Another Student Charged In Ayden-Grifton Vandalism Case

There is another arrest in the case of vandalism at Ayden-Grifton High School.

Pitt County deputies say a 17-year-old student at the school has been charged with intimidation of a state witness, a felony. Morgan Sauls was released to her mother on a $5,000 bond.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christy Wallace says after the initial arrests in the case, Sauls is accused of calling a state witness and made threats. Wallace says they took the threats very seriously and the teen was arrested Friday.

Vandalism to the high school tool place just days before the first day of school last month. Damage was estimated at $30,000.

John Norris, Adam Craft, Justin Brannon, Michael Grate, Eric Tripp and Christopher Williams are facing several charges, including breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, felony conspiracy, injury to real property, injury to personal property and second degree trespassing.

Wallace says Norris is a current student at Ayden-Grifton High School, while Craft, Brannon, Tripp and Williams are past students. Wallace says Grate has no apparent connection to the school.

Vandals broke in and spray painted the football field and softball complex, including the dugout and press box. Equipment was stolen and tires were slashed on most of their maintenance equipment.


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The Pitt County Sheriff's Office says six people have been arrested for the vandalism at Ayden-Grifton High School last month.

Spokeswoman Christy Wallace tells WITN that the arrests were made Wednesday night.

John Norris, Adam Craft, Justin Brannon, Michael Grate, Eric Tripp and Christopher Williams are facing several charges, including breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, felony conspiracy, injury to real property, injury to personal property and second degree trespassing.

Wallace says Norris is a current student at Ayden-Grifton High School, while Craft, Brannon, Tripp and Williams are past students. Wallace says Grate has no apparent connection to the school.

Click the photo tab above to see the mug shots.

The bond for each suspect was set at $10,000. Craft and Grate remained in jail this morning.

Officials estimated the vandals did $30,000 in August.

