Local News Articles

Intoxicated Woman Found with Bags of Pills During Traffic Stop

May 21, 2015
Dwayne Page
Michelle Renee Yarbro
Tolesha Alberta Suggs
Clinton Lane Cope
Steven Lee Gebhardt
Robert James Clay
Sheena Arlene George

A Murfreesboro woman believed to be intoxicated was found with bags of pills in her vehicle during a recent traffic stop by a county deputy.

37 year old Michelle Renee Yarbro of Murfreesboro is charged with driving under the influence, possession of a schedule III drug for resale (hydrocodone), and possession of a schedule IV drug for resale (Alprazolam). She is further cited for simple possession of a schedule II drug (Opana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond totals $11,500 and she will make a court appearance June 4. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, May 11 a deputy was dispatched to the intersection of Highway 96 (Murfreesboro Highway) and Highway 70 west due to a report of a female slumped over the steering wheel of a blue car setting on the edge of the highway. The officer stopped and spoke with the driver, Yarbro who appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant. Her speech was slurred and she was unable to stand or keep her eyes open. The officer found in the vehicle a baggie containing nineteen hydrocodone pills and a baggie with nineteen and a half Alprazolam pills all believed to be for resale. The deputy also recovered a cut off straw from the floor board and one Opana 10 milligram pill which was found on Yarbro's person.

32 year old Tolesha Alberta Suggs of Old West Point Road, Smithville is charged with simple possession of a schedule VI drug and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court June 11. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, May 14 a deputy stopped to conduct a welfare check on a gold Nissan Altima and spoke with Suggs who was sitting in the driver seat. After obtaining consent to search the vehicle, the officer found underneath where Suggs was sitting a small black bag which held a sandwich baggie containing .18 ounces of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. He also discovered a half empty container of Bud Lite beer and under the driver's side seat was a pipe containing residue. A computer check revealed that Suggs' drivers license were suspended by the state for medical reasons on November 7, 2013.

25 year old Clinton Lane Cope of Smith Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. He is under a $2,000 bond and will make a court appearance May 28. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, May 14 a deputy was dispatched to Midway Road due to a domestic assault. Upon arrival, Cope's mother told the officer that he had left the residence in a blue truck after forcing his girlfriend to leave with him. The deputy located the truck on Midway Road where he stopped and found both Cope and his girlfriend. Cope was bleeding from his face and neck and the girl had bruises on her arms and scratch marks on her neck. She claims that Cope got on top of her, held her down, and grabbed her by the neck , forcibly keeping her from getting away. Cope was determined to have been the primary aggressor.

41 year old Steven Lee Gebhardt of Hurricane Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with assault. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court June 4. According to Sheriff Ray, on Sunday May 17 deputies responded to a disturbance call at the Lake Motel. Upon arrival, one of the officers knocked on the door of a motel room there and identified himself. The man inside the room, Gebhardt did not come out and warned the deputy that he was armed with a gun and would shoot him if he did not leave. Gebhardt also told the other officer that he had a 25 caliber handgun. The deputies then forced their way into the room and took Gebhardt into custody.

Two people were arrested Sunday, May 17 after their Chevy Blazer was pulled over on Highway 56 north on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Robert James Clay of Big Hickory Court, Smithville is charged with DUI and reckless endangerment for having his three year old son in the automobile with him while driving intoxicated. He is further cited for driving on a suspended license and violation of the open container law.

Meanwhile the owner and passenger of the Chevy Blazer, 31 year old Sheena Arlene George of J.E. Evins Avenue, Smithville is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence by allowance and reckless endangerment. She was arrested for allowing an intoxicated person to drive her vehicle. A computer check revealed that she had a previous offense on September 20, 2014. She too was charged with reckless endangerment due to the child in the vehicle being operated by an intoxicated driver.

Bond for Clay is $3,000. George's bond is $4,500. They will make a court appearance on June 11.

Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, May 17 a deputy was dispatched to Cookeville Highway due to a report of a possible drunk driver in a black Chevy Blazer. The officer along with another deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Clay. He was found to have a strong odor of alcohol on his person and his speech was slurred. An open container of whiskey was found on the floorboard of his automobile. Clay performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He also submitted to a blood test. Clay was then placed under arrest and booked at the sheriff's department.

D.A.R.E. Essay Winners Awarded at DeKalb West School

May 21, 2015
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray, DeKalb West 5th Grade D.A.R.E. Essay winners Breanna Cothern and Allison Eastes (Overall Winner), and D.A.R.E Instructor Chief Deputy Don Adamson

Fifth graders at DeKalb West School received pins and certificates during the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony held Thursday.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by D.A.R.E. Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at DeKalb West School are Allison Eastes and Breanna Cothern. The fifth grade teachers are Jeanna Caplinger and Nadina Manganiello.

Eastes was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Thursday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Eastes gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the D.A.R.E. Mascot and she received a $50 check from Judge Bratten Cook II, presented in his absence by Matt Boss.

In addition to Sheriff Patrick Ray and Chief Deputy Adamson, others on hand for the ceremony were DeKalb West School Principal Sabrina Farler, Assistant Principal Joey Agee, Interim Director of Schools Dr. Danielle Collins, Suzanne Slager on behalf of Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, County Mayor Tim Stribling, Trustee Sean Driver, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss and employees of the Sheriff's Department.

Farm Service Agency Presents 30 Year Length of Service Award

May 21, 2015
Dwayne Page
Farm Service Agency Presents 30 Year Length of Service Award

The DeKalb/Cannon County Farm Service Agency recently presented Shawn Rice, Program Technician, with her 30 Year Length of Service Award.

Pictured from left to right: R.V. Billings, Jr (County Committee Member), Shawn Rice (Program Technician), Jack Campbell (County Committee Chairperson), Charles Brown (County Committee Member), and Donny Green (County Executive Director).

Introducing Tiger Media's first literary magazine

May 21, 2015
Donna Emmons
Mirage authors and artists - Front row (l-r): Lydia Trail/Juliette Aurora (editor), Leah Clark, Anna May, Savannah Anderson, Dakotah Cool, Madison Kemper. Middle row (l-r): Hannah Brown, Savannah Belcher, Kristena Bain, MaKayla C. Bain, Ami Patel, Jhoany Gaspar. Back row (l-r): Shea Hicks, Caleb Rowland (graphic designer), Riley "Rcade" Sexton, Megan Evans, Dev Johnson, Kyle Satcher, and Moses Hernandez. Not pictured: Jaynee Angaran, Allen Smithee, Laiza Martinez, Nowhere Man, Kelly Armour, Kupo and Olivia
Tiger Media's first literary magazine, titled Mirage

Embracing the opportunity to try something new, co-advisers Nallely Prater and Donna Emmons, along with Tiger Media staff members Lydia Trail and Caleb Rowland, chose to publish a product that would showcase student creative talent. Thus, the concept for Tiger Media's first literary magazine, titled Mirage, was conceived. Twenty-six students chose to submit their creative works of art, photography, poetry and short stories in the full-color, 44 page publication.

"This has been one of the most rewarding experiences as an adviser. Creating this magazine was a learning experience for all of us," Mrs. Prater said about her contributions to the finished product.

The work was submitted and completed over three months, and each participating student received a free copy of the magazine.

Junior Megan Evans said, “It’s awesome! It isn’t something I typically do, put my poems out there. It felt good to get published.”

"I am always willing to try something new," Mrs. Emmons said, "and the excitement surrounding this project has been infectious. I am so happy for the students to be able to reach an audience with their incredible talents, and I am honored to have been a part of this effort."

Besides athletics and the active clubs at the high school, many of the more creative students find it hard to showcase their talents because there has not been an outlet.

“I’m glad to be able to get my work out to express myself and get people to see it,” freshman Riley "Rcade" Sexton said.

Freshman Ami Patel added, "This is a good start for our school, so we can each express our individuality."

