, “I just called 911 sir.“ I didn’t want no big hassle up here.” He said the Deputy then stated, “Well this involves me because I have to go on 911 calls.” Danny then told him, “sorry about that, please get out of my driveway.” Danny states he then walked toward the house and the deputy spun him around and hit him. Danny states the Deputy said I’m just going to kill you. Danny states, “It was lights out.” Danny went on to say that the Deputy said, “(expletive) I hate these out of state callers, when you do find them they wanna be rude.” Danny states another officer then pulled up. He states that officer told him, “man you're taking the wrong route.” Danny states that the second Deputy was not there when he was hit by the first Deputy. He then states that his son Kason Mayberry was there sitting in his truck with the radio. He said Kason heard the Deputy say that he was going to kill Danny, and he (Kason) said, “Really.” And the Deputy said, “I’m gonna beat his (expletive).” And Kason said, “I think you need to call 911 first.” He states Kason rolled his window back up and the Deputy went to beating on him. Wood then asked him if Shane Cooper was there. Danny stated, “Yea he came down there.” Wood then asked Danny if Cooper told him what he may have seen. Danny stated, “At first he saw the officer hit me and put me on the ground and that's when I text 911.” Wood then asked Danny if he had ever told Katherine that he hit someone or killed someone in a car accident and he replied, “No.” Wood then showed Mayberry a message from Katherine to one of her family members where she indicated Danny had been involved in a fatality. Wood then asked him if Shane Cooper saw the Deputy hit him. Danny stated, “I don’t know.” Danny denied touching any Deputies. Wood asked him what the second Deputy said when he arrived. Danny replied, “He told that first Deputy, I think you need to stop.” Danny then said he and the first Deputy were still fighting at that time. Wood then told Danny that he had spoken with Shane. And Shane said that he (Danny) was resisting the Deputy. Danny replied, “I told him I was going in the house but I never just hit him or resisted like that. I just throwed my hands on him, I might have spoke down to him like I’m done with you and everybody else.” Wood then asked Danny if anyone had encouraged him on what to say or not to say during this interview and he said no. Wood asked Danny if he knew the 1st Deputy that is in question. He states he has never met him. Wood asked Danny to recount the events from the time he arrived home that early morning. Danny stated he got out of his truck and a Deputy said we have a warrant for your arrest for calling 911 and something about a wreck. He said he told the Deputy to abandon it and go back to the Sheriff’s Office. He said he then walked toward the house and that was it, the deputy hit him. He said he went unconscious and when he woke up, the deputy told him, “I don’t like you and I don’t like 911 calls.” Danny said he then replied, “I'm sorry, too bad.” Danny states the assault occurred in the driveway. Danny then grinned and said, “I did let the dog out on him, I shouldn’t have done that. But I did put it back up.” Danny then said, “There's 10 or twelve things that could have happened that night, it just went south.” Wood then asked Danny of he had been drinking that night. Danny replied, “I had around 35 twelve-ounce Coors brand beers, but I stopped drinking around 9:30 because I ran out. I love em. I ran out, ain't got no more money, can’t buy none. I ran out at 9:35 and I know that because my phone keeps up with it. You have to put in every beer and the kind it is.” Wood then asked Danny if he had ever seen the Detective in the past. Danny stated that he had around a year ago. He states that he spoke to the Detective about a stolen car that he had purchased.
When Sergeant Williams and Deputy Morgan arrived at the Mayberry residence, Detective Faggard was at his patrol vehicle and Danny Mayberry was in his residence. Williams, Faggard and Morgan decided to await the arrival of Lt. Holland and Katherine Mayberry before they attempted to contact Mayberry. Detective Faggard told Williams that Danny was had poked him (Faggard) in the chest.
