Local News Articles

City Budget Adopted on First Reading- Water and Sewer Rates to Increase

September 8, 2010
Dwayne Page
Mayor Taft Hendrixson

Water and sewer rates for Smithville customers will increase with the passage of the 2010-11 city budget.

The proposed budget, totaling $6-million 160-thousand 768 was adopted on first reading by the Smithville Aldermen Tuesday night. Second and final reading passage will be scheduled following a public hearing at a special meeting on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

City officials say the water and sewer fund is currently running in the red and if that continues two years in a row, the state will adjust the rates if the city doesn't act. The state requires municipal water and sewer systems to be financially self supporting. City leaders say Smithville has not raised water rates since 1998.

According to the current water and sewer rates, a customer with a minimum monthly bill pays $7.12 plus tax. Under the new rates, the same customer with a minimum monthly bill would pay $10.00 plus tax.

If a customer uses 4,000 gallons per month, he now pays $30.60 plus tax. Under the new rates, the same customer using 4,000 gallons per month would pay $40.00 plus tax.

Specifically, the rate for city water customers would increase from the current level of $3.50 to $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus a $1.50 increase from the current rate of $3.50 to $5.00 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Outside city rates would increase to $7.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $7.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage

The rate for city sewer customers, under the new budget, would increase from the current level of $3.62 for a flat usage rate to $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of usage plus a $1.75 cent increase from the current rate of $3.25 to $5.00 per thousand gallons thereafter.

The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District for water is $1.90 per thousand gallons but would increase to $1.95 beginning with January 1st, 2011 sales.

Water tap fees for customers inside the city limits would jump from $400 to $600 for a three quarter inch water line and the sewer tap fee would go from $400 to $600 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, the fees will continue to be cost plus 10%.

For customers outside the city limits, water tap fees would increase from $525 to $800 for a three quarter inch line. Fees would go from $525 to $800 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, then the fees will continue to be cost plus 10%.

The new budget calls for the property tax rate to remain the same at almost 62 cents ($.6194 cents) per $100 of assessed value.

The proposed budget calls for city employees with up to four years of service to get their automatic step pay increases as defined in the wage scale and a cost of living increase of 3.4% . City employees with more than four years of service, who have topped out on the wage scale would only get the cost of living increase.

Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $795,000. The largest single category is $400,000 for a used ladder truck.

Other Specific projects are as follows: Financial Administration- $25,000 unspecified

Parks and Recreation-$5,000 to pave a basketball court, $15,000 for a 1.5 mile walking trail, and $5,000 for a fence

Public Works/Buildings and Grounds- $15,000 for a trailer

City Hall Building - $25,000

Fire Protection- $15,000 for a compressor, $10,000 for a used vehicle and unspecified and $400,000 for the used ladder truck

Street Department- $10,000 for downtown beautification and $10,000 unspecified

Police Department- $25,000 for a police car, $7,000 for a security camera system, $2,500 for a car camera, and $5,500 unspecified

Swimming Pool- $10,000 unspecified

Airport- $190,000 for grant projects completion and $10,000 unspecified

Animal Shelter- $5,000 unspecified; Sanitation Fund- $5,000 and Drug Fund- $10,000 unspecified.

Proposed water and sewer fund Fixed Asset Additions: Automatic meter readers project- $360,000; update of water plant and engineering fees- $2,700,000; sewer rehabilitation camera $125,000; Debt repayment-principal: bonds- $233,560.

Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.

The proposed budget breaks down as follows:

General Fund: $3,022,500
Special Revenue Fund-Sanitation: $277,350
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,141,808
Drug Fund: $5,250
Appropriation of Surplus- General Fund: $528,951
Appropriation of Surplus-Drug Fund: $34,000
Appropriation of Surplus-Water & Sewer Fund: $154,909

Total Revenues: $6,160,768

General Fund: $3,551,451
Special Revenue Funds Sanitation: $271,315
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,292,717
Surplus in Sanitation Fund: $6,035
Drug Fund: $39,250

Total expenditures: $6,160,768

City Fathers Support Plan to Share Costs of Directing Traffic at Northside Elementary

September 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
Alderman Aaron Meeks
Alderman Shawn Jacobs
Alderman Steve White

The Smithville Aldermen Tuesday night voted to participate in a partnership with the county and the school system to appropriate up to three thousand dollars a year toward the cost of hiring someone to direct traffic in the school zone at Northside Elementary, with the understanding that the county and school board will each fund one third of the cost as well.

