Cocke warrants issued for court no-shows

A Cocke County man whose legal problems continue to build didn't show for his scheduled plea day in Cocke County Circuit Court on Monday but today he is in custody.

Spencer Grooms, 30, Keener Road, Cosby, has had lots of issues with his girlfriend, Brittany Reese of Bybee, as well as drug issues, leading to many of his pending charges.

On June 24, Grooms appeared before Cocke County Circuit Court Judge Carter Moore on charges stemming from 13 cases. The court lowered Grooms' bond from $350,000 to $100,000 with the provision Grooms to have no contact with Reese. Just a short time later he was again charged with assaulting Reese. Because he had not yet been charged with violating the judge's order, Grooms was released on a $5,000 bond.

On July 21, Grooms allegedly went to the home of Reese's mother on Jayce Way in Newport, where Reese had been residing. Video from the home shows he severely assaulted Reese, who ran from the residence partially nude and with her face covered in blood. The woman told officers Grooms entered the home, struck her several times with a bottle, forced her to strip and then searched her body cavities for drugs. He also ransacked a child's bedroom and stole $1,500 belonging to Reese.

Grooms was charged with contempt of court as a result of violating Moore's order, and he also was charged with theft over $1,000 and aggravated assault.

Later last week Cocke County Detective Lt. Michael Whitmer spotted Grooms and tried to stop him on the charges, but the subject fled and crashed his Mercedes Benz into a utility pole in Hartford. He was flown to the UT Medical Center for treatment, but before Cocke County authorities could put a hold on him, the hospital released Grooms and he again was on the lam.

As a result of the crash, the Tennessee Highway Patrol filed charges in the incident, which include driving under the influence, driving while license revoked, a seat belt violation, no insurance and failure to exercise due care. Whitmer also filed charges of evading arrest in the incident.

When Grooms didn't show for his court hearing Monday on charges from the 13 earlier cases, Moore revoked his bond, holding that "it is in the best interest of the community and the defendant to revoke the bond of the defendant."

At noon on Monday, Cocke County and Newport officers went to a residence on Cosby Road, where they found the wanted subject. Laughter said Grooms was in possession of six separate bags of heroin totaling 5.1 grams, and $416 in cash believed to be the profits from the sale of heroin.

Cocke County General Sessions Court hearings on charges of domestic assault and possession of drug paraphernalia are still pending.