“Maybe others will submit works to publish now that they've seen we have put ourselves out there,” freshman Hannah Brown said.

A limited number of magazines are still available to purchase for $5 at DCHS through next Wednesday. Call, come by or send word to own your exclusive copy.

"The staff of Tiger Media would like to thank its sponsors. We greatly appreciate the support of Harry Lasser, DeKalb Funeral Chapel, Family Medical Center, Callie Herman with Art Revolution, and Wilson Bank & Trust," added Mrs. Emmons.

Picture Caption:

Mirage authors and artists - Twenty-six DCHS students contributed their collective creative talents to publish the first ever Tiger Media literary magazine, Mirage. Front row (l-r): Lydia Trail/Juliette Aurora (editor), Leah Clark, Anna May, Savannah Anderson, Dakotah Cool, Madison Kemper. Middle row (l-r): Hannah Brown, Savannah Belcher, Kristena Bain, MaKayla C. Bain, Ami Patel, Jhoany Gaspar. Back row (l-r): Shea Hicks, Caleb Rowland (graphic designer), Riley "Rcade" Sexton, Megan Evans, Dev Johnson, Kyle Satcher, and Moses Hernandez. Not pictured: Jaynee Angaran, Allen Smithee, Laiza Martinez, Nowhere Man, Kelly Armour, Kupo and Olivia Winter.

DCHS Recognizes Tennessee Scholars

May 20, 2015
Dwayne Page
DCHS Recognizes Tennessee Scholars

The 2015 DCHS Tennessee Scholars were recognized during Monday night's Annual Awards Program at the high school

The Tennessee Scholars program encourages students to take a more rigorous and challenging course of study in high school. Students graduating as Tennessee Scholars have to maintain good academic, disciplinary, and attendance standards as well as volunteer in the community. Tennessee Scholars also choose to take rigorous courses beyond what is required to graduate. Janney & Associates CPAs generously provided the Tennessee Scholars Medals.

Ruth Woodall, Associate Vice President of Education and Workforce Development for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry/Tennessee Manufacturing Association, helped make the presentations.

The following students have met all requirements for the Tennessee Scholars Program.


County Clerk Completes Training to Become Certified Public Administrator

May 20, 2015
Dwayne Page
CTAS Training Consultant Christopher R. Payne presents County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss Certificate as Certified Public Administrator

DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss is among county officials across the state who have earned status as a Certified Public Administrator after completing the County Officials Certificate Training Program (COCTP).

COCTP is a comprehensive training program administered by the University of Tennessee (UT) County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) in cooperation with the Tennessee County Services Association and the County Officials Association of Tennessee

The program is designed to provide specialized, technical and managerial training to elected officials and their employees in order to help them run their office more effectively. It also offers a comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings of county government. CTAS believes that a broader understanding of the mechanics of county government will afford COCTP graduates a better knowledge of the county as an entity, which will help them to better serve their constituency. Graduates of the COCTP will obtain a thorough understanding of county government and be designated with the title of Certified Public Administrator.

"Once participants go through the County Officials Certified Training Program and complete the process they become a certified public administrator," said Ben Rodgers, CTAS County Government Consultant. "The training gives participants a good knowledge of what it takes to be in county government and how to run offices and be involved with the county commission and all the legislative branches. After everything is said and done its eighty hours of training to become certified," he said.

"Jimmy did a great job. He is a great guy. I know they bragged on him from the training he went through. He learned a lot and I am proud of him," Rodgers added.

Participants must complete four of the
10 core classes.

Core classes include:
• Audit
• Capital Budgeting
• Debt Management
• Ethics
• Financial Issues
• Legal Issues – for each Elected Office
• Operating Budget
• Personnel
• Purchasing
• Risk Management

Once completed the individual is recognized as a Certified Public Administrator for their county.

In order to retain the designation of Certified Public Administrator, participants are required to complete 16 hours of continuing education each fiscal year to maintain their certification.