The aldermen also voted for the city to assign someone to go ahead and start directing traffic there in the meantime, until the school board and county commission can take action on this proposal.

Last Thursday, several county and city officials held an informal meeting at the courthouse to discuss the plan which calls for the County, the City of Smithville, and the Board of Education to share in the cost of funding the position of one crossing guard or officer to direct traffic in the mornings and afternoons for a total of approximately four hours a day, Monday through Friday, in the school zone at Northside Elementary School. County Mayor Mike Foster said the cost is estimated to be eight to nine thousand dollars per year, which could be split equally between the county, city, and school system. In addition, Foster said the school board would be asked to employ the person to do the job, preferably someone who is trained and already knows how to direct traffic.

Neither of the school board members nor Director of Schools Mark Willoughby were present at the Thursday discussion because they were already scheduled to attend another meeting.

During last night's special city council meeting, Mayor Hendrixson brought the issue up for discussion. "What the city and Mayor Foster's office discussed is to hire someone to do like two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon at Northside with a cost of approximately eight thousand dollars per year. We came to the conclusion maybe that the fair way to do it is split it three ways. We're talking in the neighborhood of no more than three thousand dollars a year for the school board, the county, and city of Smithville."

Alderman Aaron Meeks recommended that one of the county's constables be considered for the position, if funded. "Johnny King is a constable. He has done this in the past. He is very well qualified and if he needs additional training I'm sure he would be glad to go and get additional training. He would be covered under the county's liability policy. So liability would not be an issue. He would like to do the job. In fact he indicated that he probably wouldn't need four hours a day. He could probably get it done in three. But if we need four, he could do the four. I think the conclusion of the people present at the meeting (Thursday) was that a three way split was a fair and equitable way of handling the problem and it leaves our police officers to do their job and or run radar to slow the people down who are coming through school zones at a high rate of speed, which they can't do if they are standing out in the middle of the street. I think it's a very fair and equitable way of handling it."

Alderman Meeks later made a motion that the city fund one third of the position. "For the city's part, we would be glad to participate on our one third portion of it. Details can be worked out."

Mayor Hendrixson added, "All we can do is our one third and then it's up to the school board and or the county commission to do whatever they want to do."

The motion was adopted unanimously.

Alderman Steve White then went further, suggesting that the city proceed immediately to have someone direct traffic at Northside until the county and school board act on their part of the proposal. " I believe we need someone out there directing traffic even if we use John (Johnny King). I think we have in the budget for a part time officer anyway. If it's where our officers couldn't do it then they could get him to do it. I think it's very urgent that we do have someone out there."

Alderman Shawn Jacobs agreed saying"Let me tell you gentlemen what I'm hearing, and I'm hearing it a lot. That if we can have somebody out there running radar, we can have somebody directing traffic"

Mayor Hendrixson responded, "I think why they run the radar is to slow the traffic down."

Alderman Jacobs answered, "I understand that but the perception of the public is we're just against directing traffic in the school zone. My point is, I agree with Steve, I think we need to get the issue resolved until the county and school board work it out. If we come to an impasse we may have to readdress it later."

The aldermen voted unanimously to have someone direct traffic in the school zone at Northside Elementary at least for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon until the county and school board act.

Smithville Aldermen Vote to Set Wage Scale for Salaried City Employees

September 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
Mayor Taft Hendrixson
Alderman W.J. (Dub) White
Alderman Cecil Burger

Smithville Aldermen Tuesday night met in special session and adopted a new ordinance on first reading setting a wage scale for salaried city employees. Hourly employees will continue to be paid according to the existing wage scale. In fact the only change regarding hourly employees will be that the aldermen will decide each year whether or not to budget a cost of living pay raise for them

Second and final reading action on this ordinance will be scheduled following a public hearing at another special meeting set for Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Last week, Mayor Taft Hendrixson presented a proposed new wage scale ordinance, which he said would have addressed the problem of pay inequities among city employees. It was intended to apply only to new employees hired after July 1st, 2010.

