Update: Shooter suspect extradited back to Georgia


UPDATE: February 2, 2021

Charles Jason Matheson age 41, has been extradited back to Georgia from Clay County, NC this morning to face charges of Felony Criminal Attempt (to Commit Murder), Felony Aggravated Stalking, and Felony Aggravated Assault. I would personally like to thank all who have assisted in the apprehension of this suspect. – From Towns County Sheriff’s Office.

Later that afternoon, Sheriff Kenneth Henderson escorted Matheson to appear in front of Magistrate Judge David Rogers. Rogers denied bond on all charges and referred the case to Towns County Superior Court.


HIAWASSEE, Ga – Alleged shooter Charles Jason Matheson, 41, appeared in Clay County District Court on January 28 and rejected the waiving of extradition charges.

Matheson is being held in Hayesville on a fugitive warrant until his extradition to Georgia to face criminal charges for allegedly shooting his estranged wife multiple times at her place of work in Hiawassee, Georgia. After, he fled the scene and traveled to the Matheson Cove Road area in Clay County, North Carolina. Clay County Sheriff’s deputies blocked off Matheson Cove Road.

Read more details of the initial incident here. 

The shooting suspect’s been appointed an attorney and is currently under a $1 million secured bond. He’s currently charged with aggravated assault in Georgia and a fugitive charge in Clay County.

Georgia officials are in the process of applying for a Governor’s warrant. If issued by Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC) then North Carolina law enforcement can take the fugitive into custody to be picked up by the other state. The individual “might already be in custody not allowed bail or was unable to make bail following his or her initial arrest.”

Arguments against extradition will be heard on February 15.

Survivor Speaks

Matheson’s estranged wife, Crystal Matheson has been recovering after undergoing surgery for her wounds. On Saturday, January 30, she released a statement on social media expressing her gratitude toward the community.

Crystal Matheson

“Hey guys. I have been overwhelmed by the love that has been directed my way. I am blessed beyond measure is the simplest way I know to put it. I have felt your prayers and please keep them coming because I need them. Some of you praying I don’t even know but they are so appreciated. Those of you do know I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d be asking for prayers for a situation like this. It doesn’t seem quite real. I thank God because He is the only reason I am here. It’s not a question or a wonder or a might be. It is simply fact. I am blessed and thankful for every single person who helped from my coworkers, the girls in the doctor’s office, the cops from local to GBI, the EMS and LifeFlight, the ER doctors, and nurses, the trauma team and surgeons and every person I’ve encountered in the hospital. There is no way to make it seem logical…it defies it. I have 8 gunshot wounds. I know I shouldn’t be here but I am. My God is beyond comprehension in His goodness. I am doing my best to keep focused on getting better. It’s hard. It’s not pretty. And some days I’m not as strong as I want to be. I’ve never had pain like I’ve had but at least I’m here. Its slowly easing up some and I am so grateful. I can’t get around I can stand and take a few shuffles steps but it’s a blessing to do that. It wears me out just to do that but I’m determined to keep trying. I have quite a bit of nerve pain issues in one leg. I ask that yall keep praying for me. I pray for pain relief and strength so I can do things a little easier. I ask that you pray for my blood pressure to normalize so that I can work with Physical Therapy and get stronger. I ask you to pray for wounds to heal so I can move around without fear of hurting something more. I’m trying to answer messages. There’s a lot so please bear with me. I love all of you all. You have no idea what you mean to me and my son and my family. Overwhelmed doesn’t even describe it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Members of the community have organized auctions and GoFundMe accounts to help her pay for her recovery bills. The auction will take place on February 25 and 26.

Traffic stop leads to multiple drug-related arrests

News, Police & Government, Press Release
drug arrests traffic stop

Press Release – On Sunday, May 31, 2020, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Towns County Sheriff’s Office with a traffic stop on Highway 175 near the NC/GA state line. During this traffic stop information was obtained to the possibility of illegal controlled substances may be located at Chatuge Mountain Inn in Hayesville. Deputies then responded to Chatuge Mountain Inn to follow up on the information they had received at the traffic stop. Upon the conclusion of their investigation, 136 grams of methamphetamine were seized, a firearm and $10,932 in US currency. The following subjects were arrested and transported to the Clay County Detention Center:

  • Stephen Gregory Skaggs, 33 of Poca, West Virginia was charged with:
    Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting Public Officer, Maintain a Vehicle/Dwelling/Place for Controlled Substance and Traffick in Methamphetamine. He was given a court date of July 13 and a $200,000 secured bond.
  • Elizabeth Durham, 32 of Charleston, West Virginia was charged with:
    Carrying a concealed gun and Possession of Methamphetamine. She was given a court date of July 13 and a $20,000 unsecured bond.
  • Joseph Michael Eads, 35 of Clarksburg, West Virginia was charged with:
    Carrying a Concealed gun, Possession of Firearm by Felon and Possession of Methamphetamine. He was given a court date of July 13 and a $40,000 secured bond.

Fetch Your News will update this story as information becomes available.

Joseph Michael Eads

Elizabeth Durham

Stephen Gregory Skaggs

Images courtesy of Clay County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office confirms discovery of human remains

murder investigation

HAYESVILLE, NC – FetchYourNews (FYN) spoke with Clay County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Todd Wingate this morning, Monday, June 3, in reference to a suspicious death investigation conducted in the North Carolina jurisdiction. At this time, FYN was able to confirm with the investigator that human remains were discovered in Clay County last week, although identification has not been positively determined at this time. An autospy is scheduled to be performed in Wake Forest, NC tomorrow, June 4. The death was determined by authorities to be suspicious in nature, and due to the condition of the remains, identification of the deceased has proven challenging.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office told FYN that multiple search warrants have been executed, numerous interviews have been conducted, and evidentiary materials are being processed at this time. A person of interest has been identified by law enforcement, however, officials state that it is too early in the investigation to release the name of the suspect. No charges related to the death investigation have yet been filed by authorities.

FYN inquired whether the search warrant locations included areas of Georgia and North Carolina, with Wingate confirming that Clay County Sheriff’s Office has requested assistance in both states and surrounding counties, adding overwhelming support is being offered by the cooperative agencies.

Suspect in Clay County murder apprehended by authorities


MURPHY, NC – Brett “Dakota” Wilson, 22, a suspect in a Clay County, NC murder investigation, was apprehended by law enforcement Saturday, June 1, in Cherokee County, NC.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office sought Wilson for questioning in connection to the discovery of the remains of a missing male. FetchYourNews (FYN) is awaiting an official statement from Clay County Sheriff’s Office, prior to the release of the victim’s identity.

On Friday evening, May 31, law enforcement arrived at a residence off Bell Street in Hiawassee, GA, holding a female subject for questioning until North Carolina authorities arrived. Wilson was reported to have fled the residence shortly before Hiawassee Police Department approached the location.

FYN received numerous leads on the whereabouts of Wilson, following the release of an article on the murder investigation, passing information along confidentially to law enforcement.

Wilson was wanted on prior warrants from Towns County, GA, and Cherokee County, NC.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office informed FYN that a press release is expected in coming days.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office deems “Operation Trial Run” a success

Operation Trial Run

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office conducted a drug operation dubbed “Operation Trial Run” consisting of a seven month drug investigation in which undercover agents, along with uniformed patrol officers, arrested suspects throughout the county on various drug and other related offenses. The operation was a seven month evaluation, beginning in May of 2018, running through January, 2019, with the department using an in-house drug agent to aid in the investigations.

Towns Sheriff’s Office reached out to District Attorney Jeff Langley and Union County Sheriff Mack Mason, along with Union’s Drug Unit Supervisor Chad Deyton and other drug agents, for initial assistance in casting the operation off to a productive start. The sheriff’s office stated that Deyton, along with the other agents, provided guidance and direction as to how the unit operated, additionally assisting with some of the early investigations.

DA Jeff Langley

Sheriff Chris Clinton with District Attorney Jeff Langley

During the seven month “Operation Trial Run” investigation, 37 suspects were arrested on over 150 drug and additional various charges. Numerous search warrants were acquired and executed throughout Towns County during the operation.  A total of more than $81,000 worth of illegal drugs were taken off the streets and from residences throughout the county.    

Operation Trial Run” resulted in the seizures of a residential home, vehicles, cash, and firearms valued at more than $322,000.  Once the seizures have been successfully completed and awarded back to the sheriff’s office, the funds can be used for law enforcement purposes to combat illegal activity within the county.     

According to Towns County Sheriff’s Office, “Operation Trial Run” proved to be “very successful.” The agency stated that it has and will continue to operate with an in-house drug agent, and additional suspects have since been arrested and more seizures made, with other arrests and seizures forthcoming in the near future.

“In combatting the drugs activity in our communities, our job is staying focused on getting the bad guy off the street at the end of the day, and not worrying about who gets the credit. This is what makes for truly successful investigations,” Towns County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Terry Connor said. “The Towns County Sheriff’s Office would like to express their sincere appreciation to all departments and law enforcement agencies that has assisted in ‘Operation Trial Run’ which has made it a success: Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Towns County Commissioner’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Appalachian Drug Task Force, Hiawassee Police Department, and Clay County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office.”


Family of murdered teen pleads for answers as homicide investigation continues

Jordan Garcia

HAYESVILLE, NC – Jordan Garcia, a 17 year old Clay County native reported missing Tuesday, May 28, was identified through dental records at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC, earlier this week. Garcia’s remains have since been tranported to North Carolina State University for forensic examination, Clay County Sheriff’s Office told FetchYourNews (FYN).

Christina Garcia, the stepmother of the victim, offered a statement on behalf of the family through FYN. “A family in pain asks them to remember when a love one passes in an unnatural away, in a way like our poor Jordan did, we have to be their voice,” Garcia pleaded. “So please, speak up. If (you) have any information, please call the sheriff’s office and speak to Investigator Wingate.”

Garcia, who was living in Hiawassee, GA with his girlfriend at the time of his disappearance, was discovered off Fires Creek Road, north of Hayesville, May 31. Authorities confirmed that the teen’s remains indicated partial burning, with portions of the victim’s extremities disengaged. Homicide investigators hope to establish a timeline, and determine the cause of Garcia’s death, through the forensic examination.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Todd Wingate said that search warrants continue to be executed, phone records are under review, and numerous individuals have been interviewed by law enforcement. While no suspects have been formally charged in connection with the murder, Wingate relayed that a person of interest has been identified by authorities.

Anyone with information on the disappearance and murder of Jordan Garcia is asked to call Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 828-389-3704, extension 13. Tips will be kept confidential.

Arrest warrant served at Hiawassee residence connected to Hayesville human remains


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies and invesigators arrived at a residence off Bell Street in Hiawassee shortly before 6 pm, Saturday, June 2, to serve a Clay County, NC arrest warrant for Caleb Anthony Ellis, 17, of Hayesville, NC.

Caleb Ellis

Caleb Ellis

FYN learned that Ellis was taken into custody by authorities without incident on an out-of-state misdemeanor charge. Ellis was transported to Towns County Detention Center for processing, and is being held without bond.

Of interest is that the location where Ellis was apprehended was the residence a female subject was taken for questioning two days prior, following the discovery of human remains in Clay County. A second subject, Brett “Dakota” Wilson, fled the residence in question shortly before law enforcement arrived May 31. Wilson, 22, was located and arrested in Cherokee County, NC on prior  warrants, June 1.


Caleb Ellis

Towns County Sheriff’s Office, serving the warrant for Ellis’ arrest

While it is unknown if Ellis has been questioned in the case, and no suspects have yet been charged by authorities, Clay County Sheriff’s Office informed FYN that a person of interest has been identified. While law enforcement has confirmed the discovery of human remains, and deemed the death suspicious in nature, the victim’s identity has not been officially identified by officials.

FYN is awaiting a press release from Clay County Sheriff’s Office at this time.

Towns County pursuit ends in Clay County arrest


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – An officer with the Hiawassee Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle with an inoperable taillight near the Valero gas station on state Route 76, shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26.

The vehicle fled, emergency dispatch was notified, and law enforcement followed in pursuit from Towns County, Georgia, into Clay County, North Carolina.

Towns and Clay County deputies pursued the vehicle on state Route 69 near Byers Road. The driver proceeded to advance onto Cherry Road.

The vehicle then crashed into a ditch on Watters Road, striking a Towns County Sheriff’s Office vehicle.

A brief foot chase followed into the nearby woods, ending with the apprehension of the driver by a Towns County deputy.

The driver of the 1999 GMC Sonoma, Ryan Turbyfill, had outstanding warrants from Union County, Georgia, and New Hanover, North Carolina, for larceny.

Turbyfill, 39, of Wilmington, North Carolina, was arrested and charged with Felony Flee to Elude Arrest, Resisting a Public Officer, Driving While Impaired, and Reckless Driving.

In addition, the suspect was served a larceny warrant from New Hanover County, North Carolina, and a fugitive warrant for charges in Union County, Georgia.

