Local News Articles

Judge Hands Down Sentences in Criminal Court

August 5, 2011
Dwayne Page
Auston Wood
Nieka (Nikki) Danielle Barrett Patton

A 24 year old man charged in the theft of a truck last November was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court Monday after entering a plea in a negotiated settlement.

Auston Wood pleaded guilty to theft under $500 and Judge Leon Burns, Jr. sentenced him to 11 months and 29 days, all suspended to probation except for eight days to serve. He has already served the eight days and has been given jail credit for it.

Wood was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department on Monday, November 8th, 2010 after he obtained the services of a tow truck operator to haul off a truck for scrap from property on the Cookeville Highway. But what the tow truck operator did not know was that Wood was actually stealing the truck. The value of the truck is $450. According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Wood told the tow truck operator that he had bought the truck and that he wanted to haul it off to a scrap yard on the Cookeville Highway. The truck was already loaded on the wrecker and ready to go when officers arrived. But again, Sheriff Ray stressed that the tow truck operator had no knowledge that Wood was trying to steal the truck.

Meanwhile, 31 year old Nieka (Nikki) Danielle Barrett Patton pleaded guilty to initiating the manufacture of meth. She received an eight year sentence in community corrections. Patton was fined $2,000.

She was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department on February 12, 2010 after complaints of illegal drug activity at her home. Sheriff Ray said when officers entered the home, they detected an odor of marijuana. After obtaining consent to search, authorities found drugs such as percocets, Xanaxs, marijuana, adderall, methadone, and methamphetamine in Patton's bedroom along with drug paraphernalia such as razors, gravity and digital scales, a pill grinder and rolling papers. While searching an outbuilding, detectives also found a methamphetamine lab, a two liter bottle of a three layer liquid, a gallon of muratic acid, jars of unknown liquids, propane tanks with burners, turkey baster, coffee filters, Pyrex dishes, tubing, funnel, rubber gloves and a duffle bag containing butane fuel, lighter fuel, and a leatherman tool. Patton also had in her bedroom more components of the lab including 14 lithium batteries, coffee filters, and 168 cold tablets that contained pseudoephedrine.

The Sheriff's Department also contacted the Department of Children Services after finding in the home Patton's three children, ages 13, 10 and an infant. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force's response truck and an Environmental Cleanup Service were summoned to assist detectives at the scene.

56 year old Susan Jenna Brown pleaded guilty to sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance and received a three year sentence in each case to run consecutively for a total of six years in community corrections. The sentences are to also run consecutively with a violation of probation against her. She was fined $2,000

34 year old Gary R. Ashford pleaded guilty to a first offense of driving under the influence. He received a sentence of 11 months and 29 days with 48 hours to serve. Ashford was fined $365 and he must make restitution. Ashford will lose his license for a period of time and he must also attend an alcohol safety program and undergo an alcohol and drug assessment. He was given credit for four hours served.

Smithville Junior Police Program Receives Donation from Project Hometown Help

August 5, 2011
Dwayne Page
Smithville Junior Police Program Receives Donation from Project Hometown Help

The Smithville Police Department's Junior Police Program has received a donation of $150 from Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District's Project Hometown Help.

Project Hometown Help began in April, 2005 and since that time has distributed more than $1,304,815 to the communities served by the MTUD district. It is funded by the customers of Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Utility District who allow the District to round their monthly bill to the next dollar. Funds collected are allocated back to the areas from which they were contributed to the extent practical.

According to MTUD's "Gaslight News"a total of 213 allocations were made to various agencies and organizations totaling $144,895 through Project Hometown Help from November, 2010 through May, 2011 including $11,929 allocations in DeKalb County

Pictured above: Front Row Left to Right:: Kaden Trapp, Jordan Parker, Ethan Trapp, Canaan Johnson, & Milas Driver

Back Row Left to Right: Detective Brandon Donnell, Officer Bradley Tatrow, Mike Corley, Police Chief Randy Caplinger, Captain Steven Leffew

(Note: misprint on check: Actual donation $150)

Allens Chapel UMC to Host "Freedom to Soar" Seminar for Women

August 5, 2011
Dwayne Page
Jamie Anderson and Carrie Alston

"Freedom to Soar", a Women's Seminar will be held Friday, August 5 from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 6 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. (lunch provided) at the Allen's Chapel United Methodist Church, 1037 Coconut Ridge Road, Smithville.

Inspirational speaker Carrie Alston will be featured along with a Woman at the Well Dramatization and Testimony from Jackie Elliott.

Alston was born in Dothan Alabama to a very poor family. Though they were materially poor, they were rich in their love of God and the church. Her rich spiritual heritage explains her passion and how the Lord has carried her beyond where she was to where she is now. Alston has been in the ministry field for many years as a missionary and an evangelist. She has worked with the widows and orphans in Africa as well as at home teaching and preaching the love of God. She is no stranger to suffering, but it is through the suffering of life and circumstances that Alston has learned obedience. With the Holy Spirit being her teacher, she has found her way to the path of freedom.

The lesson she desires to bring to women is of freedom. There are times we all experience trouble and heartache as we carry burdens that are of our own making or at times of others. The message Alston brings is there is a way out and that is Jesus. In His Word we find His promise of healing and wholeness to body, soul, and spirit. Freedom comes as you give to Him what you have in exchange for what He gives. The call is to the sinner and the saint, whosoever will let him come.

For more information about the seminar, call 615-489-7247

Final Slate of Candidates Set for DTC Election of Directors

August 5, 2011

The final slate of candidates is set for DTC Communications’ election of directors next month.

Directors will be elected in three exchanges, including the Milton (273), Norene (286), and Woodbury (563) exchanges.

Incumbents Charles Dwight Vinson, Terry McPeak, and Greg Rogers are running unopposed in the Milton, Norene, and Woodbury exchanges, respectively.

Voting for directors will take place at the cooperative’s annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 17. Gates to the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Alexandria will open at 11:45 a.m., with voting from noon until 4 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 4 p.m. or once the last person in line at that time has voted.

Only DTC members may vote, and each member must present identification. For a single membership, only that individual may vote. Either member of a joint membership may vote, but not both. In the case of a business membership, a business affidavit is required.

Thursday, Sept. 8, will be the last day to make changes to your membership for the 2011 election.
For questions regarding membership and voting guidelines, refer to the by-laws section included in the current DTC phone directory, or call DTC at 615-529-2955.

Local Businessman Indicted Again

August 4, 2011
Dwayne Page
Mark Violet

A little more than thirteen months after being charged with felony theft in a previous case, a Smithville businessman is in trouble with the law again, this time accused of selling a stolen U.S. military issue laser sight .

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said that Mark Violet of K & M Jewelry has been named in a sealed indictment returned by the DeKalb County Grand Jury charging him with theft over $1,000. Violet is under a $10,000 bond on the charge and will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, August 15.

The indictment alleges that on or about the 6th day of January, 2011, Violet knowingly obtained or exercised control over certain property, to wit: a military issue "inoculator" laser sight being over the value of $1,000, the property of the United States Government, constituting the offense of theft.

The case against Violet was presented to the Grand Jury on Monday and a sealed indictment was returned that afternoon. He was arrested on the charge Wednesday and has posted bond.

Violet was charged with two counts of theft over $1,000 in a separate investigation by the Smithville Police Department and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department in June, 2010. Violet was indicted on those charges last December. That case against him remains pending in court.

Five Indicted in Smithville Police Department Undercover Drug Investigation

August 4, 2011
Dwayne Page
Terry Price
Mark Goodson
Travis Malone
Danny Ponder

An undercover drug investigation by the Smithville Police Department has resulted in grand jury sealed indictments against five people.

Smithville Police Chief Randy Caplinger said four of the defendants have been arrested including 50 year old Terry Price, 45 year old Mark Goodson, 29 year old Travis Malone, and 50 year old Danny Ponder, each of them charged with sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance in a school zone.

According to Detective Matt Holmes, a confidential source purchased two dilaudid pills from Malone and Ponder on February 23 and from Goodson on March 4 at a location within one thousand feet of Smithville Elementary School.

Price allegedly sold two dilaudid pills to an undercover source on March 4 at the City Walk Apartments, where he lives which is also within one thousand feet of Smithville Elementary School.

Bond for each is $50,000 and they will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, August 15.

The indictments allege that on or about February 23 with Malone and Ponder and March 4 with Goodson and Price, the defendants sold and delivered a schedule II controlled substance within 1,000 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, secondary school, preschool, childcare agency, or public library, recreational center or park.

