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Smithville Police and Sheriff's Department Undercover Drug Investigations Result in Grand Jury Sealed Indictments

April 7, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Andre Wakefield
Brian Thomason
Christopher Scruggs
Donald Perry, Jr.
Lesley Lawrence
Brandon Gurley
Jamie Lee Hodges
Susan Jean Brown
Terry Lee Price
Sharon Groshon Malone

The Smithville Police Department recently conducted an undercover drug investigation as well as a joint operation with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department which has resulted in several grand jury sealed indictments and arrests.

Evidence from the undercover operations were presented to the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday resulting in sealed indictments against fourteen defendants.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said he is pleased with the outcome of this effort. "This is one of the first efforts we had on undercover drug buys in a long time with the City of Smithville (police department). It was very successful. We also had a joint operation with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. I couldn't ask for anybody better to work with than Sheriff Ray and his detectives. Detective (Matt) Holmes with the City of Smithville (police department) worked diligently on these cases along with his men (officers). We hope to continue this partnership together and work these cases for the people here in DeKalb County and Smithville. On the roundup, we also had assistance form the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. TBI Agent (Billy) Miller from here in DeKalb County was there to assist and we appreciate all the help in this whole operation and the roundup," said Chief Caplinger.

Sheriff Patrick Ray added that he was happy to work in cooperation with the Smithville Police Department on several of these cases. "This was a joint operation between the Smithville Police Department and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. We got with them and done undercover drug buys. We're proud and honored to be able to do that and this is just one of many I hope to do with the City of Smithville (police department). Our last drug round up was done with the City of Alexandria. We want to continue working with our law enforcement agencies in the county, whether its the city or state agencies. I'd like to thank Chief Randy Caplinger and Detective Matt Holmes. Its been a pleasure working with them through all this. We're excited to get started again doing undercover drug operations with them. We've also been working with Detective Holmes on other criminal investigations. My detectives have been working with them. If we can join forces with other law enforcement agencies in the county then it just makes us stronger where we can go out and serve justice to the people and especially the victims here in our county," said Sheriff Ray.

Those arrested so far in cases made by the Smithville Police Department include the following:

36 year old Andre Wakefield of Foster Road, Smithville- indicted charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Cocaine). His bond is $60,000.

23 year old Brian Thomason (incarcerated in the DeKalb County Jail)- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone). His bond is $30,000.

36 year old Christopher Scruggs of Big Hurricane Road, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Methamphetamine). His bond is $30,000

39 year old Donald Perry, Jr. of Foster Road, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Cocaine). His bond is $30,000.

23 year old Lesley Lawrence of Foster Road, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Cocaine). Her bond is $30,000.

Meanwhile those arrested so far in cases made as a result of the joint investigation by the Smithville Police Department and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department include the following:

28 year old Brandon Gurley of Bell Street, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance ( Methamphetamine). His bond is $30,000.

23 year old Jamie Lee Hodges of Old Bildad Road, Smithville-indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Methamphetamine). Her bond is $60,000.

55 year old Susan Jean (Jeana) Brown of East Broad Street, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine)

50 year old Terry Lee Price of East Bryant Street, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine). His bond is $30,000. In addition to the charges in the indictment, Price was found with drugs on him at the time of his arrest and he was further charged under a state warrant with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid) with intent to resale. His bond is $2,500. Sheriff Ray said that Price had in his front pocket a black pill container which held three dilaudid pills. He also had $383 in cash in denominations of $20's, $10's, $5's, and one dollar bills. Price could not explain how be obtained the money. The cash was seized.

36 year old Sharon Groshon Malone of West Point Road, Smithville- indicted on charges of sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine) and (Dilaudid). Her bond is $60,000.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 11th.

Harry Lasser Named to Replace Nolan Turner on Election Commission

April 7, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Harry Lasser

A new member has been named to the DeKalb County Election Commission by the Tennessee Election Commission.

Harry Lasser, a resident of Smithville and Cookeville attorney, is replacing Nolan Turner as one of the two democratic members of the local commission. Turner served for 32 years. He was first appointed in 1979 and is completing his sixteenth and final term.

Kenneth Moore, the other democrat on the commission, has been reappointed. Moore has served since 1980.