DCHS Tigerettes Eliminated from State Softball Tournament

May 20, 2015
Dwayne Page
DCHS Tigerettes Season Ends at State Tournament

The DCHS Tigerettes have been eliminated from the TSSAA Class AA State GIRLS Softball Tournament after losing to South Gibson 9-0 Wednesday morning in Murfreesboro.

The Tigerettes also lost Tuesday night to Chattanooga Central 8 to 3.

South Gibson scored nine runs on nine hits and made one error. DeKalb County was held scoreless on two hits and made one error. Tyra Graham and Loren Cripps each singled.

South Gibson scored three runs in the first inning, four runs in the second, and two runs in the sixth inning.

Kayley Caplinger, the losing pitcher, gave up nine runs on nine hits through seven innings. She struck out nine and walked four.

The Tigerettes finished the season at 27-8 overall. They won championships for the regular season district, district tournament, region tournament, and sub-state before advancing to the state tournament.

In the game Tuesday night, the Tigerettes lost 8-3 to Chattanooga Central

Chattanooga Central scored eight runs on six hits and made one error. The Tigerettes scored three runs on seven hits and made three errors.

DeKalb County scored one run in the first, fifth, and seventh innings. Chattanooga Central scored two runs in the first inning, one run in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, and three runs in the seventh.

Kayley Caplinger, the losing pitcher, faced thirty one batters through seven innings. She gave up eight runs on six hits. She struck out eight and walked two.

Loren Cripps and Kayley Caplinger each belted a homerun while Dani Meadows, Katie Hall, Myranda Bailiff, Hannah Walker, and Allison Maynard each singled.

Proclamation Recognizes EMS Week

May 20, 2015
Dwayne Page
County Mayor Tim Stribling presents Interim EMS Director Hoyte Hale Proclamation designating May 17-23 as EMS Week. Joined by EMS Staff members Kim Johnson, Misty Green, David Hamlet and Allen Mason

A week dedicated to celebrating emergency service workers is being recognized in DeKalb County.

The community relies on emergency workers to rush to the rescue, no matter what the circumstance.

County Mayor Tim Stribling signed a proclamation Monday designating May 17-23 as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week in DeKalb County. Interim EMS Director Hoyte Hale and other EMS staff joined County Mayor Stribling for the occasion at the ambulance service headquarters.

The proclamation is as follows:

"Whereas, Emergency Medical Services is a vital public service; and

Whereas, the members of Emergency Medical Teams are ready to provide lifesaving care to those in needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and

Whereas, access to quality Emergency Care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury; and

Whereas, the Emergency Medical Services system consists of emergency physicians, emergency nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, educators, administrators, and others; and

Whereas, the members of Emergency Medical Services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills; and

Whereas, it is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of Emergency Medical Services providers by designating Emergency Medical Services Week;

Now, Therefore, I Tim Stribling, County Mayor, DeKalb County, Tennessee, in recognition of this event do hereby proclaim the week of May 17-23, 2015 as Emergency Medical Services Week.

With the theme, EMS STRONG, I encourage the community to observe this week with the appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities".

Members of the DeKalb EMS Staff in addition to Interim Director Hoyte Hale are:

Donna Melton- EMT-IV

Jonthan Rudd-EMT-P

Kristie Johnson-CCEMT-P

Tyler Grandstaff-EMT-P

David Hamlet-EMT-P

Misty Green-AEMT

Kim Johnson-EMT-P

Allen Mason-EMT-P

Trent Phipps-EMT-P

Daniel Summers-EMT-P

Becky Atnip-EMT-IV

Tim Briggs- EMT-P

Matt Melton-EMT-IV

James Allen-CCEMT-P

Jamie Parsley-EMT-IV

Stephanie Brown-EMT-P

Charles Nokes-EMT-P

Houston Austin-EMT-P

Greta Stone-EMT-P

Jamie Williams-EMT-P

John Poss-EMT-IV

Lonnie Laxton-EMT-IV

Wesley Slager-EMT-IV

Trent Hillis-AEMT

Jennifer Phillips-AEMT-IV

Jason Rice-EMT-IV

Scotty Jones-EMT-IV

Richard Underwood-AEMT

Edward Brooks-AEMT

Dick Kinsey-AEMT

Teena Allen-EMS Office Manager

Over Half Million Dollars in Scholarships Awarded at DCHS

May 19, 2015
Dwayne Page
Charlie Young received the largest single scholarship award of $66,176 from Western Kentucky
DCHS Class of 2015 Scholarship Award Winners
DCHS Perfect Attendance Award Winners Lydia Trail and Clint Hawker. Trail had perfect attendance from 5th-12th grade. Hawker never missed a day of school from Kindergarten to 12th grade
DCHS Class of 2015 Tennessee Scholars

More than $560,000 in scholarships were awarded to members of the Class of 2015 at DeKalb County High School during Monday night's annual Senior Awards program.

Representatives of colleges, universities, branches of the armed services, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations made the presentations.

Charlie Young received the largest single scholarship award of $66,176 from Western Kentucky.

Clint Hawker and Lydia Trail received perfect attendance awards for not missing a day of school during their four years of high school. Hawker had perfect attendance throughout thirteen years of school from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Trail's perfect attendance spanned from the fifth grade to her senior year.

Scholarship recipients listed in alphabetical order according to last names and their award amounts are as follows:

Shara Adcock: UT Martin-Rodeo $22,096; UT Martin-Academic $6,000; American Quarter Horse Association-Horse of the Year $250; DeKalb Funeral Chapel $500; Class of 1966- $500; DeKalb County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Association- $500; DeKalb Firefighters- $500; DeKalb Soil Conservation District-$500; National High School Rodeo-$500

Rayanna Baker: DeKalb Funeral Chapel $1,000

Lance Ball: Tennessee Tech University $4,000; W. Doyle & Melford Smith Scholarship $3,000; Dual Enrollment Math-College Algebra/Pre-Calculus

Lane Ball: Tennessee Tech University $6,000

Katherine Blair: UT Chattanooga $6,000; DeKalb County PTO $250; First Bank $500;

Luke Boss: DeKalb Fire Fighters $500;

Austin Brown: DeKalb County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Association $500; DeKalb Soil Conservation District $500;

Leah Burchfield: MTSU $12,000; FCCLA $125; Jolly Angels-2 year $2,000

Michael Caplinger: Brandon Elder Scholarship 2 year $2,000; Dailey & Vincent Scholarship $2,000; UT Chattanooga $6,000;

Wendy Cassinera: Brandon Elder Scholarship 4 year $4,000; Scottish Rite $1,000;

Brandon Chapman: Smithville Rotary Vocational Award $100

Franco Clavel: DCHS Honors English IV Award

Loren Cripps: A.F. Bridges $1,000; Alan Hooper Memorial $500

Savannah Driver: UT Knoxville $24,000; Jolly Angels 1 year $1,000

Austin Ellis: Tennessee College of Applied Technology $1,000; and DCHS English IV Award

Taylor Ellis: William Snodgrass Scholarship- Association of Government Accountants $2,000; Liberty State Bank $1,000

Michael Ferguson: American Legion Boys State;

Corey Ferrell: U.S. Marines Scholar Award

Matthew Foutch: Tennessee Tech University $6,000; Clyde Thomas Family Trust Scholarship $1,000; Caney Fork Electric-2014 Essay Contest Washington Youth Tour Winner

Kelley Goodwin: DCHS Visual Art Award

Dustin Griffith: U.S. Navy Enlistment

Haley Hale: DeKalb Funeral Chapel $500

Jacob Hale: DCHS English IV Award

Bailey Hayes: Tennessee Tech University $20,000

Kelsey Hedge: Lipscomb University $44,000; Jolly Angels 2 year $2,000; Katherine Conger Memorial $500; DCHS Beta Scholarship $500; DCHS Literature Club $500; American Legion Auxiliary Girls State;

