Local News Articles

Homeless Man Breaks Into Dowelltown Home

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Nathan Joseph Wilbert
Jason Douglas Stembridge
Kenny Wayne Bly
Armando Palacio Blas
David Dewayne Anderson
Christopher Alan Richardson

A homeless man was arrested two weeks ago after breaking into a home in Dowelltown.

37 year old Nathan Joseph Wilbert is charged with aggravated burglary, vandalism over $1,000, and evading arrest. He is under a $20,000 bond and his court date is July 20.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 7/03/2017 Thru: 7/10/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_29.pdf (3.64 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Sunday, June 25 Wilbert entered a residence on East Main Street in Dowelltown with the intent to commit a felony, vandalism. Wilbert gained entry by breaking out the door glass window. While in the home, Wilbert destroyed a 40 inch TV, two Indian statues, a door glass, a glass desk mirror, coffee pot, counter top, mini blind, and he punched a hole in the wall. The total value of the damage is $1,345. Wilbert did not have consent from the owner to be inside the home.

Three days later, on Wednesday June 28 officers found Wilbert at the Dry Creek swimming area. As they approached to serve active warrants on him, Wilbert ran from them trying to evade arrest.

The case was investigated by a Sheriff’s Department Detective.

A prisoner in the DeKalb County Jail Annex, 33 year old Jason Douglas Stembridge of Cantrell Road, Smithville, is charged with assault. He is under a $1,500 bond and his court date is July 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Tuesday, July 4, Stembridge walked up to another prisoner who had his back to him and struck the inmate in the face. The victim stood up and began to punch Stembridge. A Correctional officer then entered the cell and broke up the fight.

38 year old Kenny Wayne Bly of South Mountain Street, Smithville is charged with resisting stop, frisk, halt, or search. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is July 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, July 6 a deputy and detective went to Bly’s home to pick him up on an active warrant. Upon the officers’ arrival, Bly ran from them even after being ordered several times to stop. Bly was caught shortly thereafter and arrested.

30 year old Armando Palacio Blas of Smith Road, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $2,500 and he will make a court appearance on July 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, July 6 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Food Lion to meet a man and his translator. The man told the officer that during a party at his home on Old West Point Road, Blas intentionally caused bodily injury to his wife by hitting her in the face causing redness and swelling to the side of her face on the cheek under her left eye. After the assault, Blas placed his wife in a vehicle and drove her to an address on Adcock Cemetery Road.

47 year old David Dewayne Anderson of Dedmon Hollow Road, Liberty is charged with a second offense of driving on a suspended license. His bond is $3,000 and he will be in court on July 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 7 a deputy initiated a traffic stop on Dale Ridge Road for failure to maintain lane of travel. The officer spoke with the driver, Anderson who stated he had no driver license. His license were suspended on Friday, July 14, 2016 for failure to show proof of insurance. Anderson also has a prior offense of driving while license suspended.

46 year old Christopher Alan Richardson of Three Island Road, Sparta is charged with domestic assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is July 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, July 7 a deputy was called to a location on Allen Ferry Road due to an assault on a woman. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the victim at the lake. She said that her husband, Richardson, had pulled her out of a vehicle and hit her about the face and head area. She also alleged that Richardson had kicked her in the head while wearing his boots. The woman suffered black eyes and she had knots and blood on her head. Richardson was determined to have been the primary aggressor and was charged with domestic assault. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for a broken hand.

TCI Recommends Re-Certification for DeKalb County Jail

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
TCI Recommends Re-Certification for DeKalb County Jail

The DeKalb County Jail has passed another yearly inspection and is recommended for re-certification by the Tennessee Correctional Institute.

Officials of the TCI recently sent a letter addressed to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Jail Sergeant Anthony Boyd, and County Mayor Tim Stribling, noting findings of the jail inspection held on June 20th, 2017.

According to the inspection report, “a large percentage of the facility was newly painted, appeared to be very clean, and various locks were replaced. The facility appeared to be in good state of repair. The policy procedure book was revised and signed off by Sheriff Ray and is within standards. There were no improper findings during the 2016 State financial audit. Criminal histories were completed on all new employees and service providers and all training records appear to meet State Standards. Inmates are being searched when entering and leaving secure areas of the jail and the facility is being searched for contraband. Three meals, two hot, are being served daily. Meals are being prepared under the direct supervision of the staff and culinary equipment is being stored securely. Religious services are occurring at least weekly and inmates are being provided with at least one hour of recreational activities. Medical services are provided by Advanced Correctional Care. The licenses of doctors and nurses are current. Fourteen day physicals were held which is well within standards. Inmates are being observed on an hourly schedule and being documented. All head counts are being conducted.”

