Ford Gave Statement About Davi
BY ERIC CARLSON
It was his own words, spoken to his brother, that led
investigators to arrest Frank Lenail Ford less than 48
hours after Charles Wayne "Butch" Davis was found
fatally shot, beaten and slashed with a machete outside
his Bolivia trailer last November.
At a pre-trial hearing in Ford's first-degree murder
case Monday, a State Bureau of Investigation agent de
scribed how detectives convinced the suspcct's brother
to wear a surveillance microphone white inquiring
about Ford's involvement in the killing.
Ford, 22, faces the death penalty as the alleged
leader of ten young people who drove to Davis's home
to "teach him a lesson" after an argument earlier that
evening. Two other men have been charged with mur
der in the slaying.
Jury selection is slated to continue this week for a
trial in which several members of the alleged "gang"
are expected to testify against Ford. Two jurors were
accepted by the defense and prosecution Tuesday.
Monday morning, attorneys in the case argued over
whether a six-page statement made by Ford before his
arrest should be allowed into evidence. Superior Court
Judge Jack Thompson had not ruled on the motion at
the close of court Tuesday.
Testifying Monday, SBI Agent Kelly Moser said a
.380-caliber handgun was identified as the murder
weapon early in the round-the-clock investigation into
Davis's Nov. 28 killing. Detectives <iiu agents also kepi
hearing the nickname "Boo Boo" while conducting in
terviews about the incident, he said.
Then, on the day after the murder, there was a seem
ingly unrelated report of a .380-caliber pistol being
stolen, Moser said. The victim of the theft was identi
fied as Adolph Ford.
The sheriff's department chief investigator on the
case. Detective Charlie Miller, recognized the last
name. It was the same as another man known around
Bolivia as Frank "Boo Boo" Ford.
After being questioned by police, Adolph Ford
agreed to help investigators by wearing "a wire" while
talking to his brother about the murder, Moser said.
Acting on the information obtained from the surveil
lance wire, Moser said he and Miller went to Frank
Ford's home on Oakey Trail in Bolivia at about 2 a.m.
Nov. 30. After receiving no reply to repeated knocks on
the door, Miller walked around back and began bang
ing on the outside wall.
Ford eventually appeared and agreed to accompany
the two officers to the Brunswick County Sheriff's of
fice in Bolivia, Moser testified. Ford was read his con
stitutional rights and agreed to make a statement.
At first, Ford "denied any involvement" in the mur
der, Moser said. Then the investigators brought Adolph
Ford into the room to speak with his brother.
"Adolph was very upset. He was crying," Moser
(See ATTORNEYS, Page 2-A)
STA Ff PHOTO BY EMC CAWSON
FRANK FORD (right) and defense attorney
James Payne listen to a prosecutor 's arguments
during a hearing Monday morning.
Tl jWICKH BEACON
[Thirty- Second Y?or. Number 47 wx?mifwi ShoBuWt, North CoroKno, Thursday, September 22, 1994 5CH Per Copy 48 Poges, 4 Sections, Plus Inserts
? ? na? ^
SWF PHOTO tY LYNN CAJOSON
Tornado Hits Longwood
Floyd Patterson sorts through what "s U ft of his home following a tornado which did extensive damage in the Mount Zion Baptist Church
area of l^ongwood early Sunday night. Patterson, who is shown being helped by Brad Moody, was not at home when the tornado hit. Also
damaged were another trailer, the playground of tumgwood Head Start and several buildings on the farm of Horace Smith. Severe wind
damage was also reported in the H olden Beach area. Sunday 's storm brought high winds, dangerous lightning and heavy rain, but no in
juries were reported
County Hears Appeal Of $1 .6 Million
Tax Value For Undeveloped Bird Island
BY SUSAN USHER
Roes Poag doesn't know how the
Brunswick County Tax Office can
accurately determine a fair market
value for Bird Island, when the
mile-long property straddling the
South Carolina stats line is not for
sale and its future is in limbo "in a
Acting on behalf of his mother ?
the island's owner. Janie P. Price of
Greensboro ? Poag appeared before
the county's Board of Equalization
and Review Tuesday morning to ap
peal the S 1.6 million tax value set by
State law requires that property be
valued not at its current use or on
how the owner intends to use it, but
on what is rated its "highest and best
use," and what price would a willing
buyer and seller agree on if it were
on the market.
Bird Island, or the portion of the
undeveloped island that is is
Brunswick County and is owned by
Price, was last valued in 1986 at
$539,000, with no appeal when tax
notices were issued in 1987.
Much has changed in the ensuing
eight years. Brunswick County
property with an ocean or marsh
vi*w ha* skyrocketed in market val
ue. At the same time, development
costs and coastal land use regula
tions have increased.
"1 don't think there's a chance it
will get more liberal, but there is a
chance it will become more restric
tive," Poag told the five-man panel
led by Chairman John Thompson.
"Everybody, everywhere seems to
be telling me I can do less and less
with this property."
The current valuation is based
on the county's estimate that 85
acres of the island is usable upland,
with a raw value of J 180,000 an
acre. After adjusting for estimated
total development and access costs,
the value drops to S 18,000 per acre
for those 85 acrcs. Another 1,115
acres of wetlands is valued at $100
instead of 85 acres, Poag said the
island has 33 usable acres based on
a study done for the town of Sunset
Beach and on preliminary wetlands
delineations. He said he wouldn't
object to applying the county's
S18.000 an acre valuation to that
Poag said the cost of providing
infrastructure was basically the same
whether 85 acres or 33 acres were
developed on the island. A bridge, if
permitted, would cost from $1 mil
lion to $3 million depending upon
whether it is wooden or concrete, for
example. However, he said he would
question the county changing the
per-acre valuation to reflect a higher
cost-per-acre of development if it
drops the acreage from 88 to 33.