Mayor Hendrixson said last week that with the proposed new wage scale, city employees hired after July 1st, 2010 would have received starting hourly pay, comparable to the old wage scale, but they would have gotten a fifty cent per hour step increase each year up to four years, effective on the anniversary date of employment, in lieu of cost of living raises. After four years, these same employees would only have received a yearly cost of living increase, if the city aldermen were to vote to give a COLA raise each year.

Last night, Mayor Hendrixson announced that the proposal he offered last week was being dropped as far as the hourly employees is concerned and that they would continue to be paid according to the existing wage scale. "The hourly employees revert back, and it's in this budget in ordinance #430, that using the old wage scale, just like it was before anything was done to it, except the salaried employees."

Under the current wage scale, city employees with less than four years of service will continue to receive a regular step increase in pay until they top out on the wage scale. Annual cost of living raises will no longer be automatic. COLAs will be determined by the board of aldermen each year.

Last night, the aldermen voted unanimously to budget a 3.4% cost of living raise for all hourly city employees for the 2010-11 fiscal year. So hourly employees with less than four years of service will receive their step raise on the pay scale with a cost of living adjustment while hourly employees who have topped out on the wage scale with over four years of service will only receive the cost of living increase.

The new ordinance setting the wage scale for salaried employees states that "Wages for the Secretary-Treasurer, Police Chief, Building Inspector, Airport Manager, and City Judge will be as outlined on the official wage scale chart each budget year. Any cost of living increase is subject to Board approval each year for all city employees, and shall be established by the cost of living as determined by the Federal Government. The Secretary-Treasurer, Police Chief, City Judge, Building Inspector, and Airport Manager are salaried officials, with salaries established and approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen each year."

"In setting the wages for employees, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen may consider the prior work experience, or extraordinary ability of such employee."

"Any employee hired by the City that requires a certification will be given eighteen months to become certified or they will be subject to dismissal."

The new budget reveals the salaries of each of these employees:

Police Chief: $46,800 plus a one percent bonus to equal $47,268 total salary

Secretary-Treasurer: $48,443 plus a one percent bonus to equal $48,928 total salary

Airport Manager: $28,950 plus a one percent bonus to equal $29,239 total salary

Part-time Building Inspector: $16,477 plus a one percent bonus to equal $16,641 total salary

City Judge: $12,000 per year.

Deputy Breaks up Suspected Drug Deal-Three Men Arrested

September 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
Scottie Wayne Knowles
Riley Anthony Bullard
Dennis C. Ellis
Timothy Wade Ford

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department broke up a suspected drug transaction just as it was taking place Thursday, September 2nd .

Three men were arrested, 31 year old Scottie Wayne Knowles of Jacobs Pillar Road, 44 year old Riley Anthony Bullard of Adcock Cemetery Road, and Dennis C. Ellis of Anthony Avenue.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray a deputy was preparing to pull over a car for a traffic violation when he saw it pull into a cul de sac driveway on Hickory Street. The officer followed the car, driven by Ellis. Bullard, a passenger of the car, allegedly could be seen counting out nineteen whole dilaudid pills and three half pills. At the time of his arrest, Bullard also had on him ninety dollars in cash.

Knowles, who was also parked there, apparently had gotten out of his vehicle and approached Ellis' car with a handful of cash, allegedly to make the purchase from Bullard.

After making the arrests, the deputy received consent to search Knowles' vehicle and found a used hypodermic needle under the seat where he had been sitting.

Knowles is charged with criminal responsibility for facilitation of a felony and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $27,500 and he will be in court on September 16th.

Bullard is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance (dilaudid) for resale. His bond is $50,000 and he will be in court on September 16th

Ellis is charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale (dilaudid).

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Sheriff Ray says a prisoner in the DeKalb County Jail, 39 year old Timothy Wade Ford of Brush Creek Road, is charged with possession of prohibited weapons. According to Sheriff Ray, correctional officers went into the jail annex and conducted a search. There they searched Ford's belongings and found four shanks or knives that he had made while in jail. Bond for Ford is $5,000 and his court date is September 16th.