The other three members of the DeKalb County Election Commission, Walteen Parker, Barbara Vanatta, and Jim Dean, have also been reappointed by the Tennessee Election Commission. Vanatta and Dean are beginning their second terms. Parker has served since 1992. All three are republicans.

Lasser was born in New Jersey but his family moved to the Lancaster community in 1982. Lasser is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the UT College of Law. An attorney since 1996, Lasser has had his law office in Cookeville for the last ten years. Lasser is a member of the Smithville First United Methodist Church and a youth league soccer coach.

Lasser and his wife Claudette have three children including Elizabeth, a student at DeKalb County High School; Alex, a DeKalb Middle School student; and Nate, a student at Northside Elementary School.

"I am honored to have been appointed to the election commission," said Lasser. "I believe the commission's tasks are of the utmost importance. Nothing is more important to our democracy than to ensure fair and transparent elections. I undertake this task with seriousness of purpose," said Lasser.

As for the man he is succeeding on the commission, Lasser added "I respect the service of Mr. Turner. He should be commended for his service to the voters of DeKalb County," said Lasser.

The state election commission made these appointments on Monday April 4th. The term of each member is for two years.

Since the state legislature is made up of a majority of GOP lawmakers, Republicans have the right to hold majority memberships on the Tennessee Election Commission as well as all county election commissions in Tennessee. The appointments to local commissions are made by the state election commission.

Regarding the political division of county election commissions, state law states that " three members shall be members of the majority party and two members shall be members of the minority party".

"The members of the majority party on the state election commission shall appoint the persons who are required to be members of that party on county election commissions."

"The members of the minority party on the state election commission shall appoint the persons who are required to be members of that party on county election commissions."

"When members of another statewide political party are required to be appointed to a county election commission, they shall be nominated by the party's state primary board."

"Before appointing county election commissioners, the members of the state election commission shall consult with the members of the general assembly serving each of the counties as to the persons to be appointed to the county election commissions".

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Election Commission will hold its monthly meeting April 19 at 5 p.m. at the Election Commission Office in the first floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Items on the agenda include, but are not limited to, reorganization of the board as per state law and the appointment of an Administrator of Elections as per state law.

Anyone interested in applying for the position of administrator of elections should send a resume to: DeKalb County Election Commission, P.O. Box 543, Smithville, TN 37166 or hand-deliver a copy to the election commission office in Room 104 of the DeKalb County Courthouse by NOON Friday, April 15, 2011.

Smithville Swimming Pool Under Repair

April 7, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
City Swimming Pool Under Repair
Smithville Swimming Pool Under Repair

The Smithville Municipal Swimming Pool is under repair by the Langley and Taylor Pool Corporation of Nashville

In February, the aldermen voted to accept a bid from Langley and Taylor in the amount of $83,649 to replace the fiberglass coating of the pool.

In his bid package, Taylor Dobbs of Langley and Taylor, wrote that the existing fiberglass coating is extremely thin (about 1/16 of an inch) and that it is already deteriorating in several areas. Under the proposal chosen by the city, Langley and Taylor will remove the fiberglass coating of the pool, plaster the pool with white marcite plaster and tile the gutters with 1x1 white tile.

The pool repairs should be completed by May 10th.

Thomason Indicted in Rash of Auto Burglaries

April 7, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brian Thomason

A local man accused in a rash of car burglaries in November has been indicted by the Grand Jury.

Brian Thomason is under indictment on seven counts of auto burglary, eight counts of theft under $500, vandalism under $500, and criminal simulation.

Detective Matt Holmes of the Smithville Police Department told WJLE after Thomason's arrest in December that these crimes occurred on Whaley and Cill Street.

According to Detective Holmes, Thomason is believed to have broken into and stolen items from vehicles parked at homes on 420 Whaley Street, 407 Whaley Street, 613 Cill Street, 620 Cill Street, and 701 Cill Street. The break-ins are believed to have occurred during the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 23rd before daylight.

The residents at all these addresses called police to report the break-ins and thefts later that morning after making the discoveries. Some people in the neighborhood also reported seeing a suspicious man on foot walking through the area that day carrying several bags.

After an investigation, Detective Holmes said Thomason was identified as a suspect in the case and that he was staying at a rent home on Dry Creek Road, which was supposed to be unoccupied at that time. Police were told by the owner that no one was to be in the residence and he assisted the officers in obtaining access to the home. Thomason and his girlfriend were found there along with nearly all the items reported stolen from the car burglaries on Whaley and Cill Streets.

Detective Holmes said Thomason admitted to committing the burglaries.

The criminal simulation indictment against Thomason stems from an incident in which he allegedly tried to pass a phony $100 bill at Pizza Hut on November 27th.

Thomason will appear in criminal court for arraignment on Monday, April 11th at 9:00 a.m.

Teachers and Students Preparing for TCAP Tests

April 6, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Michelle Burklow

Students in grades 3-8 will be taking the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Achievement Test starting Thursday, April 14th.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K to 6th grade said TCAP testing is conducted each spring. The Achievement Test is a timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in Reading/ Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Student results are reported to parents, teachers, and administrators later in the year. "The TCAP achievements tests use multiple choice questions that provides a measure of knowledge and applications skills in core academic areas. The results of these tests will provide information about the students progress," said Burklow.

"The TCAP achievement tests are mandated for grades 3 through 8. We have a testing window that begins April 14th and ends April 21st and during this time we will test in the four academic areas. On April 14th, our students will be taking the reading/language arts portion of the test. On Friday, April 15th, our students will be taking the math portion. On Monday, April 18th, students will be taking their science tests. On Tuesday, April 19th, students will be participating in the social studies test. Each day the tests will be given in two parts and each school will begin testing at 8:15 a.m. so its very important that students arrive to school by that time in order to begin their tests in the schools. Each school will have a variance in the schedule for the day because of different schedules throughout the school. Students will be testing in the morning as well as afternoon to accommodate small groups and various strategies that are used throughout the school in order to give the students the best opportunity to succeed on these tests," said Burklow.

Burklow urges parents to help their children prepare for the tests. "Teachers are working with all the students on testing strategies, but parents we need your help in order to encourage students to apply these strategies. Encourage your child to read and pay careful attention to all directions and to read all information and questions. Every bit of information is pertinent to that test. (Students) should read every possible answer. Even though that first or second choice sounds really good, it could actually be that the last choice is the very best answer. Try to get the answer by reasoning and eliminating wrong answers. After completion of the tests, use any remaining time to check your answers. The test has a minimum of 65 to 70 minutes. Most of our students will finish prior to that so (students) should utilize that additional time to go back over and check your answers. Do not rush through the tests. You will have ample time to finish the tests so take your time to focus on the questions and all the answer choices," said Burklow.

"Parents there's a few more things you can help us do that will make a big difference with your student during TCAP week. Help your child learn how to find information independently. Encourage your child to ask questions at home and in class. Gather available test preparation materials. Your child's teacher is now reviewing for the tests. Papers will be coming home so that you can review with your child at home. See that your child is rested and eats breakfast. Please have your child at school on time. Testing will begin at 8:15 a.m. Your child arriving to school on time will help him or her be relaxed for the tests. Please try to have your child at school during the testing window. Part of No Child Left Behind is that we do test 95% of our students. Some schools will have afternoon test sessions to test students who may have been absent or to accommodate students that test better in small groups. Its very important that your child stays at school all day. If you have appointments scheduled for the afternoon, please try to rearrange those so that those children are at school," said Burklow.

Three Sentenced in Criminal Court

April 6, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

In DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday, 29 year old Marie E. Biddle pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and theft over $500.

In the burglary case, Judge David Patterson ordered Biddle to serve six months but she was given credit for 175 days of time served. She will be on supervised probation for three years. In the theft case, Biddle was given a one year suspended sentence. She will be on supervised probation. Biddle must also make restitution. The sentences are to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with a General Sessions court case against her.

44 year old Jeffrey T. Oaks pleaded guilty to a fifth offense of driving under the influence. He received a two year sentence to serve 150 days. He will lose his drivers license for five years and pay a fine of $3,015. The sentence is to run concurrently with a case against him in Rutherford County. Oaks must complete an alcohol and drug assessment and comply with all recommendations. He must also attend an alcohol safety program. Oaks was given jail credit of 35 days.

30 year old Mark Green pleaded guilty to promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine. He received a three year sentence, all suspended to supervised probation. Green was fined $2,000 and given jail credit of 45 days.

Sheriff's Department Crime Report

April 6, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

In his weekly update on crime news, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that 29 year old William Travis Malone of Oak Street, Smithville is charged with three counts of violation of probation, one count of unlawful possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (xanax) for resale and one count of unlawful possession of a schedule II drug (dilaudid) for resale.

