Superior Court term underway in Rutherfordton

Former town employee, Scott Hoyle, trial set for Jan. 14
Jan. 08, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

FOREST CITY — Two weeks of Superior Court began in Rutherford County Monday with administrative duties. District Attorney Brad Greenway said administrative tasks are underway today, including probation violations, receiving guilty pleas, and the appointment of lawyers for those making their first appearances in court.

Greenway said among those to be tried during the two week session include  Scott Hoyle, 48, of Rutherfordton. He is charged with 12 felonies, regarding embezzlements from the Town of Forest City during the time he was employed as the town's public works director. 

 Hoyle faces several "multi-facted" charges, said Forest City Police Chief Jay Jackson.

 His  trial is scheduled to begin net Monday, January 14. 

 Hoyle is represented by Noell P. Tin, criminal law attorney from Charlotte.

Hoyle was hired by the Town of Forest City in June 2000 and resigned on Dec. 7, 2009.

Expected to be tried beginning Wednesday, Jan. 9 is Howard Edgerton, 41, of Rutherfordton. He is charged with assault by strangulation and kidnapping that occurred in August 2011. 

Greenway said Edgerton and Hoyle's trials will probably take seven to eight days.

If there is time between the trials,  Greenway said other items will be heard. 

Greenway and the district attorney's office face a busy 2013 he said.

There are at least five Rutherford County murder cases still awaiting trial, and Greenway said his office hopes to move all these cases this year. There are also several murder cases in McDowell County, where he is also prosecutor.

"Some of this, we're hanging on to wait to hear from the attorneys in the cases and when they are going to be ready for trial," he said.

Greenway said the murder trial for Michael McCraw, charged with killing his ex-wife Theresa McCraw in December 2011, could occur in April.  McCraw is undergoing psychological evaluations, requested by his attorney.

Greenway said he hopes to be "more efficient" in 2013 with the heavy case load in Rutherford and McDowell counties,  but there are several factors that slow the process of trying cases.

The SBI lab is overwhelmed with hundreds of cases, he said. North  Carolina legislators are being approached about funding a lab in western North Carolina.

"The DAs are really supporting this expansion of the lab out of Asheville," Greenway said.

"We do not have enough lab agencies to analyze all the evidence . . .We're competing with another 100 counties." 

Fingerprints and gunshot analysis are available from Asheville, but not DNA or drug analysis. "That has to come from Winston-Salem or Raleigh," he said.

Superior Court Judge Gary Gaveus of Avery County is presiding over the two week court term.