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Smithville Police Charge Knoxville Man with Auto Theft

June 29, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A Knoxville man has been arrested by Smithville Police for an auto theft which occurred in March.

38 year old Bobby Joe Cooper is under a $6,500 bond on a charge of auto theft.

Police were called to Walmart on March 16 where a man reported his vehicle had been stolen from the parking lot by a man he knew, Cooper, from the Sober Living House.

The victim said he had a chance encounter with Cooper at Walmart and that he (Cooper) had asked him for a ride. The victim said he told Cooper to wait until he got his shopping done. But after the victim finished his shopping and left the store he discovered his car was gone. The man told the officer that he left his keys in the ignition and suspected that Cooper had taken the vehicle. The victim said Cooper, who has a drug problem, had left Sober Living where he was residing. During the investigation, Police viewed surveillance video from Walmart and observed Cooper get into the car and drive away leaving the parking lot. A warrant was taken for Cooper’s arrest and he was picked up on May 16.

30 year old Karri Margaret Jewells was cited for theft on Friday, May 18. According to police, the victim filed a report on March 15 informing an officer that a woman believed to be Jewells had taken some gardening tools and clothing items from the porch of her home as well as her vehicle without her knowledge or consent. The victim was later informed by another woman that Jewells had tried to sell those items to her. After a further investigation, Jewells was cited for theft. Her court date is June 7.

30 year old Brandon Herndon of Forrest Avenue was arrested on Sunday, May 20 for public intoxication and cited for shoplifting. Police were called to Wal-Mart to check on a possible shoplifter who appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the man, Herndon and observed his speech to be slow and slurred. Herndon was unsteady on his feet and he could barely stay awake while speaking with officers. Herndon was placed under arrest for his safety and that of the public. During a search incident to arrest, police found concealed on Herndon’s person several items that he hadn’t paid for which belonged to Wal-Mart. Bond for Herndon is $1,500 and his court date is June 7.

20 year old Cody W. Chastain of Village Place was cited on Sunday, May 20 for theft of property. Chastain was found to have $99.00 worth of merchandise belonging to Dollar General Store in his backpack which he had not purchased. His court date is June 7.

66 year old Betty Sue George of West Main Street was arrested on Monday, May 21 for domestic assault. Police were called to George’s residence in reference to a domestic assault. Upon arrival the officer was informed that George confronted the victim accusing her of making false statements about her. George then attempted to grab or push the victim leaving her with visible scratch marks on her neck and chest. After a brief struggle, the victim was able to push George away. Bond for George is $3,500 and her court date is June 7.

26 year old Joshua Beckham of White Street was arrested on Monday, May 21 for two counts of aggravated assault, public intoxication, and resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search. Police were called to a residence at 319 Jackson Street due to a fight. According to the victims, Beckham came to their residence while they were outside and he approached them in an aggressive and threatening manner holding a cooking pot over his head. A fight then ensued between Beckham and one of the victim’s. Upon arrival, the officers observed that Beckham was being restrained by members of a large crowd which had gathered at the scene and that he was bleeding profusely from the area of his head and face. Beckham broke free and started toward the officers in an aggressive manner before turning again toward the crowd. After Beckham refused to comply with their commands to get on the ground, officers fired a taser at him. EMS then transported Beckham to the hospital and police obtained warrants for his arrest. Upon Beckham’s release from the hospital he was taken into custody. Bond for Beckham is $14,500 and his court date is June 14.

23 year old Crystal Smith of McMinnville was arrested for public intoxication, simple possession (meth) and she was cited for simple possession (pills). Police were called to the Dairy Queen Sunday, May 20 to check on a woman who was suspected of being under the influence of drugs. Upon arrival officers spoke with the woman, Smith, who was acting and talking very erratically. She appeared to be under the influence of some substance. Smith was then placed in custody for her safety and transported to the police department. Police learned that Smith had used methamphetamine earlier that day and she handed them a small metal container which held a plastic baggie of a white substance believed to be meth weighing less than a gram. The metal container also held a 20 and 60 milligram Vyvanse capsule, a hydrocodone pill and half of another pill which was unidentifiable. Smith had no prescription for the pills. Her bond is $6,000 and her court date is June 7.

An investigation by Smithville Police into suspicious activity in the area of College Street and Bill Page Ball Park has resulted in citations or arrests against several people.