Meanwhile in a separate investigation, Smithville Police while checking out a suspicious camper where drug activity is alleged to have been occurring, arrested a 37 year old man Tuesday on drug charges and other offenses.

Chief Randy Caplinger reports that Jeff Sanders of Lincoln Street is charged with tampering with evidence, disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance (Xanax) and possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Morphine). His bond totals $18,000

Detective Brandon Donnell said that Smithville Police were called to investigate possible drug traffic coming from a camper on West Main near Lincoln Street. "As we pulled up to the camper, Jeff Sanders walked up. We told him that we were there on an investigation. Sanders said it was his camper and that he was fixing to move it. We told him not to move it until the investigation was complete," said Detective Donnell.

"Sanders left and came back with a blue wrecker. He backed the wrecker up to the camper and moved the camper about ten yards until we got him to stop. We then took Sanders into custody. As I was searching Sanders prior to his arrest, I found a syringe in his pocket," said Detective Donnell.

"K-9 officer James Cornelius deployed the K-9 around the camper and the dog hit on the camper. We made entry inside the camper and found a syringe, two small blue pills and a spoon with a melted pill believed to be morphine," according to Detective Donnell.

The wrecker was seized after police identified it as a vehicle used in the commission of a felony stemming from a recent theft investigation.

In addition to K-9 officer Cornelius, Detective Donnell was assisted at the scene by Sergeant Andy Snow, Detective Matt Holmes, Chief Randy Caplinger, and Patrolman David Phillips.

Two School Buses Involved in Minor Mishap, No One Injured

August 3, 2011
Dwayne Page
Bus #2 with minor damage to the left of the doors
Bus #05-21 with minor damage to the left side bumper and reflector,

Two school buses were involved in a minor accident Wednesday afternoon as they were lining up to board children at Smithville Elementary school. Neither the drivers nor the students already on the buses were injured.

Central dispatch received the call at 3:15 p.m.

One of the buses, #2 driven by Bobby Taylor, accidently bumped into the rear of another bus, #05-21 driven by Marshall Ferrell. Both buses received minor damage. Impact was at an angle with damage to Taylor's bus to the left of the doors on the right side near the front. Damage to Ferrell's bus consisted of dents to the left side rear bumper and on the black striping just below the left turn signal, along with a broken reflector.

Twenty four students were on Ferrell's bus while Taylor's bus had twenty three student passengers at the time of the mishap.

Some parents arrived at the school to pick up their children from the buses after learning of the accident. The other students remained aboard the buses as Trooper Allen England of the Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted his investigation.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby said neither bus was disabled because of the mishap and Ferrell completed the route, taking home the students on his bus. Students on Taylor's bus were transferred to another bus at the school and then taken home. Although Taylor's bus was not disabled, it was taken on to the school bus garage. Ferrell's bus will also be taken in for repairs.

Grand Jury Indicts 44 People Including Two Men in Local Rape Cases

August 2, 2011
Dwayne Page
Joshua Cook
Walter R. Hartman

The DeKalb County Grand Jury Monday indicted two men in separate rape cases involving children.

23 year old Joshua Cook has been indicted on two counts of rape of a child while 47 year old Walter R. Hartman is indicted on two counts of aggravated rape and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that Cook, who had been staying in Liberty, was arrested on Thursday, October 28th, 2010. At the time of his arrest, Cook was believed to be homeless.

According to Sheriff Ray, Cook allegedly performed sexual acts on a six year old and a ten year old male child on Church Street in Liberty and then he allegedly had the two children perform sexual acts on him. These events allegedly took place on September 15th, 2010.

Hartman, meanwhile allegedly provided beer to two fourteen year old girls and engaged in sexual activity with them at his home on February 26.

Cook and Hartman are among forty four persons indicted by the August term of the Grand Jury including six named in sealed indictments. All those indicted will appear for arraignment in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Monday, August 15 at 9:00 a.m.