The Tennessee Correctional Institute Inspector recommends continued certification for the year of 2017.

Sheriff Ray said” the DeKalb County Jail has a bed capacity of 102 State Certified beds including 78 male beds and 24 female beds. We have an average daily population of 75 inmates. Our population varies each day. On court days our population grows because of transports from other jails to our facility for inmates to attend court.”

Woman on Probation Admits to Growing Marijuana

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Amanda Lynette Davis
Bags of Marijuana Found in Home of Amanda Lynette Davis

A woman on probation was found with baggies of marijuana for resale during a law enforcement search of her home last week.

37 year old Amanda Lynette Davis of McMinnville Highway, Smithville is charged with manufacturing a schedule VI controlled substance (marijuana) and possession with the intent to sell or deliver a schedule VI drug. Her bond is $50,000 and her court date is July 27.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 7/03/2017 Thru: 7/10/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_29.pdf (3.64 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Friday, July 7 a state probation officer and a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department deputy went to Davis’ residence on McMinnville Highway to do a probation search and to pick her up on an active warrant. During the search, five black trash bags were found, all containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Each bag was labeled a different type of marijuana and the pot was still on the stems including THC Bomb, Strawberry Delight, Grape God, and Deep Cheese. Another plastic baggie was found with a green leafy substance weighing 1.15 ounces.

While the officers were conducting their search, Davis went to a truck outside the home and retrieved a glass pipe along with another plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana weighing 0.30 ounces.

Davis admitted during an interview with officers that the marijuana belonged to her and that she had grown the plants herself in the woods. Davis was placed under arrest.

Teen Indicted in Same Sex Rape

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Jacob Randall Stacy
Jonathan Dewayne Barnes
Ricky Lane Evans
Arlene Cookie Hullett
Nicholas Cody Walls
Thomas Richard Squires
Alford Mitchell Horn
Ross Lee Herrin
Stephanie Michelle Mooneyham
Jonathan Paul Evans
Dekoda Lane Vance
Michael James Culver

A Carthage teen indicted in May for various crimes including the rape of another male has been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.

18 year old Jacob Randall Stacy of Cordell Hull Circle, Carthage was named in sealed indictments on charges of rape, burglary, auto burglary, theft under $1,000 (2 counts), and vandalism (2 counts). His bond totals $55,000 and he will make a court appearance on July 24.

(CLICK LINK BELOW TO VIEW MUG SHOTS OF PERSONS RECENTLY BOOKED AT THE DEKALB COUNTY JAIL- Intakes & Releases From: 7/03/2017 Thru: 7/10/2017)

Seagate Crystal Reports - REPOR_29.pdf (3.64 MB)

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that at the time of the offenses, Stacy was a juvenile but his case was later transferred from the juvenile court to criminal court so he could be tried as an adult. Prior to his turning 18, Stacy was in the custody of the Department of Children Services.

On the rape charge, the indictment alleges that on or about October 29, 2016 in DeKalb County, Stacy did intentionally and or knowingly engage in unlawful sexual penetration of another male without his consent constituting the offense of rape.

Meanwhile, on October 17, 2016, Stacy allegedly entered the Mount Zion Baptist Church, not open to the public, with the intent to commit theft, constituting the offense of burglary. From the church, Stacy allegedly stole various food items being under the value of $1,000, constituting the offense of theft. During the break-in, Stacy allegedly caused damage to an interior door and two window screens of the church building.

On the same day, October 17, 2016, Stacy allegedly entered a 1995 Ford F-250 pickup truck with the intent to commit a theft constituting the offense of burglary of a motor vehicle. From the truck, Stacy allegedly stole personal checks, chewing tobacco, and a 10 foot trailer being under the value of $1,000 constituting the offense of theft under $1,000. During the break-in, Stacy allegedly damaged the dashboard and ignition of the truck.

