The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.
Murphy, NC— Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the April 28th, 2016 arrest of Arnold Jack Godfrey, a 36-year-old Murphy, North Carolina man and the May 3rd, 2016 arrest of Gabriel Ray Palmer, a 39-year-old Murphy, North Carolina man for violations of the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry.
Both Godfrey and Palmer had been arrested on indictments for violations of the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry and had been released on bond pending their next Superior Court date. Both Palmer and Godfrey had failed to come to court as required and warrants for their arrest were issued.
During November of 2015, Palmer moved from his residence in Murphy and failed to return his verification form. Indictments were issued from the Cherokee County Grand Jury charging Palmer with the two additional felony charges for the sex offender registry violations as well as indicting him as a Habitual Felon.
During the month of April 2016, Godfrey failed to report and failed to return his verification form. Indictments were issued by the Cherokee County Grand Jury for the additional sex offender registry violations. Additionally, Godfrey was found to have a civil order for arrest for back child support.
Godfrey is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $39,762.00 secure bond with a July 11th, 2016 Superior Court date.
Palmer is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $120,000.00 secure bond with a July 11th, 2016 Superior Court date.
Sheriff Palmer said, “My Office is committed to protecting the community including ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Sex Offender Registry. The duties these individuals are required to follow are explained to them completely, notifications are mailed to them as reminders and we check on them on a regular basis, so it is hard to understand these issues of non-compliance.”
Sheriff Palmer encourages anyone that has information to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County, you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.
Hanging Dog Campground reopens May 2 for overnight camping in the Tusquitee Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest as part of a collaborative effort with Cherokee County.
The campground was closed to camping in 2014 due to rising operating costs and declining use and budgets.
"We had a significant decrease in the operating budget for recreational facilities and Hanging Dog wasn't getting as much use as other campgrounds, so we made the tough decision to close it," said District Ranger Angela Gee. "That's when Cherokee County officials stepped in with an offer of support."
Cherokee County worked with the Forest Service to get the campground ready to reopen and will help maintain the campground throughout the operating season. The 2016 operating season is a trial period in which visitor use will be monitored to help determine whether or not the campground will continue to remain open in future years.
"We hope that people who loved camping at Hanging Dog will come back and the reopening will attract new campers," said Gee. "With the county's partnership and more user demand, we're optimistic that we can keep this campground open."
Hanging Dog Recreation Area also has a number of hiking and biking trails and day-use areas that have remained open. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc for more information.