Local News Articles

Lovell Scheduled to be Released from Prison

January 20, 2009
Dwayne Page

33 year old Karen Lynn Lovell is scheduled to get out of prison Wednesday

According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections website, Lovell's sentence, which began on February 22nd, 2004, is scheduled to end on January 21st. She has been incarcerated at the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville.

The woman who escaped from the DeKalb County Jail in May, 2003 and was later shot by Captain Mark Collins of the Sheriff's Department, received a six year prison sentence after pleading guilty in Criminal Court to three of the five charges against her.

Lovell appeared before Circuit Court Judge John Maddux in October, 2003 and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, escape, and intentional killing of an animal.

Lovell received a six year sentence on the assault charge, 11 months and 29 days for escape, 11 months and 29 days and for the killing of the animal. All the sentences were to run concurrently or together for one six year sentence. The sentence however was to run consecutive to the conviction for which she was incarcerated when she escaped. She was in jail serving three concurrent 11 month-29 day sentences on charges of telephone harassment and stalking.

Other charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated kidnaping were dismissed under the plea bargain agreement.

The story began around midnight on Friday, May 7, 2003 during the previous sheriff's administration when Lovell reportedly faked an illness at the jail and was taken to the local hospital. When she was returned to the jail authorities were conducting a marijuana search when Lovell grabbed a service revolver and the keys to a patrol car and escaped.

Lovell drove to the home of her sister, Cathy Lester, on King Ridge Road, where Lester has legal custody of Lovell's son Kaden, who was three years old at the time. Lovell shot the Lester family dog, a doberman, took the child at gun point, and then drove away with her son.

Deputy David Ward saw Lovell traveling southwest on New Home Road. Ward exited his vehicle and stood near the driver's side door when Lovell drove toward him. Ward was thrown onto the hood of his car and Lovell, after also striking the driver's side door, proceeded in the same direction before spinning out a short distance away. She then abandoned the stolen patrol car and fled on foot. A quick investigation of the scene indicated Lovell fired at deputy Ward, who was not seriously injured. Two spent shell casings from the stolen .40 Glock were found in the car and there was a bullet hole in the windshield.

Knowing Lovell had taken the child and spent only three of a possible 13 rounds in the stolen weapon, authorities began a massive search throughout the pre-dawn hours until almost noon using a tracking dog and air support with a TBI plane equipped with heat-sensing technology and a THP helicopter

Lovell then showed up around 11:00 a.m. at the home of Bill Ferrell at the intersection of New Home Road and King Ridge Road. She stood near the back door of the Ferrell residence holding her son in one arm and the gun in the other hand.

Captain Collins pleaded with Lovell to put the gun down but she continued to wave and point it at her child's head, threatening to kill him. Collins then fired a shot from his revolver, striking Lovell in the temple area of her head. Collins then rushed to rescue the boy, who was not seriously injured.

Lovell was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga where she underwent surgery and returned to the jail two weeks later. She lost sight in one of her eyes.

A parole hearing was held for Lovell in December, 2004 but she was denied early release at that time.

DeKalb County Fair Wins "Premiere" Award

January 19, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Fair received a "Premiere" Award during the 87th Annual Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention held January 15th-17th in Nashville.

As state divisional award winners from last year, the DeKalb County Fair in Division "A" along with the Middle Tennessee District Fair of Lawrenceburg in Division "AA" and the Coffee County Fair in Division "AAA" were in the running for the coveted Champion of Champions Fair award for 2008.

This year's Champion of Champions award went to the Middle Tennessee District Fair while DeKalb County and Coffee County received the "Premiere" Fair Awards in their divisions.

Meanwhile the 2008 DeKalb County Fairest of the Fair, Nicole Linn, was among the top ten finalists for the Tennessee Association's Fairest of the Fair. This year's crown went to the Warren County Fairest of the Fair. A total of 51 contestants competed for the title.

State divisional champion awards for 2008 went to the Overton County Fair, Division "A"; the Dyer County Fair, Division "AA"; and the Putnam County Fair, Division "AAA."

This year's Merit Awards dinner, attended by hundreds of fair managers, vendors and volunteers from across the state, was held at the Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel on Saturday evening. Many of the state's top county agricultural fairs were recognized for outstanding achievement during the 2008 fair season.

Woman Charged with Child Abuse

January 19, 2009
Dwayne Page

A DeKalb County woman has been charged with child abuse.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies arrested 34 year old Lori Ann Keith of King's Court Trailer Court on Wednesday. Keith allegedly assaulted her 15 year old child causing scratches and marks to the child's arm and neck area. Keith's bond was set at $1,000 and she will appear in court on January 22nd.