According to Sheriff Ray, on Friday April 1st, the sheriff's department crime suppression unit went to 107 Oak Street to serve three violation of probation warrants on Malone. He was upstairs in a bedroom. When officers entered the room they saw Malone, who had tried to climb out the window, climb back in. He faked tripping and fell to the floor. Malone then shoved a glass vial under the bed. The vial contained six blue pills and a bar pill believed to be xanax and two pills believed to be dilaudid. Officers also found on Malone a hypodermic needle in his back pocket and $787 in cash in another pocket. Malone could not account for how he obtained the money.

Malone's bond totals $5,500 and he will be in court on the charges next week.

24 year old Jason A. Sturdivant of Page Drive was issued a citation on Monday, March 28th for driving on a suspended license, violation of the child restraint law, violation of the registration law, and violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). His court date is April 20th.

Sheriff Ray said an officer stopped Sturdivant having prior knowledge that he did not have a valid drivers license. After making the traffic stop, the officer saw a four year old child in the vehicle with Sturdivant who was not properly restrained in a car seat. Sturdivant could not show proof of registration or insurance.

Stephanie Mosley of Brush Creek was issued a citation on Thursday, March 31st for driving on a revoked license, violation of the seat belt law, violation of the registration law, violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance), and for not having a child properly restrained in the car. She will be in court on April 27th.

According to Sheriff Ray, Mosely was stopped by a deputy for an improper display of tags. The tag did not match the vehicle. The officer discovered that her license were revoked and she could not produce a valid registration or insurance card. In the car with Mosely was an eight year old boy, who was sitting in the back seat without wearing a seat belt.

31 year old Christopher Scott Hough of Green Hill Road, Smithville was issued a citation on Friday, April 1st for expired tags and driving on a suspended license after being pulled over by a deputy on Highway 70 west. His court date is May 18th.

31 year old Abigail Vogel of Dale Ridge Road, Smithville was issued a citation on Friday, April 1st for driving on a revoked license and speeding. Her court date is July 13th. Sheriff Ray said Vogel was stopped on Highway 146 for speeding. She was clocked at 59 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour speed zone. A computer check revealed that her drivers license were revoked for a first offense of driving under the influence.

35 year old Keith Gordon Salisky of Circle Drive, Dowelltown was issued a citation on Friday April 1st for driving on a suspended license, violation of the light law, and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance (oxycodone). His court date is July 14th. Sheriff Ray said that Salisky was stopped on Highway 70 west for having a headlight out. The arresting officer reported that "when I approached the vehicle, Salisky dropped a cellophane wrapper in the floorboard which contained four 10 milligram oxycodone pills". A computer check revealed that his drivers license were suspended for failure to pay child support.

25 year old Cody L. Crips of Forrest Avenue, Smithville was charged on Saturday April 2nd for evading arrest. A capias was issued out of General Sessions Court for Crips' arrest after failing to appear. His bond totals $24,000 and he will be in court on April 7th. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday April 2nd, deputies went to a residence on Forrest Avenue to serve warrants on Crips but he tried to evade by hiding inside an entertainment center. After arriving, officers knocked on the front door of the home, looked through a window and saw Crips inside.. The deputies gave a verbal command for Crips to open the door but he refused. Armed with a capias to serve on Crips, officers made entry into the home and placed Crips in custody. The capias was issued apparently because Crips failed to appear in court for a second offense of driving under the influence, evading arrest, and driving on a revoked license.

A capias was issued out of General Sessions Court for 42 year old Victor Glen Gingerich of Jimmy Malone Road, Liberty for failing to appear on charges of driving on a suspended license, simple possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He will be in court April 7th. Gingerich is also charged with carrying a prohibited weapon and a third offense of driving on a suspended license. He was further issued a citation for driving an unregistered vehicle. He will appear in court on those offenses April 28th.

According to Sheriff Ray, on Monday, April 4th a deputy was patrolling on Highway 70 west when he saw a green sedan, traveling eastbound, cross three lanes of traffic and then start driving in the turning lane. The officer stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver, Gingerich. The deputy noticed that the license plate on the vehicle was not registered to this automobile. The vehicle was unregistered. The officer also saw a metal pipe, about fifteen inches long and wrapped in electrical tape, lying beside the driver's seat. A computer check revealed that Gingerich's license were suspended. His bond totals $12,500.

