Orlando Again Denied Parole in DeKalb Murder

March 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

45 year old Christopher Nicholas Orlando has heard from members of the Tennessee Board of Parole and the news for him isn’t good. He will have to spend at least two more years in prison.

Orlando is serving a 35 year prison sentence for facilitation of first degree murder in the death of 20 year old Joshua Murphy. He is incarcerated at the Morgan County Correctional Complex in Wartburg, Tennessee. A previous conviction against Orlando for possession of cocaine ran consecutively with the murder case and expired in 2009. Orlando’s sentence in the murder case is due to expire in 2039. He has served almost 16 years.

Members of the parole board held a hearing for Orlando on Monday, March 5. He was denied parole due to the seriousness of the offense but the case will be reconsidered in March, 2020.

Murphy was shot and killed in a secluded area in the Laurel Hill Community at the end of Old Eagle Creek Road on Sunday, September 15, 2002. His body was discovered three days later. Officials said Orlando and a co-defendant, 46 year old Melvin Turnbill suspected Murphy of stealing methamphetamine. Orlando was tried and convicted of the crime by a DeKalb County Criminal Court Jury in April, 2004.

Turnbill entered a guilty plea to facilitation to first-degree murder in September, 2003 and was given a 25-year sentence. Turnbill was granted parole in March 2015 after serving more than twelve years but he ran afoul of the law again in Putnam County and was sent back to prison in 2016. Turnbill was again granted parole after a hearing last month. He has been incarcerated at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex at Pikeville.

At his last parole hearing two years ago, Orlando said he was sorry for the death of Murphy and for the first time took responsibility for being the triggerman in the shooting. In the previous parole hearing five years ago Orlando blamed Turnbill for actually committing the murder.

During a parole hearing almost four years ago, Turnbill said he handed the murder weapon, a shotgun to Orlando at the crime scene, and that Orlando did the shooting.

DeKalb Jobless Rate for January at 4.7%

March 21, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County’s unemployment rate for January was 4.7%, up from 3.9% in December but well below the 6.2% rate recorded in January, 2017.

The local labor force for January was 7,720. A total of 7,350 were employed and 370 were without work.

Jobless rates for January among the fourteen counties in the Upper Cumberland region were as follows from highest to lowest:
Clay: 5.6%
Cumberland: 5.4%
Jackson: 5.1%
DeKalb: 4.7%
Van Buren: 4.7%
Fentress: 4.5%
Overton: 4.5%
Warren: 4.1%
White: 3.9%
Putnam: 3.7%
Smith: 3.5%
Cannon: 3.4%
Macon: 3.3%

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) released county unemployment statistics for January 2018 last week which showed that a vast majority of the state’s 95 counties continue to record unemployment rates under 5 percent and every county’s rate was lower than it was in January 2017.

Williamson County continued to have Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, which is a 0.3 percent increase from December.

At 2.7 percent, Davidson and Cheatham Counties tied for the second lowest unemployment rates in the state. Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Moore, Knox, Robertson, and Lincoln Counties rounded out the list of the top ten lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee. Robertson and Lincoln Counties were not part of December’s top ten list.

“Because of seasonal employment trends, Tennessee typically sees a slight uptick in county unemployment at the start of the year,” explained TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “But the year-to-year comparison of statistics shows just how well the state is doing when it comes to job creation.”

Many counties saw a decrease of 2 percent or more in year-to-year comparisons. Two counties once again stand out when comparing unemployment statistics from January 2018 to January 2017.

In east Tennessee, Scott County’s unemployment situation has improved significantly in comparison to same time last year. In January of 2017 the county’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent. This year, the rate in Scott County was 4.8 percent, a drop of 3.3 percentage points.

Lake County in west Tennessee has also experienced significant job growth over the last year. Last January the county had an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent. During January 2018 the county recorded a rate of 6.4 percent, a difference of 3.7 percentage points.

“This is a great example of how Tennessee’s economy is not only strong in its metropolitan areas, but it is also doing well in many of the state’s more rural counties,” Commissioner Phillips said.

Tennessee had a statewide unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in January, which was the sixth lowest in the nation. The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent last month.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

Benefit Singing for Family of Joseph Bowen

March 20, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A Benefit singing in honor of Officer Joseph Bowen will be Saturday, March 24 at 6 p.m. at the County Complex on South Congress Boulevard. The singing will feature Blood Bought and Wendell Judkins and the Singing Believers. All proceeds will go to Officer Bowen’s wife and family.

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