Vandals broke in and spray painted the football field and softball complex, including the dugout and press box. Equipment was stolen and tires were slashed on most of their maintenance equipment.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by former classmate Location: Greenville on Sep 28, 2011 at 01:34 PM
    The "state witness" is actually a young, pregnant female who felt like she doing the right thing by telling what she knew. Ms. Sauls had NO RIGHT to threaten her through text, in person, or through hearsay. I know everyone involved in this incident, and whatever happened is not for any of us to decide, but bullying by text or anything is WRONG and should be dealt with like the serious offense that it is. I have heard some of the things that have been said by Ms. Sauls and friends about this young girl, and it makes me ashamed.Teenagers commit suicide, hurt themselves and others, or simply live in fear because of bullying and threats. Stop making excuses, put on your big girl panties, and GROW THE HECK UP!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 28, 2011 at 03:13 PM in reply to former classmate
      I wonder if the witness was an actual participant in this event and turned on the others in order to get the charges dropped. How else would they have enough knowledge to cause law enforcement to be so concerned? I do not image they would be wasting time with felony charges unless the witness was critical to their case.
      • reply
        by jeb on Sep 29, 2011 at 01:47 PM in reply to
        Another point is how are you a witness to the crime unless you are present yourself. What is the witness doing on the ball field where the vandalism took place with 6 males? Could the story be fabricated for the reward money ($5,000)? She is a pregnant teen who may just need the money. Yes someone did the crime but do we really have the whole story from this kind of witness? Things to ask yourself!!
        • reply
          by former classmate on Sep 30, 2011 at 06:57 PM in reply to jeb
          The fact that state finds her to be enough of a credible witness to charge Ms. Sauls with threatening a witness is enough for me. I have heard how the witness knew, but its not about her, she is not on trial. If a judge and jury want to agree with her credibility,then that's for them to decide.
  • by Charles on Sep 27, 2011 at 11:46 AM
    I used to attend ole' ag and the way I see it.. She deserved this charge and so did these other reckless boys. They will realize once them and the rest of their class gets out of this small town school that it's a grown up world where you don't just get a little pop on the hand anymore. Everyone is trying to feel sorry for this girl but that's what she gets for thinking she can take matters into her own hands. She's got a lot to learn about growing up.
  • by Kel Location: Ayden on Sep 27, 2011 at 08:34 AM
    ok so they made a mistake we get it. this is being delt with by the proper people. it was a few people doing something stupid and they are paying for it so let it be and stop tarnishing A-g's name.
  • by flip Location: bob on Sep 27, 2011 at 08:34 AM
    why down AG their will be dumn people and people will do dumn things but it's over why talk bad about the school if the school had nothing to do with it. the school cant help that it had kids do dumn things. this happens every where not just ag.
  • by Holllllaa on Sep 27, 2011 at 06:57 AM
    It was a senior prank that went wrong everyone makes mistakes and the people who are bashing the family of these kids are rediculous your kids arnt anything special, I know all of them and they are ALL good kids with good grades, they did something stupid GET OVER IT! they are paying the price now with there names being all over the news so why should you people be making it any worse for them? Its not like they cant see it. So let the familys deal with there kids and all others be nice. Justice will be served without your concern.
    • reply
      by Really?? on Sep 27, 2011 at 07:14 AM in reply to Holllllaa
      Senior Prank really? One of the boys was in school, the others graduated a couple of years ago. Second destroying property is not a prank anyway. Third most of these kids are not good kids. Lastly people need to stop thinking they need compassion, parenting stops at a certain point. Some of these kids are 20 by now, I think they can stand for their own actions and being idiots. And RHIANNON stop sticking up for them they were wrong they should pay for doing something so stupid.
    • reply
      by Teacher on Sep 28, 2011 at 04:38 AM in reply to Holllllaa
      You mean "their" kids. I bet you got good grades also.
      • reply
        by Grammar patrol ... on Sep 28, 2011 at 01:50 PM in reply to Teacher
        "Their" is only one of Hollllaa's numerous grammatical mistakes. Too, too many to list. As far as senior prank goes ... really? Aren't they a little old for senior pranks? Sorry, that ship sailed.
      • reply
        by Teacher2 on Sep 28, 2011 at 06:27 PM in reply to Teacher
        Yes because people really pay attention to grammar on comments grow up. Bet you got good isn't very good either
  • by Anonymous on Sep 27, 2011 at 06:41 AM
    I wonder if many of you would feel the same if this were a 225lb male student. The fact is students who are in highschool know what is right and what is wrong. I can't stand for people to continue to act as if they are 6 years old. It is also clear that these students and their friends clearly have not learned their lesson.
  • by A on Sep 27, 2011 at 04:00 AM
    She needs a spanking.
    • reply
      by jeb on Sep 27, 2011 at 08:59 PM in reply to A
      A spanking is more like it, not a felony charge!The world has gone crazy with all the trumped up charges!
  • by jeb Location: greenville on Sep 26, 2011 at 08:26 PM
    At least two of these kids are honor roll students, ever heard of making a very bad judgement call when you were a kid? yes a kid! The punishment should fit the crime. A text message or phone call to someone who is a snitch doesn't warrant a felony! And that's how a high school student looks at a situation like this, not as a threat to a witness, come on lets get real in our thinking! This girl isn't a hardened criminal, she did what probably every girl does at least 20 times a day, send a text message to someone who should have been minding her own business anyway! This isn't someone who deserves a felony on her record!
