• Hickory man faced judge Monday for restaurant robberies


    HICKORY, N.C. - A 21-year-old Hickory man faced a judge Monday morning in connection with a string of robberies in the area.

    Christopher Payne’s court appearance was emotional for his family members.

    Eyewitness News saw Payne mouth the words “I love you and I didn’t do it,” to his wife.

    The 21-year-old was trying to communicate with family members and friends during his court appearance.

    Payne is charged with two counts of robbery with a firearm and five counts of second degree kidnapping.  Police say he is a suspect in as many as eight restaurant robberies in the Hickory area starting back in early September.

    Police said the charges stem from two armed robberies that occurred at Burger King at 2543 Springs Road NE, Hickory, on Sept. 5 and Oct 2.

    He was arrested at a home less than a mile from the scene on Sunday.

    Payne’s wife said he works two jobs to support his family.

    Payne is also a suspect in several other armed robberies that are currently under investigation by the Hickory Police Department. Payne was given a $400,000 secured bond and is currently being held in the Catawba County Jail.

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