Amanda M. Daniels of Luttrell Avenue, Smithville was issued a citation on Saturday, April 2nd for driving on a suspended license and driving an unregistered vehicle. Her court date is May 11th. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy was patrolling on Anthony Avenue when he spotted a white sedan with Florida tags, which were expired. The vehicle was unregistered. After the officer pulled over the driver, Daniels, he asked for a computer check which revealed her license to be suspended.

27 year old Matthew Shawn Pettit of Doyle was issued two citations on Friday April 1st for violation of the child restraint law and one citation for violation of the seatbelt law. His court date is April 20th. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy was on Highway 146 when he noticed that the driver of a vehicle, Pettit, was not wearing a seatbelt. He pulled over the car and also found that two small children in the vehicle with Pettit, ages 3 and 4 years old, were not in a child restraint device.

50 year old Donald Gene Rigsby of Kings Court, Smithville was issued a citation for having his vehicle illegally setting in the roadway on Adcock Cemetery Road and violation of the open container law. His court date is April 20th. Sheriff Ray said that a deputy discovered Rigsby's vehicle parked on Adcock Cemetery Road, setting in the roadway where it could cause a traffic hazard. Upon stopping to check the car, the deputy saw an open container of beer within arms reach of the driver.

Sixty Three Indicted by DeKalb County Grand Jury

April 5, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page

Sixty three people were indicted by the April term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday including sixteen who were named in sealed indictments.

All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 11th at 9:00 a.m.

The names of the defendants and their charges are as follows:

Gary R. Ashford- Possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and a second offense of driving under the influence

Roy D. Atnip- Driving on a revoked license

Clay A. Bain- Possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, evading arrest, and possession of a weapon

Linda C. Barrett- Tampering with evidence, possession of a schedule II and III controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia

Aaron Preston Battle- Theft over $1,000

Jerry Anthony Bogle- Driving under the influence and violation of the implied consent law

Virginia Ruth Carrier- Theft under $500

Scott B. Carroll, Jr., Wesley J. Hayes, and Francisco I. Bustamonte- Initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine and reckless endangerment

Sandra L. Clark and Robert E. Rochefort- Initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine, tampering with evidence, possession of an illegal weapon, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia

Lois Nicole Cobble and Carlos L. Godsey- Child Abuse

Melvin L. Crips, Jr. and Tracy L. Haynes- Theft over $10,000 and Theft over $500

Charles J. Davis- Initiation of the Manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Donna Sue Estes- Possession of Paraphernalia

Amanda Farless- Initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine

Mark Fish, Jr.- Rape

Timothy W. Ford- Possession of contraband in a penal institution

Christopher J. Garrett, Brandon J. Gurley, and Jamie L. Hodges- Initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine and failure to carry a driver's license

Steven B. Goad- Vandalism over $500 and Leaving the scene of an accident

Nun'ez Gutierrez- Aggravated assault

Donald Ray Henson- Vehicular Homicide, driving under the influence, and leaving the scene

Greta Lynn Higgins- Driving under the influence

Harold L. Hutchings- Initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Roxanna N. Landis, Craig Hill, and Ricky Estes- Aggravated Robbery

Matthew Malachi Lawson- Theft over $1,000; Possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale; possession of a schedule IV controlled substance for resale; possession of paraphernalia; sale of a schedule II and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance; and aggravated burglary and theft over $500

Matthew M. Lawson and Chris M. Pack- Aggravated burglary and theft over $10,000

Joshua L. McCowan- Theft under $500 and possession of paraphernalia

Justin Lynn Murphy- Manufacturing a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of a schedule II, possession of a schedule IV, and possession of paraphernalia

Micah D. Murphy- Driving on a revoked license

Amy G. Odell- Initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia

Tommy Parsley- Evading arrest and a sixth offense of driving on a suspended licensed

Stephen Hunter Pugh- Possession of paraphernalia

Tony J. Reeder- Driving under the influence (4th offense), violation of the implied consent law, evading arrest with a motor vehicle, and resisting arrest

Justin H. Robb- Attempted aggravated robbery

Jeremy S. Shelton- Possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale and theft under $500

Sharon K. Skinner- Possession of paraphernalia

Brian Thomason- Auto burglary (7 charges), theft under $500 (8 charges), criminal simulation, and vandalism under $500

James H. Thomen- Driving under the influence

Ray D. Underwood- Promotion of methamphetamine

Juan Adam Valdivia- Driving on a suspended license (3rd offense)

Auston Corley Wood- Theft under $500

Sebrena Michelle Wright- Introduction of drugs into a penal institution

The names of those charged in sealed indictments cannot be released until they are arrested.

