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Carteret County Man Accuses Neighbor's Son of Hit-and-Run in Land Dispute, Arrest and Court Appearance Follow in Beaufort on April 4, 2024

Published Date: April 8, 2024

Note: Our firm’s mission is to help people injured in accidents. Because we do this work, we see the consequences of these accidents on the victims and the families. Through these articles, we aim to foster a safer community and provide support to those affected by such tragedies. 

Our firm respects the privacy and dignity of those involved and is willing to amend or remove content at the request of affected parties. To contact us use 704-714-1450 or send us a message.
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Beaufort, NC (April 4, 2024) - According to local news outlets, a tense land dispute in Carteret County has escalated into a criminal case. Melvin Davis, 77, of Beaufort, stands accused of assaulting his neighbor, Michael Hargraves, 65, with a vehicle during an altercation over property rights.

Incident Overview
On April 4, 2024, after an argument reportedly concerning a land dispute, Davis allegedly ran over Hargraves with a Cadillac SUV. The victim claimed he was lying in the road after the incident, identifying the vehicle and highlighting an ongoing conflict with Davis, whose mother resides next door. Hargraves, who had recently suffered two strokes, was airlifted to a local hospital but is expected to make a recovery.

Arrest and Legal Proceedings
Following a 24-hour manhunt, the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office apprehended Davis. Initially, he was granted a $15,000 bond, which he posted, leading to his release. However, during his first court appearance, questions arose regarding the bond's adequacy and legality, leading to an adjustment to $75,000 by Judge Paul Delamar, factoring in the severity of the charges and Davis's proximity to Hargraves. Davis, who has a minimal criminal record, now faces serious legal repercussions, including potential sentences for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and hit-and-run causing serious injury or death.

Backstory and Public Interest
The background of this incident is deeply intertwined with a long-standing and contentious land dispute involving the Davis and Reels families, particularly highlighted in the 2023 Amazon documentary "Silver Dollar Road." This property conflict has led to previous legal battles, with Davis and his brother Licurtis Reels having served nearly eight years in jail over related contempt charges. The case has attracted significant attention, drawing in civil rights organizations and sparking protests advocating for the Reels family's rights.

Upcoming Developments
Davis is set for another court appearance on April 19, 2024, as the community watches closely. The case not only underscores the personal animosities between neighbors but also reflects broader themes of property rights, legal struggles, and the impact of historical land disputes in Carteret County.


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Engaging with a local law firm like Rosensteel Fleishman Car Accident & Injury Lawyers means you have seasoned professionals familiar with North Carolina's legal landscape. They bring a wealth of experience in handling cases similar to yours, ensuring personalized and effective legal representation. Whether it’s a car accident, pedestrian incident, or a hit-and-run case, having a local Beaufort attorney can significantly influence the outcome of your claim.

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Disclaimer: This article is compiled from various secondary sources to provide insights into recent accidents. We have not been able to independently verify all details. Our firm respects the privacy and dignity of those involved and is willing to amend or remove content at the request of affected parties. We understand the emotional and physical toll of traffic accidents and extend our deepest sympathies to those affected. If you find any discrepancies or outdated information, or if you are an affected party, please contact us at 704-714-1450 or send us a message.

We value your feedback and are committed to maintaining the highest standards of accuracy and reliability of the information presented.

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