A fire Saturday night caused extensive damage to the home of Greta Higgins at 905 West Main Street in Kings Trailer Court, located behind the old Westgate (Piggly Wiggly) Shopping Center.
Central dispatch received the call at 7:57 p.m.
Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker said that Ms Higgins was cooking when a grease spill sparked the blaze which spread throughout the kitchen and into the living room. City firefighters were able to contain the fire to those areas, although it did render significant damage. Heat and smoke spread throughout the rest of the trailer.
A 47 year old man has been charged by Smithville Police with two counts of aggravated rape and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly providing beer to two fourteen year old girls and engaging in sexual activity with them.
Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said Walter Richard "Richie" Hartman of 201 West Bryant Street is under a $52,500 bond and he will be in General Sessions Court on March 3rd.
According to Detective Matt Holmes, who investigated the case, the incident occurred around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Hartman's home where a birthday party had been held Friday night for one of the girls, who is related to Hartman. The other girl is a friend who had come over for the party and had planned to stay the night.
Detective Holmes said that Hartman had given the girls three beers each for the birthday party and the girls told police that they had drank some of the beer. Later, as the girls were lying on a pallet in the floor watching TV, Hartman approached them complaining of back pain. He asked the girls to give him a back massage. After one of the girls fell asleep on the pallet, Hartman allegedly began massaging the other girl's back, before removing nearly all of her clothes, and then engaging in sexual activity with her. He also allegedly made sexual contact with the girl who had fallen asleep.
Detective Holmes said the girls later contacted police to report that they had been raped. "We got a call that two fourteen year old girls had been raped. K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow and Officer David Phillips initially responded and then called for me (Detective Holmes). I responded and met the victims at the hospital emergency room, where I interviewed them."
Meanwhile, in other city crime news, 18 year old Ariel Cierra Licciardi of Alexandria was issued a citation for theft on February 12th by Officer Matt Farmer after an employee of Rite Aid Pharmacy saw her allegedly take a bottle of perfume without paying for it. Her court date is March 3rd.
21 year old Leah Marie Grandstaff of Game Ridge Road was arrested for theft and public intoxication on February 16th. Sergeant Randy King was dispatched to Mapco Express to investigate a possible intoxicated female who was shoplifting. Upon arrival he spoke to the clerk who stated that Ms. Grandstaff had taken items from the display racks and then went to the restroom. Upon observing Ms. Grandstaff exit the restroom, Sergeant King noticed she was unsteady on her feet and could not focus on him. When she spoke, her speech was slow and slurred. When asked about items taken from the display racks, she produced item from her pants pocket. Bond for Grandstaff is $2,000 and her court date is March 10th.
52 year old James Marshall Weddington of South College Street was issued a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia on February 18th. While investigating a theft, Officer Brad Tatrow went to a residence on South College Street to confront the suspect about the allegations . After receiving consent to search the residence, Officer Tatrow found several items of drug paraphernalia while searching a dresser drawer. Weddington's court date is March 31st.
42 year old David Dixon of Hurricane Ridge Road was arrested by Corporal Travis Bryant on February 18th for theft over $1,000 and for violation of bond conditions. Dixon allegedly went to a residence on Crestlawn Avenue and took a car without the owners consent. Police say Dixon also has bond conditions due to an active case in which he was charged with domestic violence. The victim in that case is apparently the owner of the stolen vehicle and Police say Dixon knew that he was not supposed to be at that residence. Dixon was stopped by county deputies and found to be in possession of the stolen vehicle. Bond for Dixon is $15,000 and his court date is March 3rd.
25 year old Aliz Morales-Guendalay and 18 year old Holly Ann Lynn Cikalo both of North College Street were arrested by Corporal Travis Bryant and K-9 Officer Brad Tatrow for domestic assault on February 20th. Officers responded to a domestic assault call on North College Street and spoke to both persons involved. During the investigation, officers discovered that the argument between the two had turned physical. Since it could not be determined who was the primary aggressor, both were arrested. Bond for each is $2,500 and their court date is March 3rd.
28 year old Agustine Muniz of Talley Road was arrested by Officer David Phillips for driving under the influence on February 21st. Officer Phillips stopped Muniz' vehicle after he saw it crossing the center line several times. Muniz had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was unsteady on his feet. Muniz submitted to field sobriety tasks and performed poorly on them. Bond for Muniz is $2,500 and his court date is April 7th.
Michael Dewayne Hamilton of South College Street was issued a citation by Officer Brad Tatrow for simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and for possession of drug paraphernalia on February 22nd. On February 3rd, officers were called to a residence on South College Street to check out a complaint about drug activity. Permission was granted for the officers to search the residence. During the search, police discovered a small baggie of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Hamilton's court date is March 31st.
34 year old Samuel M Murphy of Cookeville Highway was issued a citation by Captain Steven Leffew for shoplifting on February 23rd. Murphy was observed placing a bottle of Tylenol in his pants allegedly with the intent of depriving the store of payment. His court date is March 3rd.
50 year old Kenneth Clayton Odom of Lakeview Drive was cited by Corporal Travis Bryant for possession of drug paraphernalia. Corporal Bryant stopped a vehicle on a stolen property investigation and made contact with Odom who gave consent to search. Officer Bryant recovered a syringe under the floor mat. Odom's court date is March 17th.
Meanwhile, anyone with information on any offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.
Any information received that will help the Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.