While the Deputies were waiting on Lt. Holland, Danny came back onto the porch and brought out his dog and threatened to release it on them. After a short time, Danny put the dog back in the house. Danny then came back out to smoke and he was on the porch cursing towards Detective Faggard. Williams walked to the porch and asked Danny what the issue was. Danny told him he wanted Faggard off the property. Williams states that he could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Danny’s person. Mayberry began to curse at Detective Faggard and told Detective Faggard to take his badge and gun off and he was going to fight him. Detective Faggard advised Mayberry to go ahead. Mayberry began to walk fast down the ramp and Sgt Williams was able to stop him by placing one hand on his chest. Mayberry turned towards Sgt Williams and had his fist in a ball. Sgt Williams advised Mayberry that he better not even attempt to hit him and to turn around.
A struggle ensued with Williams trying to detain Mayberry. Deputy Morgan came to assist Williams and all three fell to the floor of the porch ramp with Williams falling back. Williams slid to his side and he and Morgan attempted to restrain Mayberry.
Detective Faggard was not involved in the initial struggle and was near the rear of his vehicle. He observed the struggle which involved a person fighting with two Deputies. One Deputy was wedged between the detainee on his side against the porch rail. Deputy Morgan was on his knees attempting to restrain Mayberry. As the two Deputies struggled with Mayberry, Detective Faggard came to assist and attempted to strike Danny in the Brachial Plexus. (The Brachial Plexus are a network of nerves that run down the neck towards the shoulder.) Nerve pressure points and strikes are part of the instruction taught in NC Basic Law Enforcement Training. The strike failed to contact the neck, due to Mayberry’s continued resistance and landed on Mayberry’s left cheek causing a laceration and his glasses to come off. At that point, Danny stopped resisting and Sergeant Williams, still lying on his side and attempting to restrain Mayberry, raised his hand containing his handcuffs. Faggard took the cuffs and he and Morgan restrained Mayberry. Deputies then noticed the cut on and bleeding on Mayberry’s cheek. Deputies immediately called for EMS to come check Mayberry. Deputies then assisted Mayberry onto the porch in a chair. EMS arrived and treated Mayberry. Mayberry then walked to the ambulance and was transported him to the hospital.
Conclusions of investigation (from Cherokee County Sheriff's Office)
Detective Faggard saw two Deputies in a vulnerable position fighting with an intoxicated and combative felon. Detective Faggard was unsure if Mayberry had a weapon or was trying to get the officers weapon. He ran to the area of the Deputies who attempted to complete a strike to the Brachial Plexus nerves of Danny Mayberry. The strike failed to contact the neck and landed on Mayberry’s left cheek. The Brachial Plexus are a network of nerves that run down the neck towards the shoulder. Nerve pressure points and strikes are part of the instruction taught in NC Basic Law Enforcement Training. Detective Faggard was lawfully upon the property investigating a possible death and a missing person. By his own admission, Danny Mayberry knew that Detective Faggard was a law enforcement officer.
The Constitution simply does not require law enforcement officers to gamble with their lives and personal safety in the face of a serious threat of harm.
**Most police shootings, or other instances of significant use of force, prompt media commentary that is usually predicated upon speculation and emotion. Moreover, the media regularly fuels accusations based upon substantially incomplete information. It usually takes weeks or months before all witnesses can be interviewed and all evidence analyzed. However, the media often has officers convicted in the court of public opinion in the direct aftermath of the incident.
An officer of the law has the right to use such force as he may reasonably believe necessary in the proper discharge of his duties to effect an arrest. The officer is properly left with the discretion to determine the amount of force required under the circumstances as they appear to him at the time of the arrest. We must avoid substituting our personal notions of proper police procedure for the instantaneous decision of the officer at the scene. We must never allow the theoretical, sanitized world of our imagination to replace the dangerous and complex world that policemen face every day. What constitutes "reasonable" action may seem quite different to someone facing a possible assailant than to someone analyzing the question at leisure** Source: Campbell Law school
Upon the conclusion of the investigation, it was found no policy violations occurred nor did any violation of NC General Statute. Investigator recommended to the Sheriff that no disciplinary action be taken.