• Deputies catch man connected with break-in that left 1 dead

    By: Dave Faherty


    CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. - Friday 10 A.M. update -- Catawba County deputies caught the suspect they said broke into a house where another intruder was shot and killed by the homeowner earlier this week.

    Deputies said Brandon Lineberger ran off when the homeowner shot and killed his partner-in-crime, Vernon Dixon, at a home on Riverbend Road Monday.

    The homeowner shot Dixon once with a shotgun after police said the men kicked in his door.

    Deputies arrested Lineberger at this home in Cherryville Thursday morning.

    Catawba County deputies said a man shot an intruder in his home north of Claremont on Monday.

    Deputies identified the intruder as Vernon Dixon.

    The homeowner was asleep upstairs when he heard a noise downstairs, officials said. He grabbed a shotgun and went to investigate.

    The sheriff said two men broke in through a basement window around the rear of the home.

    His father, who lives just down the road, saw two men pull into his son's driveway Monday morning but had no idea they were there to break-in to the residence.

    “Two guys come out from the carport went around to the car parked around back,” father Everett Fox said.

    The owner, who called 911 first, had gone there after hearing the sound of a door being kicked in. 

    Deputies said he shot one of the intruders in the chest who later died on the way to the hospital.

    "He had no choice.  I didn't say a thing to him. He is tore up,” Fox said.

    The second intruder, who deputies have not identified, ran off leaving in a dark-colored minivan. he sheriff said under North Carolina law he could be charged with murder because the death happened in the commission of another felony. 

    "You do have a right to protect your property when somebody breaks in the house on you. You don't know if these people are coming in to steal your property or coming in to do harm to you and your family,” said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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