30 year old Karri Margaret Jewells and 35 year old Jimmy Joel Farris were cited for criminal trespassing on Monday, May 21 while 30 year old Christopher J. Luna of Cookeville was arrested on failure to appear warrants from Maury County and 53 year old Randy Anderson of Columbia was taken into custody on a felony warrant for violation of parole in Van Buren County.

The department began an investigation after receiving calls and complaints of several people moving in and out of a wooded area on foot periodically during the day north of Bill Page Ball Park in the area of 513 South College Street. Police have also received calls of suspicious vehicles left parked and unoccupied in the alley north of the ball parks.

According to police, the suspicions have given rise to concerns that someone may be cooking methamphetamine in the woods for resale.

After speaking with the property owners about the complaints on Tuesday, May 15, police learned that no one had permission to be on the site. The next day, officers again received complaints and went to the site where they found both Jewells and Farris, who had camping supplies and a tent set up. Both were ordered to get their belongings off the property by the following Monday, May 21 as they were trespassing. Jewells was immediately taken into custody due to a theft offense against her in a separate incident but she was later released after being issued a citation.

When police followed up with a return visit to the property on Monday, May 21, they found both Jewells and Farris still there along with their tent and camping gear. Both were cited for criminal trespassing and given one more day to evacuate. Luna and Anderson were also present on the property along with two other women. The women were not arrested but both Luna and Anderson were taken into custody on separate warrants. Luna and Anderson informed police that they had recently left the local halfway house.

Found on the ground at the campsite in plain view was a clear baggy of a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine along with some needles including one needle loaded with a liquid substance. All parties were given a verbal warning to not be back on the property without consent of the owners. Jewells and Farris will make a court appearance on June 14.

Public Asked for Donations to Replace Stolen Bronze Stars from Veterans Monument

May 29, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A fundraising effort is underway to replace six bronze stars stolen off the veteran’s memorial monument at Green Brook Park last fall.

The public is asked to support the fundraiser. According to spokesperson Joyce Poss, it will take approximately $1,200 to $1,500 to replace the bronze stars.

“I need names of those wishing to make a pledge and the amount you are willing to pledge. If we get enough pledges, the city will take care of getting the bronze stars ordered. All I need at this time is input and help getting this done. Any amount you can give will be appreciated,” said Poss.

Call 615-597-5164 and leave a message including your name and telephone number and Joyce will return your call.

An off duty city employee discovered the theft last September.

According to City Public Works Director Kevin Robinson, the employee was in the park and noticed that the stars were missing from the monument. Its not known exactly when the theft occurred. City officials believe whoever committed the theft used a pry bar to remove the stars .

The monument and two cannons, once located on the grounds of the former VFW Howard Gill Post 7623 on the Sparta Highway, were relocated to Green Brook Park after the Post was closed three years ago. The six sided monument stands in tribute to those from DeKalb County who lost their lives during the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Iraqi Freedom.

Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins said the Police Department is seeking tips from the public. If you have information that may help solve the crime contact Crime Stoppers at 615-464-6199

Franklin Praises Defenders of Freedom (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 28, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Vietnam Veteran and former TWRA officer Ben Franklin honored fallen soldiers and those still living who carry the scars of combat during his remarks at Monday’s Memorial Day observance at the county complex.

Franklin praised those who laid down their lives for this country, saying they did it to preserve the Constitution and the freedoms it stands for. It is because of them, Franklin said that we get to enjoy the Liberty we have today.

“I have been to 17 foreign countries but there is no place like the USA. We have more freedom than anybody anywhere, “ he said.

In today’s society, Franklin said many have a misplaced view of heroism.

M2U02761 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

“In my opinion they have a misguided perception of heroes. Most of them think they are people who can run fast or throw and catch a ball. Those who run up to each other and bump their chests and throw high fives. My idea of a hero is a 19 or 20 year old with a gun 6,000 miles away from home in Afghanistan or Iraq who doesn’t know who his enemy is. That is my idea of a hero,” he added.

Franklin admonished the audience to always remember those who served, both fallen soldiers and living veterans, as well as their families; those who treated wounded warriors during combat; POW’s and MIA’s; and the veterans who committed suicide due to the horrors of war after they returned home.

He also encouraged people to always exercise their privilege of voting and support candidates who will stand for the Constitution and “won’t take our freedoms away”, said Franklin.

Choking back emotion, Franklin closed his remarks by saying “God Bless the families of the soldiers who have died for this country. God Bless the Veterans and the Military soldiers who are serving today and God Bless America”.

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