Henson Indicted for Vehicular Homicide

April 5, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Donald Ray Henson
Priscilla Judkins

A 51 year old man, involved in a fatal hit and run accident last September on Broad Street in Smithville has been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

Donald Ray Henson is indicted for vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of an accident which resulted in the death of 44 year old Priscilla Judkins. Henson will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 11th.

According to Smithville Police Officer Matt Farmer, Henson was traveling east on Broad Street in a Dodge Caravan when he rear-ended an eastbound 1994 Toyota pickup truck, driven by Randy Paris, who was stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of Broad and South Mountain Street.

Central dispatch received the call at 9:12 a.m on the morning of September 15th.

Officer Farmer said after crashing into Paris' truck, Henson left the scene, still heading east on Broad Street. Paris received minor injuries in the collision but refused EMS transport to the hospital. His truck received considerable damage.

Sheriff Patrick Ray then had a close encounter with Henson. According to the sheriff, he was driving west on Broad Street near Bumper's Drive-In and had pulled into the turning lane to make a turn when he saw the eastbound Dodge Caravan, also in the turning lane, fast approaching him. Sheriff Ray said he quickly maneuvered into the westbound lane and the van went on by him, still heading east.

Sheriff Ray said he turned around to catch up with the van and saw it turn into the parking lot of Curve's on East Broad Street. When he pulled in behind the van at Curves', Sheriff Ray said the man behind the wheel was trying to drive the van up an embankment. The van rolled back and came to a stop in the parking lot.

Sheriff Ray said when the driver got out of the van, he also noticed a woman passenger who appeared to be seriously injured. He called for an ambulance.

Henson was placed in custody by Smithville Police at the scene and Judkins was taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital. She was later airlifted by a helicopter ambulance and flown to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville where she died.

Henson, who was believed to have been intoxicated at the time of the crash, told police that his brakes "went out" and that his accelerator "hung". He also had in the van several cans of beer, three empty liquor bottles, and at least one bottle of Tequila which was half full.

Three Indicted for Aggravated Robbery of Liberty State Bank

April 4, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Craig Hill
Ricky Estes
 Roxanna Landis

Three people believed to have been involved in the robbery of Liberty State Bank at Liberty last August have been indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury.

38 year old Craig Hill, 45 year old Ricky Estes, and 26 year old Roxanna Landis all of Smithville have each been indicted on the charge of aggravated robbery.

All three will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, April 11th at 9:00 a.m.

Hill, who is accused of actually committing the robbery in which $6,000 was taken, turned himself in at the DeKalb County Jail on Saturday, August 14th, eleven days after the robbery on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Estes and Landis were arrested on August 20th.

After Hill's arrest, Sheriff Patrick Ray said that "On August 3rd, through an investigation into the robbery, Hill was identified through (bank surveillance) video tapes and other investigative tools to be the person responsible for the robbery. Lawmen had been searching for Hill ever since. Hill, who had been living out of town since this incident, came to the DeKalb County Jail to turn himself in on a violation of probation warrant. While there, he was questioned by Sheriff's Department Detectives about the robbery and admitted his involvement in the robbery of Liberty State Bank".

The warrant for his arrest alleged that "On or about the 3rd day of August 2010, Craig Anthony Hill did enter the Liberty State Bank in Liberty Tennessee presenting the teller with a note stating "Give me the money in 20's and 100's, I have a gun" thus putting the teller in fear of her life. The teller at that point took the cash from her drawer and gave it to Craig Hill as instructed. The amount of money taken during the robbery was in excess of $6,000."

According to Sheriff Ray, Estes "aided in the robbery of Liberty State Bank by being involved in the planning of the robbery and driving the get away car. He also shared in the proceeds from the robbery."

Sheriff Ray added that Landis "aided by being involved in the planning of the robbery, freely leaving in the get away vehicle, and sharing in the proceeds of the robbery".

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