Sheriff's Department Finds Meth Lab While Investigating Domestic Assault

September 7, 2010
Dwayne Page
Brandon Gurley
Jamie Lee Hodges

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department arrested a man and his girlfriend for manufacturing methamphetamine on Monday, August 30th after going to the woman's residence on Old Bildad Road to investigate a domestic complaint and finding a meth lab.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says 27 year old Brandon Gurley of 648 Foster Road is charged with manufacture of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine) and domestic assault. His bond totals $27,500 and he will be in court on September 30th.

Gurley's girlfriend, 22 year old Jamie Lee Hodges of Old Bildad Road, Smithville is also charged with manufacture of a schedule II controlled substance. Her bond is $25,000 and she will be in court on September 30th.

According to Sheriff Ray, deputies responded to a domestic call at Hodges' residence on the Old Bildad Road. A witness had reported seeing Gurley assaulting Hodges. By the time officers arrived, Gurley had left. During the investigation, deputies discovered a meth lab at the residence. Hodges was placed under arrest and Gurley was later picked up and charged.

Sheriff Ray says both Gurley and Hodges admitted to buying the components to make meth, had knowledge that meth was being manufactured there, and they shared in the proceeds.

Gurley was also charged with assaulting Hodges by grabbing her by the neck and pushing her head against a car door leaving red marks on her neck.

Residency Status may Force Goose Creek Family to Transfer their Children from DeKalb West to Watertown Schools

September 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
Kiersten Vickers
Kolten Vickers

An Alexandria area family, whose two children attend DeKalb West School, may be forced to transfer them to schools in Watertown after a whistleblower informed school officials here that the family actually lives in Wilson County.

Bobby and Kimberly Vickers own property that straddles the DeKalb/Wilson County line and they pay property taxes in both counties. But their home is actually just across the county line in Wilson County at Goose Creek and under current School Board policy, parents who do not reside in DeKalb County cannot send their children to school in DeKalb County.

Mrs Vickers, who spoke with WJLE Monday night, said this is unfair to them and the children because they have lived at this same address for the last five or six years and school administrators here have known it, yet the children have been allowed to attend and are still attending DeKalb West School. She says the question of their residency only became an issue recently when someone "turned them in." "They are telling us that they (children) have got to move to Wilson County because our house and about an acre (of our land) is in Wilson County while the rest of our land is in DeKalb County. Even though we pay property taxes in both counties, they're trying to kick them (children) out. They're saying since we live in Wilson County and that's where we lay our heads, that's where our children must go to school."

According to Mrs. Vickers, when her daughter, Kiersten was enrolled in Kindergarten at DeKalb West School in 2002, the family lived on Highway 53 at Liberty. The next year, the Vickers moved to Statesville and the child was enrolled in school at Watertown. Then during the 2004-05 school year when the family left Statesville and moved to where they live now, Kiersten was enrolled as a second grader at DeKalb West school and has remained in school there since. She is now thirteen years old and in the eighth grade.

Meanwhile the Vickers' younger child, Kolten who was enrolled at DeKalb West as a pre-school student four years ago, is now eight years old and in the third grade at DeKalb West School.

The Vickers children are transported to and from school by the family.

Mrs. Vickers says she and her husband got a call from Attendance Supervisor Clay Farler last month informing them that there was a problem. "The first day of school they (the children) went (to school). Then I came home about 11:30 a.m. or twelve o'clock and I got a phone call from Clay (Farler) who said that we had to move our children because we are in Wilson County. He said somebody had turned us in.."

Mrs. Vickers says it's ridiculous to uproot these children from the school and friends they've known for so long. "Here these kids have gone to school here this whole entire time and now they're trying to kick them out because supposedly they got a phone call from somebody saying we are in Wilson County. They (school officials) have known this since the beginning of the school year. Supposedly they had talked about it before school started, but they let our kids start school and then they call the first day and tell us that we've got to move them. That's just ridiculous."

