Lewiston man charged in Woodland shootings

Published 9:48 am Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WOODLAND – A shooting here Thursday night that hospitalized two Northampton County men has resulted in the arrest of a Bertie County man with a long criminal history.

Clarence Terrill Avery, 36, of Lewiston was arrested Friday evening in his hometown where law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were converging to locate the alleged shooter.

Avery stands charged with four felonies – two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and one count each of intimidating a witness and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is being held in the Northampton County Jail under a $635,000 secured bond, to include one misdemeanor count of communication threats.

Woodland Police Chief John Ruppe said the victims from Thursday’s shootings were recovering at an area hospital after being airlifted to that medical facility. Their names were not released, but Ruppe said both had non-life threatening injuries at this time.

Ruppe said he was notified of the shooting after a 9-1-1 call to Northampton Central Communications was placed at 9:22 p.m. on Thursday. He along with officers from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, NC Highway Patrol, Rich Square Police Dept. and Seaboard Police Dept. responded to the scene at 207 South Persimmon Street.

“It appears that both victims were shot outside of a residence on Persimmon Street,” Ruppe said.

Information gathered from the ensuing investigation led Ruppe to seek out Avery.

“I obtained warrants for Mr. Avery’s arrest on Friday and was joined by Northampton deputies, Bertie Sheriff’s deputies and a K-9 unit from the Ahoskie Police Department to serve those warrants in Lewiston later in the day on Friday,” Ruppe said.

Ruppe added that the arrest took place in the parking lot of a business in Lewiston after one of the Bertie Sheriff’s deputies saw Avery in a vehicle at that location.

Subsequent to the arrest, the car in which Avery was operating was searched, which led to the discovery of what Ruppe described as a “large quantity of marijuana.” Charges for possession of that illegal drug were filed by the Bertie Sheriff’s Office.

Ruppe added that Avery also has pending charges in Bertie County related to a March case where he was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and assault on a female.

“I would like to thank all the agencies assisting the Woodland Police Department in making this arrest,” Ruppe said. “I also need to thank the Woodland Fire Department for their assistance in traffic control and rescue units from Eastside EMS and Northampton EMS.”

Avery’s criminal history includes a five-month prison term for an assault case in BertieCounty in 2013. He previously served a five-year term for an armed robbery in Bertie County that occurred Dec. 11, 1997.

Avery has also been convicted of common law robbery in 1996 for which he served a 13-month stint behind bars; possession of stolen goods in 2004 (placed on probation); possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2006 (served a 17-month prison sentence); and speeding to elude arrest in 2013 (served three months in jail). All of those offenses occurred in Bertie County.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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