Couple charged after hiding out in home during warrant search

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rowan authorities charged a couple found hiding in their Salisbury home after deputies repeatedly knocked on the door to serve an arrest warrant for the wife.

Officials said Amanda Rhinehardt Earley, 34, was found hiding behind a pile of clothes in the bathroom and her husband, Walter Lee Earley, 36, was found on the bed of the couple’s bedroom.

Both were charged with misdemeanor resist, obstruct, delay an officer. Walter Earley was issued a $500 secured bond, which he paid to the magistrate, while his wife, Amanda was issued a $3,500 secured bond.

She has since been released from the Rowan County Detention Center.

Officers were at the couple’s home, 112 John Michael Lane, on Thursday to serve an arrest warrant on Amanda Earley for failure to appear on a 2014 case regarding possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies knocked on the front and back door repeatedly, but did not get an answer. The deputies heard a vacuum cleaner going and knocked louder. A report said deputies knocked so loud the neighbors came out of their homes, but still no one came to the couple’s door.

A deputy tried and found the back door was unlocked. The deputies announced they were walking inside the house, but still no one responded. The officers searched the home and found a man, later identified as Walter Lee Earley, on the bed. He appeared to be waking up.

Walter Earley said he didn’t believe his wife was home and told deputies he’d taken medication to help him sleep. Deputies asked Earley if he was asleep, then who was vacuuming. Deputies searched the bedroom and found Amanda Earley inside it.

Amanda Earley was convicted in 2012 of possession of drug paraphernalia, larceny and marijuana possession, all of which are misdemeanors. She’s also been convicted of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and driving while license revoked.

Walter Earley has been convicted of mostly traffic infractions including driving while impaired and speeding. He’s also been convicted of felony marijuana possession, possession of stolen goods, assault inflicting serious injury, carrying a concealed weapon, simple assault, drunk and disorderly, and driving while license revoked.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.