District Attorney's Office, 35th Prosecutorial District of NC

District Attorney's Office, 35th Prosecutorial District of NC We prosecute cases in the 24th District of NC which includes the counties of Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Avery, and Watauga.

Operating as usual

The District Attorney's Office appreciates all of our law enforcement partners and their service to our community.  We v...
01/10/2021

The District Attorney's Office appreciates all of our law enforcement partners and their service to our community. We value you and your work today and every day.

Nieland Sentenced For S*x Offenses With ChildrenState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District Att...
08/27/2020

Nieland Sentenced For S*x Offenses With Children

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

On August 24th, 2020, Mathew Paul Nieland was convicted of five counts of felony taking indecent liberties with a child and three counts of felony statutory s*x offense with a child less than 15 years old. Mr. Nieland found his victims while coaching youth soccer.

Resident Superior Court Judge Gregory Horne sentenced Mr. Nieland to prison for a minimum of 16 years (192 months) and a maximum of 24 years and 3 months (291 months). Upon release from prison, Mr. Nieland will serve 5 years (60 months) of post-release supervision. Judge Horne also ordered that Mr. Nieland register as a s*x offender for 30 years, to begin upon completion of his prison sentence. The Court issued a permanent no contact order with all of Mr. Nieland’s victims.

All families harmed by Mr. Nieland issued statements to the Court expressing how Mr. Nieland’s crimes affected not only their families, but the community at large.

“Mr. Nieland is a predator who used the pretext of coaching to victimize the most vulnerable members of our community,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “My office will continue to work tirelessly to seek justice for those who have suffered at the hand of individuals like Mathew Paul Nieland. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher and the State Bureau of Investigation for their tireless work in the course of this lengthy investigation.”

District Attorney’s Office to Remain Open“During these difficult times the District Attorney’s Office in Avery, Madison,...
03/26/2020

District Attorney’s Office to Remain Open

“During these difficult times the District Attorney’s Office in Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga, and Yancey Counties remain open with staff members standing by to assist members of the public,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “In light of limited access to public buildings in some counties and directives from state and federal officials, I am encouraging all those who need our assistance to call or email our offices. We can handle many matters over the phone or online. In the event that we need to meet with anyone in person, I and my staff can set up an appointment. My staff and I will continue to serve the victims of crime, our law enforcement partners, and the public as we seek to follow CDC guidelines in the midst of this public health crisis.”
Office contact information:
Avery County District Attorney’s Office: (828) 737-6710
Madison County District Attorney’s Office: (828) 649-2240
Mitchell County District Attorney’s Office: (828) 688-5110
Watauga County District Attorney’s Office: (828) 268-6610
Yancey County District Attorney’s Office: (828) 678-5720
Email Address: [email protected]
Directions for requesting assistance on traffic tickets:
Individuals can request dismissals and reductions of certain traffic violations online from the District Attorney’s Office through the Electronic Compliance and Dismissal (ECAD) system. The application delivers a modern and user-friendly experience to quickly process traffic violations online without ever having to appear at the courthouse. The ECAD system can be accessed at https://www.nccourts.gov/services. For further information on how to use the online system please contact the District Attorney’s Office by phone or email.

Bowman Sentenced to Life in PrisonState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District AttorneyBakersvil...
02/15/2020

Bowman Sentenced to Life in Prison

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Bakersville, NC – On Friday February 14th, 2020, Travis Wayne Bowman was sentenced to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole by the Honorable Gary Gavenus, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge. The sentence was imposed after a Mitchell County jury made a binding recommendation to the Court that Mr. Bowman receive a life sentence on Friday afternoon. The jury had previously returned guilty verdicts on Wednesday February 12th, 2020 for First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, First Degree Kidnapping, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon after a four-and-a-half-week trial.

The convictions came in connection to the September 2016 murder of Joshua Emmanuel Buchanan. Among the jury’s findings were that Mr. Bowman’s role in the murder was premeditated and deliberate and that the murder involved the torture of the victim by Mr. Bowman.

“By holding Travis Wayne Bowman accountable for his heinous and cruel actions, the verdict in this case has brought a measure of closure for Joshua Buchanan’s family,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “I would like to thank the individual members of the jury for their efforts over the last several weeks. The hard work and careful deliberations of the jurors in this case are admirable expressions of their individual commitment to their civic duty. I would also like to thank Chief Deputy Josh Sparks, the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, the Bartow County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office, and Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher for their work in assuring that this case was successfully brought to trial.”

Buttke Convicted of MurderState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District AttorneyBurnsville, NC – ...
11/08/2019

Buttke Convicted of Murder

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Burnsville, NC – On October 30th, 2019 Allen James Buttke, Jr. was convicted of Second Degree Murder. In the early morning hours of October 25th, 2017, the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the Bald Mountain Community of Yancey County.

