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Smithville Man Indicted in Smith County for Attempted First Degree Murder

December 14, 2018

A Smithville man has been indicted on two counts of attempted first degree murder in Smith County for allegedly shooting at two deputies.

According to the Carthage Courier, a 10 count indictment was handed down by the grand jury on December 3 against 44 year old Steve F. Mabe, Jr..

In addition to firing at officers, Mabe is charged with illegal possession of various drugs, unlawful possession of a weapon, theft of property and evading arrest.

The indictment alleges Mabe attempted to kill sheriff’s department Sgt. Jimmy Gregory and Deputy Nick Campbell during an incident which occurred on October 5, 2017, on Ward Hollow Road near the Brush Creek community.

The following is an account of the incident at the time as reported by the Smith County Insider

Sgt. Jimmy Gregory of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a Ward Hollow residence in Brush Creek following a report of someone trying to break into a vehicle.

Gregory arrived in the area just after 1 a.m. and drove around to see if there was anyone walking down the road. On his way back, he noticed a red Jeep Cherokee next to a building. He went on down to the residence and made contact with the complainant.

According to the arrest warrant, the complainant stated that her dogs were barking at something. She looked out her son’s window and saw a man standing next to her car.

The complainant set the car alarm off and stated that she heard a man and female arguing in the woods beside her house, according to the arrest warrant. She then stated that she heard what sounded like an ATV start up and drive off, according to the arrest warrant.

Around this time, Deputy Nick Campbell arrived at the location. Gregory and Campbell drove up the road and parked.

The officers walked down to a trailer and looked around it but didn’t see anything out of place. They then started walking down the road a bit farther and saw the red Jeep start up and drive a short distance into the woods.

Per the arrest warrant, Gregory described the Jeep as being “kind of loud” and that it could be mistakened for an ATV.

The officers crossed the cable at the building and started walking toward a wooded area.

When Gregory and Campbell were about 25 to 30 yards from the Jeep, a flash and gun shot came from the other side of the vehicle, according to the arrest warrant.

Gregory announced themselves as being with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and for those in the Jeep to come out with their hands up, but they took off running into the woods, according to the arrest warrant.

Dispatch was alerted of shots fired and the SRT Team (Special Response Team) was activated and sent to the officers’ location.

While waiting for the entire team to show up, Gregory heard the Jeep start up. He got on his PA and stated that “this is the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, come out with your hands up,” according to the arrest warrant.

Two male individuals, Joshua Spurlock (25, Silver Point, Tennessee) and Richard Davidson (23, Smithville), walked out of the wooded area and were taken into custody. They stated they had been working on a truck, according to the arrest warrant.

When the rest of the team showed up, they started clearing out vehicles as they came to them. Along the way, they came into contact with a camper on the property, which they advanced to.

While searching the camper, Martha Hale (37, Smithville) was found hiding under a bed with a rifle beside her, according to the arrest warrant.

Hale was placed in custody and then taken back to the staging area with the weapon.

At that point, the search turned to Steve Mabe (44, Smithville). The officers cleared the building behind the camper and then started down some trails.

As they were going through the woods, they came into a clearing where marijuana plants were growing.
Gregory and Lt. Jenkins stayed behind at the camper to guard the plants. While waiting, they heard movement behind them.

The officers went back to the patch, and when they turned on their flashlights, they saw Mabe standing over a bundle of marijuana.

Mabe was told to freeze, and he took off running. As he was running, he turned to the right and fell, according to the arrest warrant.

When Jenkins and Gregory made it to the area where he fell, they looked for him.

According to the arrest warrant, Mabe had put on a ghillie suit and was hiding in the weeds.

Mabe was then found and taken into custody, and Deputy Silcox and Sgt. Gregory took him to the staging area. According to the arrest warrant, a Kel Tec .9 mm fell from Mabe’s waistband.

They went back to the Jeep and found the casing that had been fired earlier, according to the arrest warrant.
When they got Mabe back to the staging area, he was searched again, and a metal box with five oxycodone 15 mg were found in his pocket along with a blue plastic container with 27.3 g of meth in it. They then went back and harvested the marijuana and brought it out.Units from Gordonsville, South Carthage and Carthage P.D. responded for backup initially and helped set up a perimeter and transport suspects.
Spurlock and Davidson were held for investigation and then released.

Sarah J. Cripps to Address Tech Grads on Saturday

December 14, 2018

Tennessee Tech’s 856 fall graduates will hear ideas on how to be lifelong learners during Saturday’s commencement ceremonies.

Sarah J. Cripps, a 1994 Tech graduate, attended public school in DeKalb County and was the first totally blind student to have been mainstreamed in Tennessee public school system throughout the entirety of her secondary school career.

Cripps returns to her alma mater as the commencement speaker where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a 4.0 grade point average and received the university’s highest honor, the Derryberry Award. While at Tech, she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Phi Alpha Theta, Omicron Delta Kappa and was named a Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

Cripps earned a law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law and over the past 20 years has maintained a solo practice in Smithville. She also served as Smithville’s city attorney for several years.

She is married to Raymond Mack Garner, an attorney in Maryville, who serves as the elected fifth district public defender. They have two dogs: Iris Bronte Cripps, a Yorkshire terrier; and Penny Garner, a Standard Poodle.

Her hobbies include playing the guitar and singing folk music, reading, swimming and hiking.

Graduates of the arts and sciences, engineering, interdisciplinary studies and nursing programs will walk in the 9:30 a.m. commencement while graduates of the agriculture and human ecology, business and education programs will walk in the 2 p.m. commencement.

The fall 2018 graduating class consist of women and men from 73 counties throughout Tennessee, 24 states and 28 other countries. Those receiving undergraduate degrees represent 38 fields of study while those receiving graduate degrees represent 25 fields of study.

Commencement ceremonies will be held in the Hooper Eblen Center.

Woman Killed in Liberty Car Crash

December 14, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A 28 year old Smithville woman lost her life in a two car crash Thursday night on Highway 70 at Liberty.

Dead is Amanda L. Smith.

According to the accident report filed by Trooper Chris Delong of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Smith and 30 year old Raymond H. Rollins of Smithville were in a white 1998 Ford Mustang traveling west in the eastbound lanes and struck a 2014 Honda Accord, driven by 36 year old Charlie R. Holman  of Sparta who was eastbound in the right hand lane. As Holman attempted to swerve left to avoid a collision, the right front end of the Mustang struck his car on the passenger side. At last report the THP had not determined whether Smith or Rollins had been driving the Mustang. Both Rollins and Holman sustained non-life threatening injuries in the crash

Smith was not airlifted as previously reported. DeKalb EMS performed CPR on Smith at the scene and transported her to Ascension Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital where she was pronounced dead. A helicopter ambulance had been summoned but was later cancelled.

Members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene.


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