Two convicted as habitual felons
Charlotte man convicted
Following a two-day jury trial, Claude Leon McClinton of Charlotte was convicted by a jury this week in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of felony possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver cocaine and felony possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver marijuana.
The Honorable Joseph N. Crosswhite sentenced McClinton to a minimum of 8 months to a maximum of 19 months in prison.
On June 20, 2013, deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team were conducting criminal interdiction on Interstate 85. Deputies tried to stop a Chrysler vehicle but the vehicle did not immediately stop.
As the vehicle was slowing down, a deputy saw the passenger open the door and jump from the vehicle. The deputy saw the passenger holding a green bag. As the driver stepped out of the vehicle, the deputy ordered him to stop. The passenger ran through an opening in a fence towards a motel. The deputy was able to detain the driver and noticed a 6-year-old child in the back seat of the Chrysler.
The deputy noticed the vehicle had a very strong odor of marijuana coming from it. The driver said the passenger went by the name of CL. A K9 unit responded to the scene to track the passenger who fled. During the investigation, a deputy found a green bag where the passenger was last seen. The green bag contained a digital scale, phone charger, shorts, marijuana and cocaine. The passenger was found hiding in the brush near the scene and was identified as Claude McClinton, who was argumentative with the deputies.
District Attorney Brandy Cook praised the thorough investigation conducted by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department.
Kenneth Dwight Carpenter of Salisbury was convicted on March 3 in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of felony possession of heroin and misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to a half-ounce.
Carpenter admitted to his status as a habitual felon and was sentenced to a minimum of 23 months to a maximum of 40 months in prison by the Honorable Joseph N. Crosswhite.
On March 20, 2015, officers with the Salisbury Police Department stopped a vehicle at North Long Street and Park Avenue for a broken taillight and no tag light. Once officers approached the vehicle, they could smell marijuana. Officers identified the passenger as Fleming. Three small children were in the back seat of the vehicle and were not in car seats. The driver was arrested for carrying a concealed gun and officers subsequently located marijuana and two bindles of heroin in Carpenter’s pants.
Carpenter had previously been convicted of felony common law robbery, felony possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine, and felony possession with intent to sell/deliver/manufacture a schedule II controlled substance, among other convictions.
John Wilbourne Harmon of Rockwell was convicted on March 3 in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of felony possession of firearm by convicted felon, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, felony larceny of a firearm, and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon. Harmon admitted his status as a habitual felon and was sentenced to a minimum of 111 months (9.25 years) to a maximum of 146 months (12.16 years) in prison by the Honorable Joseph N. Crosswhite.
On Feb. 21, 2015, deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department responded to a vehicle accident. Upon arrival, deputies were informed by a firefighter that Harmon had a rifle but it had been taken away. The rifle was located on the ground and was unloaded. Harmon was sitting in the driver’s seat and was throwing things from the window. During the investigation, deputies determined that the wrecked vehicle that Harmon was driving was stolen.
Harmon had previously been convicted of felony flee/elude arrest with a motor vehicle, felony breaking and/or entering, and felony larceny of a motor vehicle, among other convictions.
Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said she “appreciated the efforts on behalf of Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suneson, the Salisbury Police Department, and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department in seeing Carpenter and Harmon were brought to justice.” Cook said her office “identified both defendants as habitual felons at an early stage and their sentences were enhanced accordingly.”