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Alleged plane thief appears before Orange County judge

Posted August 19, 2011
Updated August 20, 2011

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— The man who police say stole a small airplane from a private airport on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus made his first appearance Friday before a judge on a felony larceny charge.

Curtis Rene Mellott, who appeared via closed-circuit TV, was ordered a court-appointed attorney. Mellott's probable cause hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29.

UNC campus police say Mellott, 46, of 114 Mel Oak Drive in Chapel Hill, stole a single-engine Piper plane from Horace Williams Airport sometime late Monday or early Tuesday and crashed it into some trees in the Alamance County town of Graham, about 25 miles away.

He also faces a felony charge of possession of stolen property in Alamance County.

Mellott was on the lam for several days before police arrested him at his home Thursday afternoon.

A judge kept his jail bond at $1 million after prosecutors said he was a flight risk. Mellott has previous DWI convictions, a pending DWI and gun possession trial set for next month and could face federal charges. An investigation is also under way in Wayne County on similar charges.

Wayne County investigators couldn't be reached Friday about the details of the charges Mellott faces there.

Other questions also remained unanswered Friday, including why Mellot might have stolen a plane and what happened to cause it to crash.

11 Comments

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  • jet2rdu Aug 19, 2011

    It is kind of funny, the most recent headline about this perp.
    He is being held on a $1,000,000 bail as a "Flight Risk."

  • Nizzaj A. Smurff Aug 19, 2011

    "Did it say somewhere what his injuries were? I mean I heard soewhere that they followed a trail of blood--he had to have had some somewhat serious injuries? right?"

    Take a look at the picture. I think I know where he got that booboo on his forehead!

  • anne53ozzy Aug 19, 2011

    I think he ought to be charged w a crime that implies endangerment to others. Assuming control a this type of vehicle in a reckless and unauthorized manner should carry a sever penalty. Had he landed, as it were, on a home or any other venue where people were hurt or killed, we would be looking at a more grave situation. He should be treated severly in the hands of the legal system and I hope his family cannot buy him out of this.

  • hotlapsmag Aug 19, 2011

    haha funny one fatcat!

  • dirtydozen431 Aug 19, 2011

    Just about everybody that applies for a court appointed attorney gets one. The form is filled out by the person arrested and the figures are not checked. The truck driver that killed 3 on I-40 got one and he makes $1,000 a week.

  • Common Sense Man Aug 19, 2011

    "Mellot was on the lam for several days before police arrested him at his home Thursday afternoon."

    Tue afternoon to Thu afternoon is several days?

  • mewubbau Aug 19, 2011

    Did it say somewhere what his injuries were? I mean I heard soewhere that they followed a trail of blood--he had to have had some somewhat serious injuries? right?

  • itsmandaleigh Aug 19, 2011

    LoL

  • pyranna Aug 19, 2011

    Is diddy gonna get him out of this one?

    Everone wishes to know why he did it.

  • OBXBound Aug 19, 2011

    Fatkatts - that was good!!

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