Sterling Elementary School in Pineville will reopen Wednesday after being closed, police said, because a Michigan fugitive threatened to kill his ex-wife, who public records show teaches at the school.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested Isaac James Burch, 37, on a fugitive warrant from Michigan on Monday night. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had closed the school Tuesday, citing “an abundance of caution.”
Earlier Monday, Kannapolis police alerted CMPD to be on the lookout for Burch. Police said they found his truck outside a hotel in CMPD’s north division.
CMS officials said Kannapolis police also notified the district Monday “of a heightened possible safety and security risk at Sterling Elementary.”
On Tuesday morning, CMS reported, “law enforcement officials notified CMS that there is no continuing safety and security risk at Sterling Elementary. … Law enforcement has conducted a thorough check of Sterling Elementary buildings and grounds. Counseling and protective staff are in place at Sterling Elementary and ready to support any student, family member or staff seeking assistance.”
Burch was charged in Kannapolis in May with misdemeanor assault against his wife, court records show. A week later, his wife obtained a temporary restraining order against him. Prosecutors later dismissed the charge, although it was unclear why on Tuesday.
Burch served prison time in Michigan for attempted assault with intent to do great bodily harm, according to court records. He was 28 at the time and was released in 2013.
“He isn’t a stranger to us, he has had 26 separate convictions,” a Michigan prosecutor was quoted as saying at the time by the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune. “He must have known this (going to prison) was coming. You can’t keep committing crimes without going to prison at some point.”
South Bend is 11 miles from Niles, Mich., where Burch lived.
“At 28, he needs direction or, like (a judge) has said in the past, he’s going to spend his life in prison on the installment plan,” the prosecutor said. “He needs a wake-up call to do something different with his life. Maybe boot camp will give him structure so he’ll stop coming to see us four times a year.”
Burch’s attorney at the time said his client’s drinking had gotten him into trouble over the years, according to the South Bend Tribune. Burch agreed, the newspaper reported, and said he wanted to get help for his alcohol addiction.