The Vickers have requested to speak at the Board of Education meeting Thursday night and their request is on the agenda. Mrs. Vickers says she is hoping the board will hear their appeal and allow these children to remain in school at DeKalb West. "I'm hoping they're going to be able to stay at the West school where all their friends are. "Kiersten is in the eighth grade and if she has to move she's going to miss out on all her eighth grade year and all her trips."

Smithville Man Airlifted after Motorcycle Crash

September 6, 2010
Dwayne Page
Smithville Man Injured in Motorcycle Crash (Photo by Trooper Dewaine Jennings)

A 25 year old Smithville man was injured in a motorcycle accident on State Highway 96 (Dale Ridge Road) Monday afternoon.

Central Dispatch received the call at 3:02 p.m.,

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Christopher Edward Williams of 722 Sparta Highway, Smithville was traveling north on a 2005 Suzuki GSX when he failed to properly negotiate a curve to the left, exited the roadway to the right, entered a ditchline and struck a tree.

Williams, who was wearing a helmet and a protective jacket, was thrown from the motorcycle.

Trooper Jennings says Williams was riding behind two other guys on motorcycles who initially were unaware of the accident. After discovering that Williams was no longer riding behind them, the two motorcycle riders turned back and found where Williams had crashed. By then other motorists had also stopped at the scene.

Williams was transported by DeKalb EMS to the emergency room of DeKalb Community Hospital where he was later airlifted by Life Flight helicopter ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

Trooper Jennings has issued citations against Williams for having no motorcycle license, failure to maintain lane of travel, and violation of the financial responsibility law.

Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County Dedicates New Home

September 5, 2010
Dwayne Page
Kim McCowan and Grandchildren Carrie, Katelyn, and Haley
Kim McCowan cuts ribbon to her new home

A dedication ceremony was held Sunday afternoon by members of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County to commemorate the recent completion of the third partner family home at 110 Hayes Street in Smithville.

Kimberly McCowan and her grandchildren, 11 year old Carrie Carroll, 14 year old Katelyn Walz, and 9 year old Haley Carroll are expected to move into the home on Tuesday. Ms McCowan says the family loves their new home and are thankful to everyone who helped them. "I have many, many folks to thank. I want to thank everyone who has volunteered on the house, everyone who fixed food and brought it over to us, and everyone who has donated to us. God bless all of them and everyone in DeKalb County. Thank you all very much."

Sharon Evans, Vice President of the Habitat Board said Sunday was an exciting day for the McCowan family and for members of the Habitat committee and volunteers who helped build this new home. "We're thrilled to see Kim McCowan and her granddaughters move into their home. They have worked very hard and we've had so many wonderful people here and even from other places come and help make this happen so we're thrilled. You know we started our family selection process last August and here we are dedicating the home in September so we're down to a year. We'd like to continue building once a year. That's our goal."

"This home is located on Hayes Street here in Smithville between College and Short Mountain Streets. It is a three bedroom, one and a half bath home and it's about 1,050 square feet. It has a crawl space and front and back porches, and it's going to have a yard. We'll have some finishing touches, yard work in the fall when the weather cools so if anyone is interested in helping with that we still need some landscape and yard work done", said Evans

The dedication ceremony featured opening remarks by Habitat Board Vice President Sharon Evans and scripture reading and prayer by Larry Steffee, pastor of the Center Hill Brethren in Christ Church. Nancy Lewis, Board Secretary, also read scripture and Mark Estes, a native of Smithville and former executive director for Habitat for Humanity in Mozambique and Vietnam also spoke briefly. Glenda Davis, Board Treasurer led the Responsive Reading: Litany of Life, as all Habitat members and guests laid hands on the home:

"As a symbol of cooperative goodwill, work, and sharing"

"We dedicate this home"

For family living, a place of love and respect between all members of this family"

"We dedicate this home"

"As a place where this family may grow, play, and learn"

"We dedicate this home"

"That this house may serve as a place for rest, shelter and laughter"

"We dedicate this home"

"In thanks to you, Lord, for guidance and wisdom in this project and in our lives"

"We dedicate this home"

Larry Green, Board member and pastor of the Smithville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, presented McCowan a Bible and Gary Johnson, Construction Committee Chairperson, formally presented McCowan with the keys to the home and she then cut the ribbon.

