Johnston County

News Briefs: March 5

Clayton man charged with statutory rape

A Clayton man was arrested last Sunday on statutory-rape charges, and investigators say he might have met the teen through church, according to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Todd Jancso, 24, of Killarney Lane was arrested at 2:25 a.m. Sunday at River Dell Elementary School on Buffalo Road and charged with the statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl, sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Caldwell said in an email.

While investigating, deputies were told that Jancso was a youth coordinator at Elizabeth United Methodist Church near Smithfield, where he might have met the teen during a church function, Caldwell said.

Calls and emails to the church were not returned.

Second person charged in 2015 Smithfield murder

A 24-year-old man has become the second person charged in the shooting death of a Princeton man whose body was found in September 2015 behind a house on Second Avenue in Smithfield.

Dontrell Khali McDonald, who was convicted last year on a federal charge of gun possession by a felon, was serving a 30-month prison sentence. He was brought to Smithfield late last month after detectives swore out a warrant with the murder charge. He was being held without bail in the Johnston County jail.

Police said McDonald, who is listed in jail records as having the nicknames Don Don, Gangsta and Trell, killed Adolphus Ramon Bryant on Sept. 21, 2015.

Smithfield Police Chief Keith Powell said it had taken until now for detectives to assemble enough evidence to charge McDonald.

About a month after Bryant was killed, police charged Tina Louise Byrd, 37, with murder and possession of a gun by a felon, although the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office later reduced the charge to attempted murder, police said.

Byrd died last month while she was free on bail, police said.

Police said when they arrested Byrd that they expected more arrests.

The federal charge against McDonald stemmed from an Oct. 31, 2015, incident in which Smithfield police were told a man was waving two guns while walking on the streets, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern North Carolina said when he was sentenced on Aug. 10.

Police had chased McDonald through a housing complex and into a crowded flea market on that Saturday, officials said. A bystander tripped McDonald, and he fell, they said.

Officials said a .380-caliber handgun fell out of his waistband when he fell, and police found a second .380 when they took him into custody.

McDonald had been released from state prison in August 2014 after serving 22 months for illegal gun possession in 2012.

Sewage spills in Clayton

The Town of Clayton on Monday reported a sewage spill.

In a news release, the town said about 8,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled from a line near the lift station at 1200 N. O’Neil St. The town said the spill occurred when a contractor working on the sewer system damaged the line.

The town was able to recover about 1,000 gallons, but the rest flowed into Sam’s Branch.

The town reported the spill to the state, which is reviewing the incident.

Revaluation underway in Johnston County

Johnston County has hired Pearson Appraisal Service to perform the state-mandated 2019 revaluation of all real property in the county. North Carolina law requires revaluations at least once every eight years; Johnston County’s last revaluation was in 2011.

A countywide revaluation determines each property’s current market value.

The Johnston reappraisal will include the use of county maps, aerial photography, street-level images, sales analysis, field visits and other tools.

Johnston County appraisers and Pearson Appraisal staff are out reviewing properties and photographing buildings in the county. During the field visits, photographs are typically taken from the public right-of-way, and no one will request to view the inside of your home.

All appraisers will wear county identification badges, and their vehicles will be marked “Johnston County Revaluation” or “Johnston County Tax Administration.”

For more information, call the Johnston County Tax Office at 919-989-5130.

Equine referendum is March 8

Horse owners in North Carolina will vote March 8 on whether to continue to assess themselves $4 per ton of commercial horse feed. The money would promote the interests of the horse industry.

In Johnston, the vote will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Agricultural Center, 2736 N.C. 210, Smithfield.

The referendum is open to Johnstonians 9 and older who have complete or partial ownership or lease of an equine – horse, pony, mule, donkey or hinny. Individuals must sign a statement certifying eligibility at time of voting.

If the referendum passes, the N.C. Horse Council will use the money for youth educational programs, trails advocacy, equine research, representation of horse interests in government, marketing programs, enforcement of horse laws and improved public awareness of diseases and other threats to horses’ well-being.