32 year old Jonathan Dewayne Barnes of Talley Road, Smithville is charged with violation of bond conditions. His bond is $4,500 and his court date is July 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, June 26 a deputy was patrolling on Highway 70 east when he noticed a small red four door sedan failing to maintain its lane of travel. After stopping the vehicle the officer spoke with the female driver and Barnes, who was a passenger. A computer check revealed that Barnes is under an active order which granted him bail in Sevier County but he is not to have contact with the woman he was riding with during this traffic stop.

46 year old Ricky Lane Evans of Gene Vaughn Road, Smithville is charged with driving on a suspended license. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is July 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, June 15 a detective stopped Evans and issued him a citation for driving on a suspended license. Evans’ license were suspended on May 19, 2015 for failure to pay child support. The detective spotted Evans again on Thursday, June 29 operating a motor vehicle on Jacobs Pillar Road. The detective knew that Evans did not have a driver license but he was unable to stop him. A warrant was later issued for Evans’ arrest.

65 year old Arlene Cookie Hullett and her son, 32 year old Nicholas Cody Walls both of Coconut Ridge Road, Smithville are charged with domestic assault. Bond for each is $2,500 and their court date is July 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, June 29 a deputy was called to a residence on Coconut Ridge Road due to a physical domestic. Upon arrival the officer spoke with Hullett who said that she and her son, Walls got into an argument. Hullett said Walls pushed her down and hit her four times about the head causing a large knot on her head. Walls was later stopped by a Smithville Police Officer on North Congress Boulevard. A deputy also responded and spoke with Walls who had marks on his neck and bruising to his hand. Walls confirmed that he and Hullett had gotten into an argument and but that she had fallen causing marks to her head. When she got up, Hullett became physical with Walls grabbing him around the neck. Both Hullett and Walls had consumed alcoholic beverages. Due to the inconsistent accounts of the incident, officers could not determine the primary aggressor. Both were arrested for domestic assault and taken to the sheriff’s department for booking.

59 year old Thomas Richard Squires of Neal Drive, Smithville is charged with violation of an order of protection. His bond is $1,500 and his court date is July 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 30 a deputy was dispatched to the area of Neal Drive for a possible argument. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Squires who had been in an argument with another man with whom he was living. Squires then went to the home of a woman who had an order of protection against him and yelled for her as he knocked on the back door. The woman opened her door long enough to order Squires to leave the premises. A computer check revealed that Squires was the respondent of an order of protection in which the woman was the petitioner.

47 year old Alford Mitchell Horn of Eagle Creek Road, Smithville is charged with theft of property. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is July 13. Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, June 30 a deputy responded to a residence on Holmes Creek Road due to a possible stolen vehicle. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the owners who reported that their 2016 Hyundai Elantra was stolen. According to the victims, Horn was given the vehicle to be cleaned but that he was not to go anywhere in it. The victims claim they were unaware that Horn had taken the vehicle. Horn was later found in possession of the automobile at a business on Highway 70 east in Smithville.

36 year old Ross Lee Herrin of Vinewood Road, McMinnville is charged with evading arrest. His bond is $2,500 and his court date is July 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 3 a deputy was dispatched to the Belk area due to a suspicious man and woman in a white 1990 Chevrolet Impala. The officer spotted the car on Belk Road. As the deputy turned on his blue lights to get the car to stop, the driver of the vehicle initially sped up but then pulled off to the side of the road into a driveway. The man got out of the car and ran off into the woods. The deputy identified himself as an officer and called several times for the man to stop but he kept running. The officer then spoke to the woman in the car and she confirmed that the man who fled was Herrin. He was taken into custody shortly thereafter just down the road.

25 year old Stephanie Michelle Mooneyham of Toad Road, Dowelltown is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and her court date is July 20. Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, July 3 a deputy was dispatched to a residence on Toad Road due to a domestic. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a woman who said her daughter, Mooneyham, had punched her several times in the face because she wouldn’t give her a cigarette. The victim sustained a swollen black eye from the altercation. Mooneyham was placed under arrest.

52 year old Jonathan Paul Evans of Lakeland, Tennessee is charged with possession of a handgun while under the influence and reckless endangerment. He is under a $12,500 bond and he will be in court July 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, July 8 a deputy was called to Hurricane Boat Dock due to shots fired. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to the caller who stated that while fishing in a cove near Mulligan Lane and Love Colony Road several shots were fired from a gun in his direction with one round coming very close to hitting him, causing the man to fear for his life. After a further investigation, the officer went to a residence on Mulligan Lane and spoke with Evans, who came out of the home holding a model 5946 Smith & Wesson handgun. Evans, who had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and bloodshot watery eyes, admitted to having consumed several alcoholic beverages. The deputy also found several alcohol containers in the same area as the spent shell casings, on the deck and in the trash. Evans admitted to having fired shots toward the lake.

18 year old Dekoda Lane Vance of Dale Ridge Road, Smithville is charged with misuse of 911. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on July 27. According to Sheriff Ray, a deputy responded to a residence on Dale Ridge Road for a 911 call Sunday, July 9. Vance had called 911 to ask why fire trucks were going by his home. Vance told the 911 dispatchers that he was a local firefighter and requested a fire truck to stop at his residence to pick him up because the battery in his pager was dead. While speaking with him, the officer learned that Vance is not a firefighter and he confirmed it with the city and county fire departments. Vance was placed under arrest for misusing 911 by calling in a non-emergency situation thereby delaying actual emergency dispatches to personnel.

48 year old Michael James Culver of Culver Lane Sparta is charged with driving under the influence and possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine. He was further cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of implied consent (refusing to submit to a blood test). His bond totals $7,500 and his court date is July 27. Sheriff Ray said that on Sunday, July 9 a deputy responded to Lowery Road, Smithville due to a suspicious white vehicle setting in a driveway. The officer arrived and found a man, Culver, sitting in the front seat. He was passed out and the car keys were in the ignition. The deputy awoke Culver and asked him to step out of the vehicle. Culver was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were dilated and blood shot and his speech was slurred. Culver submitted to but performed poorly on field sobriety tasks. He was placed under arrest. A search of his vehicle revealed 0.53 grams of methamphetamine in a green pill container. Twenty two needles were also found in the vehicle.

Smithville Police Department Retires K-9 "Leo"

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Smithville Police Department Retires K-9 "Leo"

The Smithville Police Department is now without a K-9 unit

At the request of Police Chief Mark Collins, the aldermen Monday night voted to retire the department’s K-9 “Leo” and to give the dog to his handler, former K-9 officer James Cornelius.

Chief Collins explained that the K-9 unit was being discontinued due to the dog’s age and because Officer Cornelius is being promoted to the rank of Sergeant within the department. “Taking over as Sergeant, I felt that Officer Cornelius wouldn’t have the time nor the opportunity to work with the dog like he needed to. I felt that it was best for the department, because of the dog’s age, to retire him instead on putting him with another handler. At this time we no longer have a K-9 unit. Sometime in the future I look to get a new dog with another handler,” said Chief Collins.

The aldermen also approved Collins’ request to promote Officer Cornelius to the rank of Sergeant.

John Robert Nixon Reappointed to SES Board

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
John Robert Nixon

John Robert Nixon, a founding member of the Smithville Electric System Board of Directors has been reappointed to a new four year term.

The aldermen took that action Monday night on the recommendation of Mayor Jimmy Poss.

Nixon has been on the SES board and served as chairman since it was established in 1969. He is now in his 48th year of service to the board.

Smithville Electric System is paying tribute to Nixon by naming the new soon to open sub-station on College Street after him.

Original members of the SES board in 1969 along with Nixon were Dr. W.E.Vanatta, John Bill Evins, Bill Maffett, and Clarence Braswell.

Members of the board today in addition to Nixon are Walter Burton, Hilton Conger, Tony Hagen, and Mayor Jimmy Poss.

DeKalb Democratic Primary Set for May 1, 2018

July 11, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page

The 2018 DeKalb County Democratic Primary has been set for Tuesday, May 1.

The DeKalb County Election Commission Monday evening set the date during its regular monthly meeting.

The primary will be held to nominate candidates for the county wide offices of County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, Road Supervisor, Sheriff, Register of Deeds, County Clerk, and Trustee and for the county commission in each of the seven districts (two per district for a total of 14).

Nominees will face any Republican and or Independent challengers in the August, 2018 general election. The DeKalb County Republican Party historically has chosen its nominees by caucus. The qualifying deadline for all candidates will be the same, NOON February 15, 2018. Candidate petitions can be picked up at the election office beginning November 17, this year.

In 2014 the General Sessions Judge was elected along with judges in the 13th Judicial District but they will not be on the ballot in 2018 because their
terms are for eight years and won’t expire until 2022.