Meanwhile, on Saturday after receiving a complaint about a vehicle driving erratic, Deputies arrested 47 year old Dolores Castorena of Walker Street, McMinnville. Deputies spotted Castorena's vehicle on Highway 146 swerving all over the road. After stopping the vehicle, officers asked Castorena to perform field sobriety tasks which he failed. Deputies also discovered that Castorena did not have insurance for his vehicle and did not possess a valid driver's license. Castorena was arrested for no driver's license and driving under the influence. He was also issued citations for violation of the implied consent law and no insurance. His bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on January 29th.

Fire Destroys Home on Big Hurricane Road

January 19, 2009
Dwayne Page
County Firefighters Battle Blaze at Home on Big Hurricane Road (Photo by Callie Matthews)

Fire destroyed a home this morning (Monday) on Big Hurricane Road.

Lieutenant Bradley Mullinax of the DeKalb County Fire Department says the call came in around 6:00 a.m. Monday. A neighbor spotted the blaze and reported it.

Firefighters responded from the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, Keltonburg, and Midway Stations and the Main Station, along with DeKalb EMS and the Sheriff's Department.

Mullinax says the house was already too far gone by the time firefighters arrived and it could not be saved.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

Mullinax says firefighters were told that the home belonged to Darrin Ray.

(Photo by Callie Matthews)

State Proclamation Pays Tribute to DCHS Basketball Cheerleaders and Coach Walteen Parker

January 17, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County High School Basketball Cheerleaders have been recognized by state lawmakers for winning the 2008 TSSAA State Cheerleading Championship in the non-building last month at MTSU in Murfreesboro. DCHS Basketball Cheerleading Coach Walteen Parker was also honored for receiving the Coaches Achievement Award.

The state proclamation, signed by Lieutenant Governor Rom Ramsey, State Senator Mae Beavers, and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, was presented to Coach Parker and the squad Friday night during halftime of the girls basketball game.

School Board Chairman Charles Robinson presented the proclamation on behalf of State Senator Mae Beavers, who could not attend. The proclamation was read by Dennis Stanley.

The proclamation states that "Whereas, the General Assembly is pleased to specially honor and commend those successful high school teams that, through their magnificent exploits, bring honor to Tennessee and serve as exceptional ambassadors of this state; and

Whereas, the DeKalb County High School Basketball Cheerleading squad is renowned for its perennial nature as a bastion of extraordinary athletic facility in the world of competitive cheering; and

Whereas, the DeKalb County High School cheerleaders achieved an unsurpassed level of success during the 2008 season, winning the TSSAA State Cheer Championship in the Non-Building Division for the second year in a row and the third time in the last four years; and

Whereas, during the TSSAA State Championship competition held at Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University on December 6th, 2008, these remarkable cheerleaders awed the crowds with their strength and grace, while duly impressing the judges as they showcased their talents, which have been developed through many hours of strenuous practice; and

Whereas, DeKalb County's championship would not have been possible without the supreme knowledge and astute leadership of Cheer Coach Walteen Parker, who was also specially recognized with the Coaches' Achievement Award; and

Whereas, this very impressive cheerleading team enjoys the leadership and dedication of three tremendous team captains, Rosemary Apple, Jessica Cook, and Alison Curtis, each of whom have been members of the cheer squad on all three state championship teams; and

Whereas, the DeKalb County High School Basketball Cheerleaders are Caroline Carter, Kendra Foutch, Amanda Ours, Perri Carter, Camry White, Tiffani Hendrixson, Allyson Judkins, Cora Beth Rhody, Sydney Robinson, Ashlee Whitehead, Rosemary Apple, Jessica Cook, and Alison Curtis; and

Whereas, the members of the DeKalb County High School basketball cheerleading team epitomize all that is good in today's student-athlete, as they have achieved a premier level of success in competition while exhibiting the highest degree of character in all aspects of life; and

Whereas, the perseverance, determination, work ethic, and talent of this group of young women not only made possible a championship season, but also surely bode well for their success in every future enterprise; and

Whereas, this General Assembly finds it appropriate to acknowledge and applaud the members of the DeKalb County High School cheerleading team for their outstanding performance and for serving as examples of the exceptional quality of the youth of Tennessee; now therefore.

I, Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the Senate of the One Hundred Fifth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, at the request of and in conjunction with Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, do hereby proclaim that we honor and congratulate Coach Walteen Parker and the DeKalb County High School Basketball Cheerleaders on their exceptional legacy, their individual and collective resolve, and their triumph as the 2008 TSSAA State Cheer Champions in the Non-Building Division."

Payments Released for Tobacco Transition Program

January 17, 2009

Donny Green, County Executive Director of the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency, announces that annual payments for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program,
for the 2009 payment year, were released Monday, January 12. DeKalb County quota holders and producers will receive $505,667 in 2009 program year payments. Green says that direct deposit transactions should arrive in bank accounts within 3 business days while mailed checks should arrive within 10 business days for quota holders and producers who have enrolled in the program.

The Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP), also called the "tobacco buy-out," helps tobacco quota holders and producers transition to the free market.
The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357), signed by President Bush on Oct. 22, 2004, ended the Depression-era tobacco quota program and established the TTPP. The program provides annual transitional payments for 10 years to eligible tobacco quota holders and producers. Payments began in 2005 and continue through 2014. Payments are funded through assessments of approximately $10 billion on tobacco product manufacturers and importers. The remaining payments will be made in 5 annual installments that will be issued in January of each year.

For more information on the Tobacco Transition Payment Program, please contact the DeKalb County Farm Service Agency at 615-597-8225, extension 2.

Senator Beavers reappointed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee

January 17, 2009
Dwayne Page

State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) has been re-appointed Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The announcement was made by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey as the 106th General Assembly concluded their organizational session in Nashville this week.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve as Judiciary Committee Chairman” said Sen. Beavers. “We have critical issues before us this year dealing with our courts, DUI laws, and public safety. I look forward to a challenging year with these issues, given the state’s current financial problems.”

The Judiciary Committee is responsible for hearing all bills dealing with civil laws, criminal laws, judicial proceedings, apportionment of elected officials and governing bodies, and all matters relating to the courts, as well as law enforcement. Beavers was also appointed to the Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee and the Transportation Committee. The Transportation Committee is also expected to hear legislation of critical importance to Tennessee’s road program this year.

Sen. Beavers is currently serving her second term in the State Senate, after serving four terms in the House of Representatives. Prior to being elected to the legislature, Sen. Beavers worked as a paralegal and a court reporter.

“Senator Beavers did an outstanding job as our Judiciary Committee Chairman during her first term,” said Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey. “I am very pleased that she agreed to take on this huge responsibility again for our 2009 and 2010 sessions and am confident she will carry out her duties as chairman again with the same dedication and professionalism.”

DeKalb County Man on TBI's Most Wanted List Arrested in Mexico

January 15, 2009
Dwayne Page
Toby Lynn Young

A 29 year old DeKalb County man, on the TBI's Most Wanted List, who escaped from the DeKalb County Jail in September 2004 was arrested in Mexico Thursday while applying for a passport

Sheriff Patrick Ray and the TBI say Toby Lynn Young, while in Mexico illegally, was attempting to apply for a passport under his brother's name. He did not possess any official papers to be in Mexico. Young confessed to his true identity and the fact that he was wanted in Tennessee.

Sheriff Ray and Special Agent Billy Miller of the TBI worked to confirm Young's status as a fugitive through birth records and warrants.

According to Sheriff Ray, Young is wanted in DeKalb County for felony escape, theft over $1,000 (for stealing a horse), and failure to appear in court on charges including a second offense of driving on a revoked license, reckless endangerment, evading arrest with a vehicle, two counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle, and theft over $1,000 (for stealing a vehicle). He is also wanted for violation of probation in DeKalb County. In addition, Sheriff Ray says Young is wanted by the Cannon County Sheriff's Department for failure to appear and by the Warren County Sheriff's Department for theft over $1,000. The State Board of Probation and Parole also wants Young for Parole Violation.

Young was added to the TBI's Most Wanted list in October, 2008.

Sheriff Ray and the TBI say Young will be transferred Friday to Phoenix, Arizona and will be booked as a Fugitive from Justice. He will then be extradited to Tennessee to face his charges here. Young is under a $570,000 bond on the failure to appear in DeKalb County, a $1,000 bond for violation of probation in DeKalb County, and a $25,000 bond for felony escape in DeKalb County.

In September, 2004, Lloyd Emmons, who was Sheriff at the time, said that Young led deputies on a high speed chase after stealing a van. During the pursuit, Young ran several vehicles off the road and rammed a patrol car. After a short foot pursuit, Young was arrested and charged. Only a few days after Young's arrest, he overpowered a correctional officer at the jail and escaped. He remained at large until his arrest Thursday in Mexico.