Rachel Holcomb: DeKalb Funeral Chapel $500; HOSA $100; DCHS Literature Club $500

Nichole Hunt: Caney Fork Electric-2014 Essay Contest Second Place $100

Chelsea Johnson: FCCLA $125; DCHS English IV Award

Brandon Leiser: U.S. Marines Athlete Award

Julia Little: Tennessee Tech University $20,000; General Assembly Merit Scholarship: $4,000; Jolly Angels 4 year $4,000; American Legion Auxiliary Girls State; Daughters of the American Revolution-Good Citizen Award

Destiney McCardell: Southern Landscape Supply Scholarship $500; HOSA $100; U.S. Marines Scholar Award

Ale Maciel: Martin Methodist College $44,000; HOSA $100; Leadership DeKalb $500

Ana May: DCHS English IV Award

Michael May: U.S. Air Force Enlistment

Micah Merriman: Elzie & Nell McBride Memorial $500; Mentors Association Scholarship $5,000; Dailey & Vincent Scholarship $2,000; Smithville Rotary Club $750; U.S. Army Athlete Award; Presidents Volunteer Service Award

Kenzie Morris: Lucille Stewart Memorial $2,000

Jonathan Munoz: Martin Methodist College $36,000

Kalob O'Neal: DCHS Visual Art Award

Cason Oakley: Carson Newman University $40,000; American Legion Boys State

Jacquelyn Overby: DTC McAllen Foutch Memorial $8,000; U.S. Army Athlete Award

Nicholas Parsley: Southern Landscape Supply Scholarship: $500

Aaron Patterson: Cumberland University Baseball Scholarship; Lucille Stewart Memorial $2,000; Anthony Duane Trapp Memorial $1,000; Love-Cantrell Funeral Home $500;

Shayla Pedigo: Tennessee Tech University $14,000; DCHS Visual Art Award

Bethany Poss: Motlow State Community College $2,000; Daily & Vincent Scholarship $2,000; Smithville Rotary Club $750; DeKalb Firefighters $500; DeKalb Funeral Chapel $500

William Puckett: Clyde Thomas Family Trust Scholarship $1,000

Makayla Redmon: Nell Haas Driver Scholarship $1,000

Brooke Reffue: David Wayne Alexander Memorial: $1,500; DeKalb Retired Teachers $750;

Zachary Roberts: Mentors Association Scholarship $5,000; Eddie Crips Memorial $1,000;

Brooke Roller: HOSA $100; Caney Fork Electric- 2014 Essay Contest Fourth Place $50

Makalee Ruch: UT Knoxville $24,000; Brandon Elder Scholarship 4 year $4,000; General Assembly Merit Scholarship $4,000; Smithville Rotary Math Award $100; Tennessee Governor's School for the Sciences; Woodman of the World $50

Harlli Silcox: Tennessee Tech University $4,000; Kyle & Kenny Robinson Memorial $1,000; AmVets $250; AmVets Auxiliary $250

Makayla Starnes: HOSA $100;

Emilee Stephens: Smithville Rotary Club $750; DeKalb Community Hospital $500

Hunter Stone: Clay Edwards Memorial Tiger Pride Scholarship $500

Charles Tramel: U.S. Marine Enlistment

Lydia Trail: Lee University Dean's Scholarship $28,000; Lee University Letitie Pate Whitehead Scholarship $2,500; Comcast $1,000; DCHS Beta Scholarship $500; Dual Enrollment Math- College Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus; Leadership DeKalb $500; U.S. Marines Athlete Award

Darrian Turner: Smithville Women's Club $250

Amanda Vincent: U.S. Army Enlistment

Jacob Washer: David Wayne Alexander Memorial $1,500; Brandon Elder Scholarship 1 year $1,000; Kyle & Kenny Robinson Memorial $1,000; DeKalb Community Hospital in Honor of Dr. Melvin Blevins $500; Love-Cantrell Funeral Home $500

Katie Willoughby: Sullivan University $3,750; Smithville Rotary Club $750; Caney Fork Electric-2014 Essay Contest Third Place $75