Man Charged with Posting Blasphemous Notes at Local Churches

July 10, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Laddie Bill Jerrells

A Smithville man who recently posted offensive and blasphemous notes on the properties of five local churches has been charged in a joint investigation by the Smithville Police and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Departments .

57 year old Laddie Bill Jerrells of Long Street, Smithville was arrested Wednesday, July 5th on twenty four counts including charges of vandalism, disorderly conduct, harassment, and desecration of honored places. His total bond is $36,000 and he will make a court appearance July 20.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray and Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins, Jerrells went to two churches in the City of Smithville (June 22 and July 4) and three churches in the county (May 13, June 25, and June 29) and posted offensive notes on the church properties, either on the front doors, buildings, or signs. At one of the churches in the county, Jerrells posted a note twice but on separate days.

The incidents occurred at a time when no church services were being held and no particular denominations were targeted.

Smithville Police charged Jerrells for the two cases in the city. The rest of the charges were brought by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department against Jerrells for the incidents at churches in the county.

Although WJLE has not filed charges, a similar irreverent note bearing the name of Laddie Jerrells, was recently posted on the front door of the WJLE studios.

The disorderly conduct charges basically allege that by posting the notes, Jerrells intended to cause public annoyance or alarm and created a physically abusive condition by an act that served no legitimate purpose.

On the harassment charges, Jerrells is accused of intending to communicate with the churches in a way that annoyed, offended, alarmed, or frightened.

The vandalism charges contend that by posting the notes, Jerrells tampered with church property causing substantial inconvenience to the members.

On the desecration charges, Jerrells is accused of treating a place of worship with great disrespect by posting irreverent notes on the churches.

In a joint statement, Sheriff Ray and Police Chief Collins said their departments will always strive to keep churches safe and secure so that congregations can worship freely and in peace.

Sparta Man Involved in Rollover Crash

July 9, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sparta Man Involved in Rollover Crash

A 38 year old Sparta man escaped serious injury after his vehicle went off the highway in the Wolf Creek community and overturned down a steep embankment early Sunday morning.

Rainn Martin suffered minor injuries and refused transport to the hospital by ambulance.

Trooper Brandon Jackson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol told WJLE that Martin was driving a 2007 Honda Fit down the hill on Highway 141 when the vehicle went off the left side of the road and over a steep embankment. The automobile struck a tree and overturned coming to rest upright at the bottom of the embankment on Agee Hollow Road.

Martin was cited for failure to exercise due care.

Judd Matheny Announces Bid for Congress

July 9, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Congressional Candidate Judd Matheny with his wife Christy and son Aulden in Smithville on Friday

Judd Matheny, an eight term Tennessee State Representative, has formally announced that he is a candidate in the Republican primary for Congress in Tennessee's Sixth Congressional District.

He was in Smithville Friday on a campaign tour through the district.

Matheny is seeking the seat currently held by Congressman Diane Black. She is expected to make a run for Governor next year.

He is a Veteran of the Tennessee Army National Guard, and a Veteran of local and state law enforcement. He has been one of Tennessee's most consistently conservative legislators and activists.

“We’re visiting all the smaller rural counties in the sixth district today in ten stops in about eleven hours. Last week we were in nine counties. We have officially been in all nineteen counties in the district twice in the last two weeks and some of them three times,” said Matheny.

A resident of Coffee County, Matheny said he is known throughout the Upper Cumberland area having once worked as a law enforcement officer. “I worked in twelve of these counties as a police officer back in the 1990’s as a state drug enforcement officer. I was a patrolman in the Cookeville area for the City of Baxter,” he continued.

Matheny talked about his years in the state legislature. “My hallmarks have always been being pro Homeland Security and pro defense. Many of the things President Trump is talking about doing now, I have been trying to do them for fifteen years in the legislature. I passed the strongest state level anti-terrorism laws in the country. I was the first to pass comprehensive meth laws in the country when I first got elected. I intend to take the experiences that I have learned and the very strong impactful conservative record I have to Washington D.C. I am a big proponent of states’ rights. I want to make sure that the states have less reliance on the federal government. I fought for that very hard in Tennessee and when I get to Washington I’m going to push power down and give Tennesseans, not less money, but more control of the money they have,” said Matheny.

Matheny is married to his wife, Christy, of 18 years. They have two children in high school and all three have been full supporters of his years in politics.

The Tennessee U.S. 6th Congressional District consists of the following counties:Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, Wilson and portions of Cheatham and Van Buren.

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