Three convicted as habitual felons in Superior Court

Published 3:43 pm Monday, April 17, 2017

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY —  A Salisbury man was convicted on drug charges last week after a two-day jury trial in Rowan County Superior Court. He was sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison.

Robert Lewis Jefferson, 34, was convicted by a jury April 12 of felony cocaine possession. He admitted to being a habitual felon. Superior Court Judge Anna Mills Wagoner sentenced Jefferson to 20 months to 36 months in prison, according to the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office.

Jefferson was arrested March 4, 2015, after a narcotics investigation by the Salisbury Police Department. Jefferson tossed a white substance to the ground and walked away from a police officer, according to the DA’s statement. Police retrieved a plastic bag containing three rocks of cocaine. Jefferson was arrested on the sidewalk in the 1400 block of North Long Street.

Jefferson has been convicted of two separate offenses of felony possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana and felony charge of selling a Schedule I controlled substance, among other convictions.

District Attorney Brandy Cook said if her office had not prosecuted Jefferson as a habitual felon, he could have received a probationary sentence.

Ontario Dontre Howard of Salisbury was also convicted April 12 in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court and admitted to being a habitual felon. Howard, 36, was convicted of felony breaking and entering, felony financial card theft and misdemeanor larceny. Wagoner sentenced him to a minimum of two and a half years to a maximum of four years in prison.

Officials said that on March 7, 2016, officers with the Kannapolis Police Department were told that a purse had been found at Planet Fitness gym on South Cannon Boulevard. The owner of the purse said her belongings had been taken from her vehicle earlier in the day on North Cannon Boulevard. The victim told police her bank card had already been used at two locations. Officers reviewed video surveillance from Jiffy Quick Store and identified Howard as the person using the victim’s bank card.

Howard had previously been convicted of felony larceny after breaking and entering, felony possession of cocaine, and felony attempted breaking and entering, among other convictions.

Timothy Lee Hamilton, 56, of Salisbury was convicted April 13 in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of felony cocaine possession. Hamilton admitted his status as a habitual felon. Wagoner sentenced him to a minimum of 23 months and a maximum of 40 months in prison.

On June 1, 2016, a deputy with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle Hamilton was driving and determined that his driver’s license was suspended. As the deputy approached the vehicle, he smelled marijuana. Hamilton gave the deputy permission to search him, and the deputy found a plastic bag containing cocaine in Hamilton’s pocket.

Hamilton was previously convicted of two separate offenses of felony possession of cocaine and felony possession of marijuana, among other convictions.

Cook thanked Assistant District Attorneys Tim Gould and Kristina Scally, along with the Salisbury Police Department, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and  Kannapolis Police Department, for holding Jefferson, Howard and Hamilton accountable for their crimes.

Cook said her office “identified these individuals as repeat offenders at an early stage, and their sentences were enhanced accordingly.”