Turbyfill was taken into custody, transported to the Clay County Detention Center, and is being held on a $20,000 bond.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at [email protected]

Sheriff-elect Bobby Deese to serve Clay County

Election 2018, News
Sheriff Bobby Deese

HAYESVILLE, NC – Clay County elected Bobby Deese to serve as their future sheriff on Nov. 6, with Deese garnering 56.6 percent of the votes. Deese, the successor to retiring, two-term Sheriff Vic Davis, states that he intends to meet with employees and the Clay County Board of Commissioners in the immediate future in order to discuss relevant matters.

“I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support I have received during this election,” Deese expressed on election night, “It’s been a long hard process but the election is now over and it’s time to look toward the future. As your Sheriff, I will work for all the citizens of Clay County and do everything possible to give you a Sheriff’s Office to be proud of. Thank you to Steve Byers for the professionalism and integrity of running a clean campaign. We need more of that in today’s politics. Thank you again. I look forward to the next four years.”

While campaigning, Deese avowed to operate a visible, available, professional , and accountable sheriff’s office. Additionally, Deese stated that he intends to “relentlessly pursue those who are supplying our community with drugs.”

UPDATED: Missing Female in Clay County, search teams activated

Missing Clay County

HAYESVILLE, NC – Clay County Sheriff’s Office has issued a missing person alert for a 30 year old female, last seen in the Pounding Mill area, east of Hayesville.

Miranda Whidden is reported as having dark-colored hair, and wearing a camo shirt and jeans.

First responders from multiple agencies are actively searching a remote area.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Miranda Whidden is asked to call 911 or the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 828-389-6354

FYN will provide additional information once it becomes available.

UPDATED – 5:45 pm – FYN has received information that Whidden was located. Emergency Medical Services are enroute to evaluate her condition. Whidden was described as “walking and talking” by a first responder.

Male and female charged in two Clay County stabbings

Arrest Reports, News

HAYESVILLE, NC – Clay County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a fight near the intersection of Tusquittee Road and Cold Branch Road in the Tusquittee Community on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Whitney Ann Radford

Responding deputies located two subjects that had possibly been assaulted with a knife.

As deputies investigated the assault, two subjects reported by witnesses as being possible suspects were located, and immediately taken into custody.

The suspects were later identified as Jon Nathaniel Crowe. 44, and Whitney Ann Radford, 23, of Andrews, North Carolina.

One victim was transported by ambulance. The second victim was airlifted from the scene. The names of the victims have not been released at this time. Both victims are residents of Andrews.

Crowe was charged with two counts of Assault With a Deadly Weapon, two counts of Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon, Driving While Impaired, and Driving While License Revoked. Crowe was given a $150,000 secured bond.

Nat Crowe

Jon Nathaniel Crowe

Radford was charged with two counts of Simple Assault and Common Law Robbery. Radford was given a $11,000 secured bond.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

The suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. – For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at [email protected]


UPDATED: Clay County stabbing leads to two arrests

Arrest Reports, News
Clay County Sheriff's Office

HAYESVILLE, NC – Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported a stabbing in the Tusquittee Community on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Two suspects were taken into custody.

Additional information is expected to be released by Clay County Sheriff’s Office today as the investigation progresses.

FYN will provide details on the incident as soon as they are made available.


Missing man found dead in Lake Chatuge, unidentified male sought for questioning

Dead Lake Chatuge
Michael Todd Popa

Michael Todd Popa was last seen Dec. 20.

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Towns County Dive Team assisted Clay County Fire and Rescue, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, in the recovery of Michael Todd Popa, 40, from the waters of Lake Chatuge on Feb. 9, 2018.

The missing man’s body was discovered near Jack Rabbit Rd. in Clay County, North Carolina.

Michael Todd Popa was last seen on Dec. 20, 2017, when a vehicle he had occupied ran out of fuel while traveling west on Highway 175 in Clay County, sometime between the hours of 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Michael Todd Popa

Unidentified male sought for questioning

Clay County Sheriff’s Investigators are interested in speaking to the man depicted in this sketch as he may have been the last person to have seen Popa alive. The man is described as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches in height with a medium build, and “buzzed cut” brown hair.

Law enforcement officials believe an unidentified third-party may have delivered gasoline to the vehicle.

If anyone has information on the disappearance or death of Michael Todd Popa, the identity of man in the sketch, or the whereabouts of the third-party, they are asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 828-389-6354 or via Facebook Messenger. Anonymous tips are accepted.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Towns, Union, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, and Murray counties, as well as Cherokee County in N.C. – FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 on our Facebook page. 

For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at [email protected]


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