Church arson case scheduled for superior court

JEFFERSON-Several high profile cases featuring charges related to the burning of a church, sex offenses and drug manufacturing top the Monday, Aug. 31 session of Ashe County Superior Court.

As with previous sessions, jury selection wraps up before cases are presented before the court. These cases will be either continued to a later date, resolved through a plea arrangement or ultimately decided by a jury. As with any trial or case, the option of dismissal remains for defendants. All persons who appear before the court are innocent until proven guilty.

Two individuals charged with burning a West Jefferson church in July 2012 are due back before a circuit court judge next week.

North Beaver Baptist Church was destroyed in a fire during the overnight hours of July 29, 2012.

Following a lengthy investigation, charges were eventually brought up against the three individuals in March 2014.

Their cases have been continued multiple times.

As a result of an investigation by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Department, Damion Okoyia Blevins, 23, and Anthony Dustin Graybeal, 26, were both charged with felony burn of religious building, felony break and enter place of worship and felony larceny after breaking and entering.

Blevins also faces unrelated charges of assault on a female and obtaining property by false pretenses.

Additionally, Graybeal is facing marijuana related charges.

Aaron Banks Dixon, 31, is scheduled to appear in court on charges of first degree sex offense and first degree rape of a child.

Larry Elliott, 70, will appear before a trial judge to face charges of statutory rape of a defendant greater than 6 years of age, felony indecent liberties and a petition for termination of a sex offender registration.

Elizabeth Ann Hall, 33, is scheduled to face charges of felony trafficking opium or heroin and felony probation violation.

James Allen Jordan is facing a charge of rape of a child by adult.

Zebulon Vance Pritchard, 35, is charged felony conspiracy, possession/distribution of meth precursors, possession of meth and probation violations.

David Edwin Waln, 63, is facing charges of first degree sex offense, felony indecent liberties with a child and petition for termination of sex offender registration.

Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.

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