Those indicted and their charges are as follows:

Agustine Munez- driving under the influence and no drivers license

David D. Miller- aggravated assault

David Dennis Miller- resisting arrest

Kenny Stults- theft over $500, theft under $500 (2 charges), and theft over $1,000

Earnest P. Barnwell- theft under $500

Cynthia D. Walls- driving under the influence

Sharon K. Skinner- possession of paraphernalia and criminal impersonation

Janet R. Mayo- possession of a schedule II and VI controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia

Steve A. Hale- possession of a schedule III and IV controlled substance for resale, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, and a third offense of driving under the influence

Ray D. Underwood and Bradley S. Redmon- assault

Edgar Hernandez- driving on a revoked license

Brittany D. Barnes- theft under $500

Elizabeth Ann Chalfant- driving under the influence, possession of paraphernalia, a 4th offense of driving on a suspended license (2 counts), reckless endangerment, violation of the implied consent law

David Graham and Alexandria Rowell- child neglect, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia

Emily F. Fare- aggravated assault

Walter R. Hartman- aggravated rape (2 counts) and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (2 counts)

Stephanie Ann Fagan- aggravated child abuse and possession of a schedule VI and II controlled substance

Courtney Paris- possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale (2 counts)

Chad Carrier- theft over $1,000 and violation of an order of protection

Melinda Murphy- fraudulent use of a credit card (2 charges) and theft under $500

Angela Howell- fraudulent use of a credit card (2 counts) and theft under $500

Jonathan Eugene Cash- driving on a revoked license (6th offense)

James L. Owen- promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine

Theresa Columbo- driving under the influence

Thomas Joseph Somoza- driving under the influence, possession of a handgun under the influence, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, criminal impersonation, no drivers license, and violation of the implied consent law.

Matthew A. Baker- driving on a revoked license (2 charges) , possession of paraphernalia

Brandon K. Thomas- initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine

Rickey Hendrixson- initiation of the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance

Rhonda F. Brewer- introduction of contraband into a penal institution

Tammy Jennings- possession of paraphernalia

Charlie Chad Barnes and Terry Ray Barnes- initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine

Nena R. Chapman- theft over $10,000

James Stringer- burglary, theft over $1,000, and theft over $500

Julie Moore- theft under $500 (4 charges), forgery (3 charges)

Joshua Cook- rape of a child (2 counts)

Antonio Cezar Wilford- possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and alteration of an item's distinguishing numbers

The names of those charged in sealed indictments cannot be disclosed until they are arrested.

Smithville Police Charge Local Man with Burglary and Auto Theft

August 2, 2011
Dwayne Page
Jessie Robert Adcock
Mark Goodson
Dickie Bain
Jimmy Peck
Terrence Martin

Smithville Police have charged a 31 year old DeKalb County man with two counts of burglary and one count of auto theft after a couple of incidents early Saturday morning.

Jessie Robert Adcock of Obie Adcock Road is under a $20,000 bond

Chief Randy Caplinger said that on Saturday morning at 4:48 a.m. police were called to Mapco Express where an employee reported seeing a man get into her vehicle in the parking lot. After police were notified, the man got out of the car and walked across the street, where employees of Mapco said it appeared he was trying to get into automobiles parked at Hardees.

Adcock was still in the Hardees parking lot when the officer arrived. He was taken into custody for questioning. Adcock admitted to opening the door to the car at Mapco Express but denied getting in it.

While Adcock was being questioned, police received a call of an auto theft on Woodlawn Street. According to the victim, the vehicle, a black Dodge pickup was stolen sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. that morning. The truck was later found parked at Hardees.

Adcock allegedly admitted to taking the truck from the Woodlawn Street home and driving it to Hardees.

Smithville Police have charged four men in connection with the recent theft of a riding lawn mower.

Chief Caplinger reports that 45 year old Mark Goodson, 42 year old Dickie Bain, and 57 year old Jimmy Peck are each charged with theft of property over $1,000. 29 year old Terrence Martin, along with Goodson and Bain are also charged with filing a false report.

Chief Caplinger reports that just before midnight on July 25 a man called central dispatch to report that his Cub Cadet lawn mower was missing. Someone had apparently stolen it from his yard on Snow Street while he was at work. A witness in the neighborhood later reported to police that he had seen two men stop in a Jeep Cherokee at the victim's home and load the riding lawn mower onto a utility trailer. Earlier in the night police had stopped to check out a couple of vehicles at the city park on Smith Road including the Jeep Cherokee with the utility trailer and lawn mower. Goodson, Bain, Martin, and Peck were present but when questioned told police that the lawn mower belonged to one of them. At that time police were unaware of the theft. Shortly after midnight, police, having learned of the theft, spotted the Jeep Cherokee again while on patrol and stopped it. The small utility trailer was still attached with the Cub Cadet riding lawn mower aboard. The four men in the truck Goodson, Bain, Martin, Peck, were subsequently arrested and charged in the case. They will appear in court August 11.