The following is the story as reported by WJLE at the time of Young's arrest in September, 2004.

A 25 year old man is being held without bond after leading authorities on a chase in a stolen Ford Aerostar van Thursday morning (September 2nd, 2004).

Toby L. Young of Pea Ridge, Liberty is charged with theft of property, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, felony evading arrest, and driving on a revoked license.

Sheriff Lloyd Emmons and Deputy David Ward say Young was driving a van, belonging to Maria Loredo Quzada. The vehicle was reported stolen at 10:53 a.m. Thursday from a residence at 4583 Students Home Road. Young was arrested some forty five minutes later in Cannon County, about three miles from the DeKalb County line.

Officer Ward says after the Sheriff's Department received the 911 call about the stolen van, he met the vehicle approaching him on Highway 56 south near the radio station. Ward, who was going south, says he turned around and began his pursuit of the van, which was heading north. He says " There was one male subject in the vehicle. I got turned around, turned on my blue lights and sirens, but the vehicle took off, and started passing vehicles on the double lines."

According to officer Ward, the van turned from Highway 56 onto South College Street. "I radioed in and advised the city police department that we were coming into the city limits on south college street. The van kept passing vehicles on college street and then turned onto Meadow Brook Drive heading toward Short Mountain Highway."

Officer Ward says when the van came to the end of Meadow Brook Drive, it turned south onto the Short Mountain Highway and struck a southbound 2003 Volkswagon, driven by 62 year old Dr. Arturo Ruanto of Cookeville. Ward says his patrol car also struck the Volkswagon. "I locked down on my brakes but couldn't get stopped and the passenger side of my car hit the other car in the drivers side. The impact spun me out. My car did a 360. I radioed dispatch to advise the sheriff and the THP of the accident and told them that I was still in pursuit of the van." Ward says he wasn't hurt in the mishap but Dr. Ruanto and his wife Basilisa Ruanto went by private vehicle to the Cookeville hospital for treatment.

Smithville Police Officer Chris Russell joined Deputy Ward in the pursuit as it continued south on the Short Mountain Highway. The van later turned off onto another road, apparently trying to allude the officers, and while Officer Russell continued traveling south on Highway 146, Officer Ward kept following the van until it eventually came back out on the Short Mountain Highway heading toward the Cannon County line.

The van, which was in between the county and city patrol cars after it got back on the highway, rear-ended the city cruiser as the officers tried to force it off the road. Ward says " We tried to sandwich him in to get him off the road but oncoming traffic made it difficult." Officer Russell was apparently uninjured in the collision.

Ward says the van continued some three miles into Cannon County and then left the road, tore through a fence, and went into a cow pasture. After coming to a stream, he says the driver abandoned the van and tried to flee on foot. He was later found hiding among the woods and a bean field.

Other officers who arrived on the scene to assist deputy Ward and officer Russell in the search for Young were Sergeant Kenneth Whitehead and officers David Sharp and Joe Ray of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department along with officers of both the Cannon and Warren County Sheriff's Departments.

Smithville Police Charge Sparta Woman with Criminal Responsibility In Drug Case

January 15, 2009
Dwayne Page
Misty Rose Lewis
Charles Mount
Gregory Johnson

Smithville Police have charged a 20 year old Sparta woman with criminal responsibility stemming from a case last summer in which cocaine was found in her vehicle after a routine traffic stop.

Misty Rose Lewis is under a $15,000 bond and she will be in court February 5th.

Police say Lewis, 25 year old Charles Mount, and 21 year old Gregory Johnson were in a 2001 Mercedes-Benz C320 that was stopped by K-9 Officer Bradley Tatrow on South Mountain Street in August. The K-9 dog Astro detected the presence of drugs in the car and a subsequent search by police revealed three ounces of crack cocaine in the back seat area. Mount also had in his possession a small bag of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.

Mount allegedly tried to flee on foot during the search, but he was quickly apprehended. Mount was charged with simple possession of a schedule VI drug and evading arrest. Johnson was charged with possession of cocaine for resale. The car was also seized. In addition to criminal responsibility, Lewis is also charged with child endangerment. Both Mount and Johnson are from Putnam County.

The criminal responsibility charge was filed against Lewis because she allegedly provided a vehicle, registered in her name, that allowed friends of hers to go and purchase cocaine. And when the vehicle was stopped by police, Lewis allegedly put the cocaine in her child's car seat with the child in the seat, at the request of a co-defendant, in order to hide the cocaine from police.

The cases against all three are still pending in court.

