Willow Street house fire sends tenant to hospital

A Morristown woman incapacitated by smoke inhalation after her rental home on Willow Street caught fire Friday night was dragged to safety by her roommate, according to authorities.

The injured woman, 63-year-old Doris Pooley, was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. She was no longer a patient this morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Pooley’s roommate, Chelsea Mewhinney, returned home around 11:30 p.m. to find heavy smoke billowing from Pooley’s bedroom. After extracting Pooley from the room, Mewhinney closed the bedroom door, a move that limited oxygen to the fire and could have prevented further damage, according to Morristown Fire Marshal Brian Shepard.

Shepard says the room reignited when firefighters opened the door, but the damage was confined to that one bedroom. The fire marshal said investigators planned to return to the Willow Street residence this morning in an effort to determine the cause. The estimated damage to the structure is $10,000.

Firefighters were on the scene for slightly more than an hour, according to Shepard, who says the single-family home is owned by Michael Reed.

Hospice volunteers sought

Anyone who feels the passion for helping others who are terminally ill in Hamblen County or the surrounding area, consider becoming a hospice volunteer.

SunCrest Hospice welcome volunteers from all walks of life. Whether it is a contribution of time and talents directly with patients, or for anyone who wishes to work behind the scenes, interested individuals are invited to become a member of a dedicated group of compassionate caregivers. Volunteers serve as vital members of the SunCrest hospice team.

SunCrest Hospice is headquartered in New Tazewell.

To learn more, call 423-626-1755 and ask for the volunteer coordinator.

Slippery escape attempt ends at officer’s feet

A Cocke County man wanted on a probation violation now faces a number of additional charges following his Saturday arrest in Newport

Newport patrol officer Joshyua Shults said he spotted Justin Williams, 30, Splashaway Road, Newport, outside of the Stokley Memorial Library and attempted to arrest him. Williams ran into the library and began running around in an attempt to elude arrest. Shults says Williams said he wasn’t going to jail and then “created hazardous conditions for patrons and employees.” The officer left the library to end Williams’ knocking more books off the shelves and endangering occupants of the library.

A short time later, Williams exited through a side door running up the very steep embankment behind the library. Because of the wet conditions, Williams lost his footing and rolled down the hill, where he was handcuffed and jailed on the additional charges of evading arrest and disorderly conduct.

Probation violation arrest ends with more charges

A Morristown woman is in custody after she assaulted a Newport police officer on Sunday.

Patrol officer Paul Weber said he spotted Helena Owens, 44, New Cut Road, and attempted to arrest her on a Greene County probation violation. Owens initially gave the officer a false name and said she was not going to jail.

After her legal name was established, Owens refused to exit her vehicle and she had to be forcibly removed. Outside of the vehicle, the subject allegedly refused to cooperate, thrashing around and kicking the arresting officer. Then Owens allegedly scratched Weber with her fingernails.

At that point, she was taken to the ground and handcuffed.

Owens was found to be in possession of marijuana and now faces the additional charges of resisting arrest, assault on an officer, marijuana possession and a registration violation.

Pleas entered in Hamblen County Circuit Court

A Hamblen County man who was 20 years old in 2018 when he had sex with a 14-year-old girl – his brother’s ex-girlfriend – has been sentenced to one year behind bars, according to court documents.

In exchange for the guilty plea by Omar Vivanco Garcia, authorities dropped a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor. Garcia and the teen exchanged sexually explicit photographs before they consummated their relationship inside a vehicle at Cherokee Park, Detective Josh Sipe with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department said at the time of Garcia’s arrest.

Circuit Court Judge Alex E. Pearson fined Garcia $500.

Hamblen County resident Phillip Powell Bishop, 39, pleaded guilty to felony theft and evading arrest charges, a misdemeanor domestic assault charge and six other misdemeanor counts in Hamblen County Criminal Court on Friday.

Pearson sentenced Bishop to two years in jail and imposed $725 in fines. The other offenses to which Bishop pleaded guilty are driving on a revoked license, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, no insurance, interfering with emergency equipment and vandalism.

Also Friday, David Howell, 41, was given an 11-month, 29-day probationary sentence after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault.