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Marty Tallent Gets Two Year Sentence for Evading Arrest

September 8, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

A 55 year old man who led Smithville Police on a 12 mile pursuit from the city limits to Silver Point over two years ago was sentenced Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Marty Tallent entered a plea to evading arrest and received a two year sentence to serve. He was given jail credit of 242 days

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins told WJLE at the time that the incident began on the morning of August 12, 2019 when then Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes spotted Tallent in front of him driving recklessly in his Volkswagen Jetta on South Congress Boulevard near the New Life Pentecostal Church.

“He (Lieutenant Detective) Holmes noticed a vehicle acting strangely in front of him (on South Congress Boulevard). That vehicle (Tallent’s car) then just stopped in the middle of the road in front of Holmes,” said Chief Collins.

Holmes could be heard on the police scanner reporting to central dispatch that he (Tallent) kept braking trying to get him (Holmes) to hit him.

“Tallent then pulled over to the shoulder and back into oncoming traffic before doing a uturn causing an approaching motorist to almost wreck,” Chief Collins continued.

According to Police, Tallent flipped Holmes a bird as he made his getaway.

Lieutenant Detective Holmes then turned around and gave chase as Tallent headed north on Congress Boulevard running through traffic lights speeding out of town. Chief Collins, Captain Steven Leffew, and Officer Will Judkins joined the pursuit which continued often at high speeds on Highway 56 north (Cookeville Highway) out of the city.

Chief Collins eventually took over as the lead officer in the pursuit and tried to ram Tallent’s car as the chase neared Interstate 40 at Silver Point in Putnam County .

“As we were nearing the church at Silver Point running 60-70 miles per hour I noticed there was a lot of traffic so I thought now would be my time. When he (Tallent) hit his brakes like he was going to stop in the line of traffic, I tried to get around to slow him down but when I pulled up beside him he rammed me in the passenger side of my patrol car but I was going fast enough that I was able to get in front of him. Tallent then got onto the shoulder of the oncoming lane and tried to pass me but I rammed him and the impact sent his car into a yaw before it shot across the road toward the driveway of a residence. Lieutenant Detective Holmes then rammed Tallent’s car and it spun around before coming to a stop,” said Chief Collins.

The officers jumped from the patrol cars and drew their weapons as they approached Tallent but they placed him under arrest without incident.

Putnam and DeKalb EMS responded but no one had to be transported to the hospital although Chief Collins sustained a sore foot from the incident.

The patrol cars driven by Chief Collins and Lieutenant Detective Holmes were damaged and taken out of service at the time.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crashes

Johnson Sentenced for Solicitation of Minor

September 8, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

A man who allegedly tried to solicit sex with a minor in 2017 was sentenced Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

43 year old Jason Dwayne Johnson entered a plea to solicitation of a minor and received a two year suspended sentence and his name will be on the state’s sex offender registry.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that from April, 2017 to November 27, 2017 “Johnson did by electronic communication intentionally request, persuade, invite, or attempt to induce a person (female) whom he knows or should know is less than 18 years of age to engage in conduct that if completed would constitute a violation by the soliciting adult of the offense of statutory rape”.

Redistricting Plan Headed to County Commission for Approval

September 7, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Only four districts and 264 people in DeKalb County would be affected by a proposed redistricting plan which is being recommended to the county commission for approval

The DeKalb County Redistricting Committee met Tuesday night at the courthouse and adopted the plan as prepared and proposed by John Thomas, GIS specialist with the Tennessee Comptroller’s office.

The law requires that counties undergo redistricting every ten years following the US census count to ensure that each district is equally populated or as close to equal as possible. The overall deviation from the optimum population cannot be more than 10%. In DeKalb County’s case, the overall deviation based on the 2020 Census was 11% so minor shifts in population were made to comply with the law. By simply moving 158 people from District 3 to District 2 and shifting 106 residents from District 5 to District 6, the redistricting committee achieved its goal and brought the overall deviation down to 7.5%.

DeKalb County’s total population based on the 2020 Census is 20,080.

The following is a breakdown of the total population in each of the seven districts in the county and the deviation from the optimum in each. The optimum is the total population of 20,080 divided by 7 or almost 2,869 people per district:

District 1: Total Population- 2,860 (-9 people or 0% deviation from optimum)
District 2: Total Population- 2,691 (-178 people or -6% deviation)
District 3: Total Population- 2,992 (+123 people or 4% deviation)
District 4: Total Population- 2,948 (+79 people or 3% deviation)
District 5: Total Population- 2,945 (+76 people or 3% deviation)
District 6: Total Population-2,663 (-206 people or -7% deviation)
District 7: Total Population 2,981 (+112 people or 4% deviation)

During Tuesday night’s meeting Thomas explained that by law population shifts under redistricting must be done in census blocks which are statistical areas bounded by visible features such as roads and streams. Thomas further defined the boundaries in the districts where the population shifts would be made under this plan.

“We propose to move 158 people from District 3 to District 2. This area is bounded on the northeast by State Route 83; on the north by Vickers Hollow Road; on the southeast by Short Mountain Road; and on the southwest by Lee Braswell Road,” said Thomas.

“We also propose moving 106 people from District 5 to District 6. This area is bounded on the north by Turner Road; on the west by Jacobs Pillar Road; on the south by Cappy Springs Branch; and on the east by McMinnville Highway,” Thomas added.

All members of the Redistricting Committee in attendance voted in favor of the plan which will now go to the full county commission for final approval at its next regular meeting on Monday, September 27. Before the meeting the state will prepare a map showing the new realigned districts which will be published for the full county commission and public to view.

Once the county commission adopts a redistricting plan, the election commission will go to work setting voting precincts and updating voter rolls in time for the 2022 elections.

In addition to Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley, who serves as Chairman, members of the Redistricting committee are County Mayor Tim Stribling and County Commissioners Shaee Flatt from the 1st district, Myron Rhody- 2nd district, Susannah Cripps Daughtry- 3rd district, Janice Fish-Stewart- 4th district, Anita Puckett – 5th district, Matt Adcock – 6th district, and Bruce Malone from the 7th district. The two school board members appointed are Jim Beshearse of the 3rd district and Shaun Tubbs of the 7th district. All were present Tuesday night except Rhody.

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