The program ended with the group reciting in unison the Lord's Prayer.

The Habitat board would like to thank the host of professionals, churches, businesses and individuals who contributed in so many ways to the completion of the home. May God bless you!

The 2010 Board of Directors include President Tom Janney, Vice President Sharon Evans, Secretary Nancy Lewis, Treasurers Glenda Davis and Kim Wheeler, and members Michael Antoniak, Michael Carpenter, Robin Driver, Lisa Garrison, Larry Green, Gayla Hendrix, Adela McGeehin, Hearon Puckett, Pam Restrepo, and Laura Stone.

Temperance Hall Man Airlifted after ATV Accident

September 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
DeKalb EMS Preparing Nathaniel Kyle to be Airlifted (Photo by Trooper Jennings)

A 35 year old man from the Temperance Hall community was airlifted to Vanderbilt Hospital Friday evening after being involved in an ATV accident.

Central dispatch received the call at 6:16 p.m.

Trooper Dewaine Jennings of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says Nathaniel Josiah Kyle was operating a four wheeler on Jackson Hollow Road when he failed to negotiate a curve to the right. The ATV went off the left side of the roadway and into a ravine. Kyle was thrown from the four wheeler. But after the accident he got back on the ATV and returned to his home about four miles away.

Two others with Kyle, who were also riding four wheelers, joined Kyle at his home and called 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance. DeKalb EMS picked up Kyle at his home and took him to the fire hall at Temperance Hall, where a landing zone was set up for a Life Force helicopter ambulance which was summoned to the scene.

According to Trooper Jennings, Kyle was not wearing any kind of safety equipment and he had been drinking. He and both of his friends will be cited for operating an off road vehicle on a public roadway. Other charges are also pending against Kyle.

Parole Hearing Set for Man Serving Life Sentence in 1981 DeKalb Murder Case

September 4, 2010
Dwayne Page
Gerald (J.B.) Bounds (Photo provide to WJLE courtesy of Smithville Review

63 year Gerald Wayne (J.B.) Bounds of McMinnville, who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a DeKalb County man in 1981, is scheduled to have another parole hearing October 21st at the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville where he is incarcerated.

Bounds is serving a life sentence for the first degree premeditated killing of 27 year old Sherman Wright, who was shot once in the face just outside the Odyssey Arcade on West Broad Street, across from the Dairy Queen. The incident occurred on the afternoon of February 2nd, 1981. The game room no longer exists. The building now serves as the location for the Discount Tobacco Outlet.

Bounds has been before members of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Parole at least twice in recent years trying to gain an early release, but so far to no avail. Members of the Wright family and state prosecutors have always opposed it.

During an October 2002 parole hearing at Pikeville, Bounds claimed he came to Smithville that day (February 2nd, 1981) to pay $100 on a gambling debt he owed a friend when he spotted the vehicle of another acquaintance at the game room. While in the game room, he happened upon Wright, who allegedly owed Bounds money on a gambling debt for betting on football games.

Bounds told members of the parole board that he and Wright got into an argument. "I swung at him. He (Wright) stuck his hands into his pocket. I pulled my gun." Bounds later admitted that Wright did not have a weapon when he pulled his hands from his pocket.

According to Bounds, the fatal shot that struck Wright below one of his eyes, wasn't intentional. Bounds said "I didn't mean to do it."

Witnesses during the trial testified that once Bounds and Wright stepped outside the building, they (witnesses) heard the shot fire before the front door closed behind them. After the shooting, Bounds got in his car and returned to McMinnville, where he later reportedly turned himself in.

During the parole hearing eight years ago, Bounds said at that time, he was a teacher's aide in the wood plant at the Pikeville facility and had completed training in heat and air conditioning repair. Bounds said if released, he would return to McMinnville where he had a job lined up.

In making his unsuccessful appeal for release eight years ago, Bounds said "It's something that can't be taken back. I know (Wright family) they have suffered as well as my family. I've always thought I was a pretty decent person. I've done wrong."

One parole board member, at that hearing eight years ago, said he had a problem letting anyone convicted of first degree premeditated murder be released with less than thirty years of time served.


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