Price has applied for state and
federal permits to build a bridge to
restore access to the island and to
develop it. She first said she wanted
only to build a family iiornc, of per
haps several, on the island.
Tuesday Poag said that remains
the family's key objective. "We
want to restore access to the island,
use it for ourselves and restore su
pervision," he said.
Currently the island isn't for sale
but Poag said he is also "committed
to establishing the future value of
(See ISLAND, Page 2-A)
SHALLOTTE POLICE are
circulating this sketch of a sus
pect alleged to have pointed a
gun Thursday morning at a
sixth-grade girl as she ap
proached an entrance to
S halloa e Middle School. The
sketch is from the student's de
Middle School , Police On Alert After
Man Reportedly Points Gun At Student
BY SUSAN USHER
Staff and faculty at Shallotte Middle School and
Shallotte Police are stepping up their watch of the
school after a man allegedly pointed a gun at a student
Thursday morning near a school entrance.
A student told Shallotte Police Chief Rodney Gause
that as she approached the middle front door at about
7:55 a.m., a young black male was standing outside the
"She said he approached her, pulled out what ap
peared to be a gun and was reaching for her," said
Contrary to various rumors circulating, said Gause,
"he never said a word and he never touched her. And she
didn't scream; she just turned and ran."
The 11 -year-old sixth-grade student bolted toward the
far end of the building, near the bus loading area, turn
ing at the corner to see if she was being followed.
She told Gause she saw the man running instead to
ward the bus parking area across from the middle en
trance, where he entered a light blue vehicle parked be
hind a row of yellow bases. She said the car resembled a
Ford Taurus and had a plastic bag taped over the driver's
side window. Both taillights appeared to be broken.
"She said she saw the man and the car through the
spaces between the buses," said Gause. "Most of the bus
drivers were still on their buses, cleaning them, but said
they didn't see anything."
Police describe the suspect as a light-skinned, heavy
set black male about 6 feet tall, weighing about 250
pounds, wearing blue jeans and a green T-shirt. He is
said to have a scar on the left side of his chin.
While Gause said his department so far has uncovered
no corroborating witnesses who saw either the man or
the vehicle, the reported incident is being taken serious
ly by school officials, parents and police.
"We're trying to do all we can do for the school, the
narcnts and the kirk whn or> ?n Sh?llr?tt?? Middle
r ca -?
School," said Gause. "We will be monitoring the school
a lot closer and a lot more often."
Already an officer is on traffic duty each morning and
afternoon, and officers frequently each lunch with stu
dents and sponsor an after-school Explorers program
that meets at the school one afternoon each week.
The department had applied for a Governor's Crime
Commission grant to place an officer at the school full
time, but didn't get the money.
Gause said teachers and staff at the school already
monitor the halls and grounds with a high level of alert
Principal Sandra Robinson said the school is still step
ping up its monitoring of building ar:u grounds while
students are arriving on campus and leaving campus.
"We are putting extra people out front morning and
afternoon," she said. The assistant principal and a phys
ical education teacher monitor the bus area in the morn
ing, while Robinson and two other staff persons watch
(See SCHOOLS, Page 2-A)
By Appeals Court
BY SUSAN USHER
Brunswick County commission
ers' appeal of a local jury's decision
to award the Brunswick County
Schools S14 million to operate the
schools this year could go before the
N.C. Court of Appeals sooner than
Glen Peterson, attorney for the
Brunswick County Board of
Education, said Tuesday morning
that attorneys for the county com
missioners and school board have
agreed to submit their casework to
the state's intermediate appellate
court by mid-October and to forego
oral arguments in an effort to have
the case expedited.
The agreement was reached with
Superior Court Judge Jack
Thompson after the trial judge dis
cussed with Judge Gerald Arnold,
chief of the 12-judge appeals court,
how an appellant "hypothetically"
might seek to have a case reviewed
"Thompson told us they would try
to expedite it as much as they can if
we could get all our documents to
them and waive oral arguments,"
said Peterson. "We felt if they're
willing to try to do this, so could
Peterson said there's a possibility
the court could review the case and
render its opinion by December.
While state law provides for
school funding disputes to be heard
quickly at the superior court level,
no such mandates exist for the N.C.
Couit of Appeals or N.C. Supreme
Court. Also, trial judges have
greater of control over the calendar
than appellate courts which operate
under different rules.
In a telephone interview from his
office in Raleigh, Judge Arnold said
his conversation with Thompson
was a discussion "on a purely hypo
thetical basis" of how one might at
tempt to have a case expedited under
the rules of appellate procedure.
"It is very, very unusual for a
court of appeals to take anything out
of order because it operates on the
premise that your case is as impor
tant as someone else'? case," said
Arnold. "Whether it can be done or
not, I couldn't say."
"After the briefs are filed and mo
tions out of the way, we will put it in
its place and any motion or petition
to expedite it would be considered
duly and fairly."
As cases are readied for the hear
ing calendar, they are filed chrono
logically and heard in that order.
Typically it takes at least nine
months and no more than 12 months
to get a case ready to be argued be
fore the court. Arnold said he has
been looking for ways to better man
age cases, but that while the demand
to expedite certain kinds of cases is
high, the court simply doesn't have
Peterson said that county attorney
Michael Ramos, Thompson and
himself have set up a schedule that
overrides the usual lengthy timetable
of the appeals process. They plan to
(See QUICK, Page 2-A)
SWF PHOTO ?V DOUG RUTTf*
Joe Stanley, president of the South Brunswick Islands Chamber of
Commerce, weighs a king mackerel during last weekend's South
Brunswick Islands King Classic fishing tournament. Local anglers
David Rourk and Ricky Hawes were the winners with a 46.10
pound fish. The story is in Sports, Section D.