Smithville Police say there has been an increase in reports of counterfeit currency recently and all citizens and local business owners are asked to especially be on alert.
Lieutenant Steven Leffew, Officer in Charge, says counterfeit twenty dollar bills have been reported in increasing regularity. The Smithville Police Department asks that all citizens and business owners call the department if you have questions.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Leffew reports that investigators of the District Attorney General's Office have determined that recent allegations against Investigator Jerry Hutchins, Jr. by Chris Whitney are unfounded. On November 16th a formal complaint was filed against Hutchins by Whitney. The complaint alleged that Whitney's criminal history was released to a private citizen and that a case involving a minor was not properly investigated. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, Lieutenant Leffew recommended that an independent agency investigate the complaint. The complaint was forwarded to the District Attorney General's Office for further investigation. On December 17th, Lieutenant Leffew met with investigators of the District Attorney General's Office. During this meeting investigators reported that all allegations were unfounded.
In crime news, 62 year old Sharon Maureen Hindsley of 830 South Mountain Street was arrested on Monday, December 14th for public intoxication. According to the report, Officer Matt Farmer was dispatched to Highway 70 and Highway 56 in response to a call concerning a woman who was attempting to cross the road from Hardees to Mapco Express. The complainant said that the woman was almost hit twice while crossing the road and appeared very unsteady on her feet. The woman was reported to be wearing blue jeans and a brown jacket. Officer Farmer says upon arrival, he was told that the woman may have gone into Mapco. He then saw her standing by the beer coolers near the rear of the store. She appeared very unsteady on her feet and was having to hold onto things to negotiate turns in the aisle ways. Officer Farmer says the woman approached him and he recognized her as Ms. Hindsley. After inquiring about her condition, Ms. Hindsley told Officer Farmer that she was okay. He asked her if she had any medical conditions and she said no. During this conversation, Ms. Hindsley had to lean against a rack of candy to keep from falling. He asked her why she was having trouble keeping her balance and she said that she had been drinking. Officer Farmer asked how much she had drank and she said one, then two beers. She then said that she hadn't been drinking alcohol, just beer. He noticed a smell of an intoxicating beverage on her breath. She was placed under arrest for public intoxication. Her bond is $1,000 and she will be in General Sessions Court on January 7th.
38 year old Angel Ferrell of 527 R. Arnold Road was arrested Wednesday, December 16th for theft. Officer Matt Holmes reports that on December 12th he was dispatched to 849 Luttrell Avenue in reference to a theft of property. Upon arrival, Officer Holmes made contact with the complainant, Jean Hayes who stated that her purse was missing. Ms. Hayes stated that on December 12th she went to work and placed her purse in the trunk of her vehicle and when she got home she could not locate it. On Wednesday, December 16th at approximately 3:00 p.m. while conducting a follow up investigation, Officer Holmes met with Angel Ferrell at the Smithville Police Department where it was determined that Ms. Ferrell took Ms. Hayes car keys from her coat pocket, used them to enter the trunk of Ms. Hayes' vehicle, and stole the purse.
40 year old Donna Sue Blankenship of 215 North High Street, McMinnville was arrested Friday, December 18th for a second offense of driving under the influence, violation of implied consent and possession of drug paraphernalia while 35 year old Ernest Paul Barnwell of 604 Ginger Drive, Smithville was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officer Matt Holmes reports that he was dispatched to the area of Jewels Market to check out a green KIA that was observed weaving on South Congress Boulevard. Upon arrival, Officer Holmes saw an employee of Jewels Market standing beside a green KIA, waving him over. Officer Holmes found inside the parked vehicle, a man and a woman who were both slumped over. He knocked on the window and the woman raised up. Officer Holmes says he saw what looked like to be a crushed pill on the console and a cut straw in the floor board with residue. At that point he asked the woman to exit the vehicle where she was asked to perform sobriety tasks. Officer Holmes administered the horizontal gaze and nystagmus test to which her eyes appeared to be very jerky. Ms. Blankenship said she had prescribed medication for her back and that she would not be able to do any more of the tests. When asked if she had her drivers license, Blankenship replied "yes". She added that she had driven there. A check of her license revealed they were suspended.
As for Barnwell, who was in the passenger's seat. Officer Holmes and Sergeant Randy King tried to wake him but were unsuccessful on numerous attempts. EMS personnel were called to the scene but he became conscious and alert upon their arrival and signed a refusal form. A search of the vehicle turned up a red cut straw in the driver's side floor board with residue, two open containers of Bud Light in the console which were cold, a yellow powder residue on the center console and an open bottle of Dasani water with a used hypodermic needle inside on the passenger's side.
Ms Blankenship's eyes were very droopy and her speech was slurred. Her pupils were dilated and she was unsteady on her feet.
Again, Barnwell was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia for having the hypodermic needle. Blankenship was arrested for a second offense of driving under the influence, violation of implied consent, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also cited for violation of the open container law and driving on a suspended license. Officer Holmes asked Blankenship to submit to a blood test, after explaining implied consent. She refused to submit to a blood test but did sign the implied consent refusal form.
Meanwhile, anyone having any information on the following offense is asked to please contact the Smithville Police Department at 597-8210 or the Tip Line at 464-6046.
On December 11th at approximately 3:18 p.m., Corporal Travis K Bryant responded to 740 Walker Drive in response to a call concerning a vandalism to a vehicle. Upon arrival, he made contact with the complainant identified as Peggy Gibbs who said that she had last seen the vehicle before the vandalism at about 5:00 p.m. on December 10th. She discovered the damage December 11th at approximately 2:18 p.m. The damage was to the drivers side door handle and the dash had been pried open causing the upper part of the dash to burst. Total value of the damage is estimated at $300.
Any information received that will help Smithville Police solve any criminal offense will be greatly appreciated. All information is confidential.