    • reply
      by Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions. on Sep 27, 2011 at 04:29 AM in reply to jeb
      She should be held accountable for her actions. Letting her get away with it due to the fact that she is a child will lead her to believe that she can get away with murder as long as she isn't 18 yet. They aren't children anymore. They all knew better then to do something like this. I am a girl that knew and still knows better then to call a witness or text a witness and threaten them to get them to keep their mouth shut. Maybe next time she will think before she runs her mouth. Are you saying the person who came forward with information should have minded their own business or that the girl that is being charged should have? The one that came forward should not be ostrich sized for passing on what they knew. These boys, and now this girl, are the ones on trial here. She did the crime and now she has to live with that for the rest of her life. Threatening a witness is a very serious offense.
      • reply
        by T on Sep 27, 2011 at 08:50 AM in reply to Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions.
        Too many children and teens make threats that seem harmless then one day that one that was threatened is dead, missing or injured badly. It is not the time to take threats and sweep them under the rug. I am sure the judge will make a fair call for them all.
        • reply
          by Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions. on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM in reply to T
          I completely agree with you. That is exactly what I was saying. Make her accountable for her actions.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Sep 27, 2011 at 08:56 PM in reply to Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions.
        You have lost all proper perspective in this matter! A felony is not warranted here! This girl didn't even know she was threatening the snitch, it was a bad choice of words in a text message, taken as a threat by someone who was scared by snitching on her fellow school mates. For real would you in high school have turned in fellow students. I don't think many people would. They were wrong in commiting the vandalism and the proper punishment should be handed down. This girl was not a part of that act. Don't forget that very important fact.
        • reply
          by James on Sep 28, 2011 at 04:41 AM in reply to
          Calling a law-abiding person who provided info and helped solve a crime a "snitch" is the bad choice of words. She threatened another person. Case closed.
        • reply
          by Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions. on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM in reply to
          No, you fell to see my point. This young woman should be held accountable because she won't be able to get away with this when she is older. She can get it dropped to a misdemeanor. Next time she will think before she opens her mouth. She made herself a part of the act when she threatened someone who told the truth.
        • reply
          by Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions. on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM in reply to
          I meant to say failed. I had better correct my mistake before someone tries to point it out again.
      • reply
        by Jim on Sep 29, 2011 at 09:28 AM in reply to Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions.
        This comment has been deleted.
        • reply
          by Really??? No SHE should be held accountable for her actions. on Sep 29, 2011 at 11:08 AM in reply to Jim
          Ostrich size: To mock. Make fun of. The young lady was threatened by someone because of the truth and now that someone has been charged people are mocking and picking on the young lady that came forward. Excuse me for hitting a "D" by accident. Maybe next time you should look it up. I did go to a university so get to burning that diploma. I'm quite proud of my diploma considering I have a learning disability and still went on to graduate Cum Laude.
  • by Borus Location: Littlefield, NC on Sep 26, 2011 at 07:52 PM
    Compassion is a great thing. I've read plenty of it here. We should all have compassion and love for our fellowman, even those who err in life. But, those who do wrong have to be held accountable. People can't and shouldn't look the other way. Don't blame others (the Sheriff, etc.) for these young people being in trouble. Don't try to shut down free speech. Don't try to slap back here at someone who's slapped at you. Turn the other cheek. Everyone makes choices in life. I don't know the guilt or innocence of these young people, nor will I sit here and try to tell you. The charges are allegations. They have to be proven in court. To those who want to crucify these alleged culprits, don't do it until you see the court's result or you know all the facts. And, to those who want to defend them, don't until you see the court's results. I've learned that even your best friend doesn't tell you all the facts when something bad happens. The person or persons who would do this dastardly act on anyone's property should be held accountable. The court usually finds a way to do that, and is usually lighter on young people who don't have criminal records. I would guess that no one will be a winner in this mess, but let it be said that when accountability exists (even if everyone doesn't agree to the degree of accountability), the community and its citizenry will be the ultimate winners. I leave the result to the symbol of justice .... those set of scales that hopefully will balance everyone's feelings in this case.
    • reply
      by T on Sep 27, 2011 at 08:51 AM in reply to Borus
      here here
  • by Potential?? Location: Greenville on Sep 26, 2011 at 04:47 PM
    They had potential? Ha. I know all but one and there was never any potential. It is no surprise at all. Worthless in high school. Worthless out of school
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