Upon arrival at the scene deputies found Sharon Williams Nicklow dead in her residence from gunshot wounds. After interviewing Ms. Nicklow’s mother at the scene, deputies determined that the defendant had shot the victim after a domestic dispute. Mr. Buttke was taken into custody at the scene and later charged with Second Degree Murder.

The Honorable Gary Gavenus sentenced Buttke to serve a minimum of 15 years and 10 months, and a maximum of 20 years in prison.

“Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Ms. Nicklow’s devoted family,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “By bringing an end to this case, we hope that we have been able to bring a measure of closure to this family which has suffered so much as a result of Mr. Buttke’s senseless act. I would also like to thank the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, and Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher for their work in seeing that Allen Buttke was brought to justice.”

Taylor Sentenced as Habitual FelonState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District AttorneyBurnsvill...
10/29/2019

Taylor Sentenced as Habitual Felon

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Burnsville, NC - On October 22, 2019, Marvin Jack Taylor, age 31, was convicted of Felony Flee to Elude Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, Resisting a Public Officer, Driving While License Revoked, Aggressive Driving, Misdemeanor Hit and Run, and Injury to Real Property. Additionally, Mr. Taylor was identified as a Habitual Felon by the District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Taylor drove recklessly on Highway 19 in Burnsville attempting to escape from a Yancey County Sheriff’s Deputy on August 22, 2017. After driving his vehicle on the wrong side of the road, Mr. Taylor eventually wrecked in a field.

Superior Court Judge Peter Knight sentenced Mr. Taylor to prison for a minimum of 6 years and 6 months and a maximum of 8 years and 10 months.

The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office for their work in bringing repeat criminals to justice.

Ledford Sentenced to Prison as Habitual FelonState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District Attorn...
10/28/2019

Ledford Sentenced to Prison as Habitual Felon

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Burnsville, NC - On October 22nd, 2019, Jackie Lee Ledford was convicted of 3 counts of Felony Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance, 2 counts of Felony Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance, Felony Possession of Methamphetamine, Felony Maintaining a Vehicle for Keeping or Selling a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mr. Ledford’s sentence was enhanced because the District Attorney’s Office identified him as a Habitual Felon.

Superior Court Judge Peter Knight sentenced Mr. Ledford to prison for a minimum of 8 years and 7 months and a maximum of 11 years and 4 months.

“My office continues to work tirelessly to put repeat offenders who are peddling poisons for profit behind bars,’ District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher, the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, and Burnsville Police Department for their efforts to combat the scourge of methamphetamine in our community.”

Barker Sentenced to Prison for Assault with AxeState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District Atto...
05/13/2019

Barker Sentenced to Prison for Assault with Axe

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Marshall, NC - On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Jeremy Glenn Barker, age 38, was convicted of one count of Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill, Inflicting Serious Injury.

In April of 2018, Barker visited the home of an acquaintance in Marshall, seeking transportation; Barker had previously provided said acquaintance with automotive repair services and the defendant reacted angrily when he was refused transportation by the acquaintance. Barker then began physically assaulting another visitor at the residence, swinging an axe and striking the individual in the face with the axe, cutting the individual’s face, knocking out a number of his teeth, and breaking the individual’s arm as the victim attempted to defend himself against Barker’s repeated blows.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus sentenced Barker to serve a minimum of 5 years and 6 months, and a maximum of 7 years and 8 months in prison. Judge Gavenus also recommended that Barker receive psychiatric and psychological evaluations and counseling while in custody, as well as substance abuse treatment.

“My office continues to work tirelessly to take violent offenders like Mr. Barker off the street,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Marshall Police Department and Assistant District Attorney John Honeycutt for their continuing efforts to ensure the safety of our community.”

LeBeau Convicted of TraffickingState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District AttorneyNewland, NC ...
04/22/2019

LeBeau Convicted of Trafficking

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Newland, NC - On April 10, 2019 the defendant was convicted by a jury of one count of trafficking in o***m or he**in and two counts of sell of a schedule II controlled substance.

In April 2017 Avery County Sheriff’s Office received information from a confidential informant about Juanita LeBeau coming into Avery County to sell drugs. On two separate occasions, in April 2017 and in May 2017, the defendant sold methadone directly to an undercover Avery County Deputy. On one of those occasions, the amount of methadone sold to the detective was a trafficking amount.

The Honorable Judge Marvin Pope sentenced the defendant to an active sentence of a minimum of 70 months and a maximum of 93 months in the Department of Adult Corrections and a fine of $50,000.

“This case sends a clear message that those who peddle poison for profit will be held to account for their crimes,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Amy Collins and the Avery County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.”

Ramsey Sentenced for Forcible S*x OffenseState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District AttorneyMa...
03/20/2019

Ramsey Sentenced for Forcible S*x Offense

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Marshall, NC - On Thursday, March 7, 2019, Johnathan Woodrow Ramsey, age 37, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope to serve a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for committing two counts of Second Degree Forcible S*xual Offense and one count of Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor.

