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Avery County Sheriff’s Officers Charge Two Individuals for Violating Stay at Home/Non-Essential Travel Order

By Tim Gardner

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on April 14, 2020, Avery County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a domestic call in Elk Park, which led them to cite Jeffery S. McMahan from Roan Mountain TN for violation of the stay at home/non-essential travel order from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Deputies located a vehicle at the scene of the domestic call of which they identified the driver to be McMahan. He told deputies that he and his girlfriend had went to a grocery store in Tennessee and noticed a man walking and offered to give him a ride to Boone. McMahan said that when they got back to Elk Park, they (he and his girlfriend) started to argue and he pulled the truck off the road and he (McMahan) rode around looking for his girlfriend for a few minutes trying to locate her.

Deputies cited McMahan for violation of the stay at home/non-essential travel order from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. The order was implemented in March.

The law enforcement officers also charged McMahan for possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage.

Additionally, charges have also been filed against Heidy Joyner of Advance, NC for coming to Avery County to camp at a primitive and private camping site. When a dispute about the rental of the camp site arose between Joyner and the property owner, Avery County Sheriff’s Officers were notified. After resolving the dispute, a criminal summons was obtained against Joyner for the stay at home/non-essential travel order.

All three charges are considered misdemeanors under North Carolina law.

No court date has been set for McMahan and Joyner.

On April 2, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order postponing court proceedings until June 1, 2020, among seven emergency directives also including: authorizing court proceedings to be conducted by remote audio and video transmissions, allowing service of court documents by email, extending the deadline for payment of most fines and fees by 90 days, and more. Several other emergency steps and orders had previously been issued by Chief Justice Beasley.