In another case, David Hill was issued a citation for shoplifting after an incident at Save A Lot on July 18 in which he allegedly tried to steal two packs of meat.

Chief Caplinger reports that the store manager saw Hill put two packs of meat down the front of his pants. Hill was stopped as he exited the store. His bond is $1,500 and he will be in court on August 4.

Anthony Joe Hamilton was arrested July 20 on two counts of simple possession of a schedule IV drug and one count of simple possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. Hamilton, who had a warrant against him out of Putnam County, was stopped by Smithville Police at the Mapco convenience market. During the investigation, the officer noticed that Hamilton appeared to be trying to conceal something. Found were fourteen pills including what were believed to be xanax and valium. Hamilton also produced a small bag from his left pocket containing what appeared to be marijuana.

Alicia Chambers is charged with a second offense of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, and filing a false police report. A co-defendant in the case, Christopher Scruggs was charged with filing a false report.

Chief Caplinger reports that police responded to a traffic accident on South Congress Boulevard in front of McDonald's on July 23. One of the vehicles involved in the mishap left the scene, heading south on Congress Boulevard. The vehicle then pulled into the parking lot of the Sonic Drive-In. Chambers, the woman inside the automobile, got out and ran to a residence at 610 Bright Hill Road. She returned to the Sonic shortly thereafter and with her was Christopher Scruggs, who told police that it was he who was driving the vehicle involved in the accident. Chief Caplinger said police later learned, after viewing surveillance video from McDonalds, that it was not Scruggs but Chambers who was the driver. Chambers was picked up by police and charged in the case. At the time of her arrest, police said Chambers was unsteady on her feet and had slurred speech.

Ms. Chambers, in an email to WJLE, wrote that she was "not under the influence of ANY substance and wasn't arrested until 4 hours after the accident occurred and was NEVER given nor offered a field sobriety test or blood test". "Matter of fact", she wrote, "the officers told my colleague I was ok to come back to work, as I was on my lunch break when the accident occurred. I hardly think any employer would allow an employee to work while under the influence."

Vicky Cox was charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and drug paraphernalia on July 28. She will be in court on August 25.

Chief Caplinger reports that an officer was called to Kwik-N-Ezy after someone driving a vehicle had struck the building. There were apparently no injuries or serious damage to the building but the driver, Cox, was charged in the case. Cox told police that she was distracted by a dog she had in the vehicle with her resulting in the accident. Cox gave the officer consent to search and he found some marijuana and rolling papers.

Curtis Jones is charged with driving on a revoked license and possession with intent to resell a schedule II controlled substance. He will be in court on August 18.

Chief Caplinger reports that Jones was recently pulled over on a traffic stop and police discovered that his license were revoked for a prior DUI. While taking inventory of the vehicle, the officer found a bottle containing morphine pills. Police seized the drugs and over five hundred dollars in cash..

Mateo Martin was charged with driving on a revoked license on July 29. Police pulled over Martin's vehicle after spotting it weaving on Congress Boulevard, failing to maintain the proper lane of travel. The officer asked Martin for his driver's license, but he didn't have one. A computer check revealed that his license had been revoked for a previous DUI in Putnam County. Martin will be in court on August 25.

Luis Bartolo Velazquez was charged with driving under the influence on July 18. While running radar in the Miller Road, Short Mountain Street area, police spotted Velazquez's vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer pulled over his automobile on South College Street and found that Velazquez was unsteady on his feet.

Amanda Shriver was issued a citation for theft of merchandise in a shoplifting incident at the Dollar General Store on July 22.

Police cited Nathaniel Tippens for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on July 16.

Jerry Goff was issued a citation on July 28 for simple possession of a schedule III and VI controlled substance and simple possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police cited Sabrina Brown for theft of merchandise in a shoplifting incident at Food Lion on July 23.

Alex Rajas was issued a citation on July 16 for violation of the open container law, violation of the financial responsibility law, and a drivers license violation.


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