In August of 2017, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation regarding a suspected s*xual relationship between Ramsey and an underage female. Madison County Department of Social Services originally received a complaint about the suspected relationship from a concerned third-party before turning the investigation over to the Sheriff’s Department. Further interviews not only substantiated that Ramsey had engaged in s*xual acts with a 13 year old, but also that Ramsey had sent a n**e picture of himself to the juvenile’s cell phone. Ramsey was charged and placed under arrest by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

Judge Pope, at Ramsey’s sentencing hearing, issued a permanent no-contact order, disallowing Ramsey any contact with the victim or the victim’s family. Additionally, Judge Pope ordered Ramsey complete s*x offender treatment, mental health assessments and counseling, as well as substance abuse counseling while in custody. Upon his release from the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections, Ramsey will be required to register as a s*x offender for the remainder of his life.

“Predators like Mr. Ramsey simply have no place in our community,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “Unfortunately the effects of the emotional scars that Ramsey has left on his victim will last even longer than the defendant’s prison sentence. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney John Honeycutt for his hard work on this case. I would also like to thank the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Madison County Department of Social Services for their roles in the successful investigation and prosecution of this case.”

NC Conference of District Attorneys
03/15/2019

NC Conference of District Attorneys

District Attorney Seth Banks of Prosecutorial District 35 was recognized yesterday by the NC Governor's Crime Commission for his years of service as a member of the Commission from 2015 - 2019. He also served as the Chairman of the Crime Victim Services Committee from 2016 - 2019.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank DA Banks for his service and dedication to the people of North Carolina, the Crime Commission and the Conference of District Attorneys.

Standing with District Attorney Seth Banks to his left is District Attorney Robert Evans of Prosecutorial District 8 who serves as Chairman of the Crime Commission and to his right, Caroline Valand, GCC Executive Director.

Sanders Sentenced to 25 Years for S*x OffenseState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District Attorn...
02/04/2019

Sanders Sentenced to 25 Years for S*x Offense

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Boone, NC - Elizabeth Ann Sanders, 23, of Boone was convicted on Thursday, January 31, 2019 by a Watauga County jury of the felony of Statutory S*xual Offense with a Child by an Adult.

Sanders came to the attention of the Boone Police Department in late 2017 after the minor victim reported the abuse to her therapist. A forensic interview with the minor victim revealed that Sanders had been the victim’s babysitter. Sanders took care of the minor victim when the minor victim’s mother was at work. Sanders took advantage of her caregiving role to s*xually abuse the minor victim. The victim reported in the interview that this abuse occurred every time that Sanders watched the victim while her mother was at work. Sanders was interviewed by law enforcement and admitted to violating the minor victim on one occasion.

The Honorable Judge Marvin P. Pope sentenced Sanders to an active sentence of not less than 25 years and not more than 31 years in prison.

“My office remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our community by holding s*xual predators accountable for their actions,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the emotional scars that Sanders has left on her victim are likely to last even longer than the Defendant’s sentence. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Drew Cochran for his hard work on this case. I would also like to thank Detective Jason Reid, the Boone Police Department, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Blue Ridge for their hard work in seeking justice for the victims of s*xual assault.”

Silvers Sentenced as Habitual FelonState of North CarolinaGeneral Court of JusticeSeth Banks - District AttorneyBurnsvil...
01/14/2019

Silvers Sentenced as Habitual Felon

State of North Carolina
General Court of Justice
Seth Banks - District Attorney

Burnsville, NC - On January 9th, 2019, Robert Sterling Silvers was convicted of two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Mr. Silvers was also found to be in violation of his probation. Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office identified Mr. Silvers as being a habitual felon, thereby enhancing his sentence.

Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope sentenced Mr. Silvers to prison for a minimum of 7 years and 4 months (88 months) and a maximum of 9 years and 10 months (118 months).

“My office continues to focus on the prosecution of those repeat offenders who terrorize our community,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “By identifying Robert Sterling Silvers as a habitual felon we were able to put another repeat offender behind bars. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher and the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work.”

Address

110 Town Sq
Burnsville, NC
28714

General information

We have five District Attorney's offices located within each of the county courthouses of Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Avery, and Watauga.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(828) 268-6610

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Comments

Jim, was and is my beloved brother in law. Yes he killed both my mother and sister, however, I have known Jim for at least 40 years. He was always quick to laugh and love this family, and that included Stephanie (my sister) and Hilma (my mother). This horrible act was not Jim's character. I feel so strongly about this, that I would prefer he be let out of prison now, and I would have him live with my husband, and myself. He is a gentle man, and he is loved by myself, my husband, and my children. He saved both my life and my daughters life, as he was an ER RN. In no way am I disrespecting the DA in this case, however, I am very disappointed that I was not regarded as a " Next of Kin ", and had very little contact from this office, during the time of the deaths to the final court appearance.
Thank you for keeping my grandchildren safe.