Bruce Wilson: Tennessee Tech University $20,000; General Assembly Merit Scholarship $4,000; DCHS Honors English IV Award

Charlie Young: Western Kentucky $46,176; Western Kentucky $20,000; DCHS Honors English IV Award

(UPDATED) Smithville Couple Indicted in Death of 23 Month Old Child (VIEW VIDEO HERE)

May 19, 2015
Dwayne Page
Cody Key taken into Custody by Smithville Police Detective Brandon Donnell
Jessica May taken into Custody by Smithville Police Lieutenant Detective Matt Holmes
Cody Key
Jessica May
Colten Alexander May

A Smithville mother and her boyfriend were named in sealed indictments returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury today (Tuesday) in the death of the woman's 23 month old son, Colten Alexander May over the weekend.

23 year old Cody Key is charged in the indictment with felony murder and aggravated child abuse while the child's mother 19 year old Jessica May is indicted on a charge of aggravated child neglect.

Bond for Key is set at one million dollars. May's bond is $300,000. Both will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Friday, May 22.

"The child suffered great injuries and as a result the child died," said District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway in an interview with WJLE Tuesday morning.

According to D.A. Dunaway, the child was brought to the hospital by the couple Sunday morning but he was already deceased. The youngster was found to have internal and other physical injuries to his body. Key is alleged to have inflicted the injuries. May is accused of having known the abuse had been taking place.

"At approximately 3:11 am Sunday Smithville Police Sergeant Travis Bryant and Officer Joey Myers were dispatched to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital in reference to a possible child abuse resulting in the death of a two year old child. Investigating officers deemed the death to be of a suspicious nature," said Captain Steven Leffew. " I was notified along with Lieutenant Matt Holmes and Detective Brandon Donnell . Additionally District Attorney Bryant Dunaway and investigators from the District Attorney's office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded," he said.

The case remains under investigation by the Smithville Police Department , the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney General's Office.

"We presented the case to the DeKalb County Grand Jury (Tuesday, May 19) related to the death of a 23 month old male child," said D.A. Dunaway. " Over the weekend the child was brought to DeKalb Community Hospital by the child's mother and her boyfriend. The child was deceased at the time of arrival. We believe the child was killed by the boyfriend late Saturday night or early Sunday morning in their home where they resided together. We believe the child died based upon physical injuries to the body and internally which were inflicted by the boyfriend," he said.

"The DeKalb County Grand Jury issued true bills today (Tuesday) indicting both Cody Key with first degree felony murder. The mother of the child Jessica May has been indicted for aggravated child neglect based upon a pattern of abuse and neglect over a period of time. We believe that the allegations of continuous abuse and neglect of the child over a period of approximately one year was known by the mother and that she either participated in or allowed the events to happen," said D.A. Dunaway.

"We take these matters very seriously. The abuse and neglect of a child is very serious. It's one of the most horrendous types of crimes that one can imagine," he said.

"This is truly a tragic event. I pledge absolute commitment from the Smithville Police Department in the continued pursuit of justice in this case. Our prayers for strength and heartfelt condolences go out to the family," added Captain Leffew.

Count 1 of the indictment against Key alleges that "Cody Key, on or about the 16th or the 17th day of May, 2015, in DeKalb County did unlawfully, knowingly, and other than by accidental means treat a child born June 10, 2013 in such a manner as to inflict injury on the child and the act of abuse resulted in serious bodily injury to the child, thereby committing the offense of aggravated child abuse"

Count 2 of the indictment alleges that "Cody Key, on or about the 16th or 17th day of May, 2015, in DeKalb County did unlawfully and knowingly inflict fatal injuries upon the child during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse and said injuries did cause the death of the child on or about the 16th or 17th day of May, 2015."

The indictment against May alleges that "between the 17th day of May, 2014 and the 17th day of May, 2015 in DeKalb County, Jessica May did unlawfully, knowingly, and other than by accidental means, neglect the child so as to adversely affect the health and welfare of the child, thereby committing the offense of aggravated child neglect".


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