Accused armed robber out on bond, strikes again


History repeated itself Monday for Morristown resident Austin Davis, a 23-year-old man charged with three recent armed robberies – liquid courage in the form of injectable Opana, a stolen vehicle and a high-speed chase that was followed by an immobilizing crash, according to authorities.

On March 14, Davis drove a carjacked $72,000 pickup into a creek in East Hamblen County. Monday afternoon, Davis careened off a car parked at D.J.’s Antiques on Highway 25 in Jefferson County before traveling into a ditch and becoming stuck in the mud, according to Jefferson County Deputy Chad Dunlap.

Dunlap charged Davis with DUI, felony evading arrest, auto theft, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident. He was released from the Hamblen County Jail on March 17 after posting $10,000 bond, according to court records. If he makes bond in Jefferson County, he will face a near-certain bond revocation hearing in Hamblen County

In the early morning hours of March 14, Davis allegedly used a handgun to rob the Sunoco station on West Andrew Johnson Highway, according to Detective Darrin Burchfield with the Morristown Police Department.

About 13-and-a-half hours later, his alleged robbery attempt at the West Andrew Johnson Highway was thwarted when the clerk refused to open the cash register. He allegedly fired a shot into the ceiling before stealing a Ford F-250 pickup that was refueling, according to Burchfield.

When he drove into the creek, he allegedly admitted he had injected Opana, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Second verse, same as the first.

“Austin Lynn Davis stated that he had shot up an Opana earlier in the day,” Dunlap’s offense report states.

Davis’ encounter with law enforcement early Monday afternoon started with a suspicious-person call at the Douglas Lake Market. Dunlap tried to stop the vehicle, but Davis allegedly ignored the deputy’s blue lights and siren and passed a tractor-trailer at high speed, narrowly missing a head-on collision with an oncoming car, according to the offense report.

The abrupt swerve caused Davis to lose control of the vehicle. The Jeep collided with the parked car, and then traveled about 100 yards before becoming mired in the mud.

The Jeep belongs to Buffalo Trail resident Leeanna Rosenbalm. She did not know the vehicle had been stolen until she got a call from the Jefferson County deputy, according to Burchfield.

Rosenbalm reported she does not know Davis and that she had the keys to the Jeep with her, according to the detective, who says the steering column was damaged. When Davis was taken into custody in Hamblen County, he was attempting to hotwire a vehicle, according to police.