Meanwhile in other cases, 40 year old Christopher Joseph Cantrell is charged with a first offense of driving under the influence. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on February 5th.

Officer Travis Bryant reports that he responded to the hospital on January 6th where a service truck was stuck. Upon arrival, Officer Bryant spoke with the driver, Cantrell, who stated that he had slid off the roadway on private property and was trying to get someone to pull him out. While speaking to Cantrell, Officer Bryant noticed his speech was very slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. He performed poorly on several field sobriety tasks but did submit to a blood test.

47 year old Jackie Mark Mullican is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court on January 22nd.

Officer Travis Bryant reports that on January 1st he responded to City Walk Apartments on Bryant Street and spoke with a female who said that Mullican had just gone out the back window of an apartment.. Officer Bryant then ran out to the front of the building and observed Mullican walking by the road. Bryant asked Mullican to come over to where he was standing. As Mullican began walking over toward him, Officer Bryant observed Mullican drop an item into the bed of a truck. Officer Bryant said he looked in the back of the truck and saw a syringe and a cut straw containing a white residue.

35 year old Luis Ramirez is charged with no drivers license. His bond is $1,000 and he will be in court February 5th.

Officer Matt Holmes reports that he was on routine patrol traveling east on East Broad Street on January 9th when he attempted to pass Ramirez's vehicle. Officer Holmes says the Ramirez car moved into his lane and almost hit him. Holmes stopped the vehicle and asked the driver, Ramirez, to show him his drivers license, but Ramirez didn't have one.

36 year old Angel M. Whited is charged with a first offense of driving on a revoked license. Her bond is $1,500 and she will be in court on January 28th.

Officer Scott Davis reports that he observed Whited behind the wheel of a vehicle at the DeKalb County Jail preparing to leave. Having prior knowledge that her license was revoked, Officer Davis stopped her. A check of her license showed that it was revoked for failure to file security after an accident last March in White County.

Loader Turns Himself In at DeKalb County Jail

January 15, 2009
Dwayne Page
Jeremy Loader

A man wanted by the Sheriff's Department for theft and other charges has turned himself in.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 25 year old Jeremy Daniel Loader showed up at the DeKalb County Jail at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday without incident. Loader is charged with aggravated assault, evading arrest, theft of property over $1,000, and violation of parole. Loader's bond was set at $45,000 on the charges taken by the Sheriff's Department and he will appear in court on January 29th.. A hold with out bond has been placed on him for the violation of parole warrant.

As WJLE reported earlier this week, Sheriff Ray says"On Monday night January 5th, a deputy responded to a call on Bethel Road, Smithville to investigate a break-in at a residence where several weapons were taken. While the officer was at the home, Loader telephoned and advised the victim that in fact he (Loader) was the one who took the weapons and that he wanted to come back and talk with the victim. After hearing Loader admit to the theft, the deputy left the residence and went down the road hoping to intercept Loader. After making contact with Loader, the deputy approached the driver's side of the vehicle, but Loader put the automobile in reverse in an attempt to flee. Loader's vehicle came in such close contact with the deputy that it almost struck him. The deputy, thinking Loader was trying to hit him, fired two rounds, striking the rear tire of Loader's vehicle. Loader alluded the officer and was last seen on Bethel Road. A BOLO "Be On The Lookout" was issued to DeKalb and surrounding counties. A short time later, Loader's vehicle was found abandoned on Wood's Cemetery Road in Warren County. "

In another case, Sheriff Ray says 28 year old Robert Paul Brawley of Felts Road, Sparta (DeKalb County) came into the DeKalb County Jail Monday on personal business. While at the Jail, Brawley was told he had an arrest warrant on him out of Rutherford County. Brawley turned and ran out of the jail on foot. Deputies pursued Brawley and he was caught a short distance from the Jail. Brawley was charged with escape and evading arrest. His bond was set at $20,000 and he will appear in court on January 22nd.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday deputies went to the home of 23 year old Donald Richard Atnip Jr. on Jefferson Road to serve state warrants on him for burglary and vandalism over $500. After officers made entry into the residence, they found Atnip lying on the floor in a bedroom. When they got Atnip off of the floor, deputies found 12 white pills believed to be percocet on the floor where Atnip was lying. Officers also found a red hollow ink pen barrel containing a white powdery residue in Atnip's pocket. Besides the burglary and vandalism charges sought on Atnip by a citizen, deputies charged him with possession of a schedule II drug (percocet) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Total bond for Atnip was set at $14,500. Atnip admitted that the drugs belonged to him and that he did not have a prescription for the percocets.


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