Pair of crashes reported in Cocke County

The Tennessee Highway Patrol worked two crashes in Cocke County late Friday afternoon.

Troopers say the first crash occurred at 5:09 p.m. on Highway 160 near the White Road intersection when Susan Reed, an 81-year-old Bybee woman, lost control of her 2015 Kia. The car plunged down an embankment, crashed through a small wooden shed and came to rest in a field. Reed, who was wearing a seatbelt, was not injured.

The second crash, which occurred on Old Parrottsville Highway at the intersection with Clear Road, occurred at 5:20 p.m.

Troopers say 30-year-old Newport resident Travis Breeden was eastbound when his Pontiac Grand Am left the roadway, went down an embankment and struck several trees.

Although Breeden was uninjured, a passenger, 10 year-old girl, was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. The girl sustained severe lacerations to her head and hands, but does not have life-threatening injuries, according to the investigating trooper.

Breeden was cited into court for failure to exercise due care.

Bank robber to serve additional 13 months on parole violation

There’s light at the end of the tunnel for Blaine Edward Williams, a 49-year-old man convicted in 2014 in the drug-related robbery of National Bank of Newport in 2014, but the tunnel runs through federal prison, according to court documents.

Williams has agreed to settle a revocation case with an agreement to serve another 13 months. After Williams flattens that sentence, he will no longer be under court supervision, so another significant scrape with the law or his probation officer won’t mean a return to a federal lockup.

The Cocke County man used a portion of the $1,320 he pocketed in the robbery to buy prescription drugs, according to court documents. He was sentenced to 42 months behind bars, but returned to federal prison for eight months in 2018, after he tested positive for drugs.

The same thing happened again before he was taken into custody in October. He entered in-patient substance-abuse treatment after admitting to smoking marijuana with his step-daughter. After he was released, he missed court-ordered drug screens because he knew he would fail the tests, according to an arrest petition.

Man wanted in burglaries arrested

A Cocke County man who had been sought by the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office in a number of home burglaries was taken into custody Friday by Cocke County Deputy Sgt. Max Laughter.

Douglas Shropshire, 29, Apple Grove Way Newport, is charged in burglaries on Dairy Road, Cosby, Peachie Way, Cosby, River Chase Trail, Newport and Rocky Top Road, Del Rio.

He was arrested at his home, on charges of three counts theft of property over $1,000, theft over $500, burglary and probation violation.

Two arrested following chase

Two people were taken into custody Thursday evening following a pursuit in Cocke County.

Deputy James Cupp said he attempted to stop the Nissan Moreno operated by Franklin Ezra Shropshire, 35, Applewood Road, Newport, because both Shropshire and his passenger, Ashley Moore, 32, Bullard Drive, Newport were wanted on warrants charging them with failure to appear for a court hearing.

But Shropshire fled from the I-40 exit ramp onto westbound Highway 25/70, but entered eastbound I-40 at speeds up to 114 miles per hour, driving recklessly and passing other motorists in the emergency lane.

Shropshire exited the interstate at the 435 exit, and then attempted to again enter the interstate, but the auto caught fire on the entrance ramp. At that point, both occupants were taken into custody at gunpoint.

The driver said he fled because Moore was facing four years in prison and he did not want her to go.

A search of the vehicle resulted in the confiscation of several syringe needles and several baggies used to package narcotics.

Shropshire now faces the additional charges of evading arrest, felony reckless endangerment with a vehicle, driving on a suspended license, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Johnson City gets violation notice for chlorine discharge

JOHNSON CITY (AP) — Johnson City is taking action after discovering that its water treatment plant was dumping chlorinated water into Brush Creek and the Watauga River, killing fish, crustaceans and salamanders.

The city reported the discharge on Nov. 5, the same day a landowner complained to the state that foaming chemicals were killing wildlife downstream from the plant. They discovered that pipes installed in 2017 were sending chlorinated water into a storm drain instead of the sanitary sewer system, The Johnson City Press reported.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Nov. 26 notice of violation said no live fish, crustaceans or salamanders were observed in a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) stretch of waterway below the discharge. The moss and algae also were dead and the floor of the waterways appeared bleached.

A landowner had reported to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency they smelled chlorine and saw dead fish on the Watauga River. The city reported what it called a “foaming incident” on Brush Creek the same day.

The water and sewer services department has been evaluating processes at its Watauga Water Treatment Plant since the incident, city officials said Friday.

The agency is working with the city on a restoration plan for Brush Creek and the Watauga River, Environment and Conservation Department spokeswoman Kim Schofinski said. The city will respond to the agency’s notice of violation by the end of the month with a plan for next steps, officials said.

Affidavit: Slain counselor was sexually assaulted

MADISON (AP) — A Tennessee counselor was sexually assaulted before being stabbed to death by a stranger, according to an arrest affidavit.

Melissa Hamilton, 50, was found dead last week unclothed in a back office of Crossroads Counseling in Madison, according to The Tennessean. Suspect Brian Dewayne Conley is set to appear in court Monday.

Police have said the 31-year-old is charged with criminal homicide. Surveillance video shows Conley entering the business late Tuesday just as Hamilton was ending a group counseling session, they said. The two had a “brief interaction” before the center’s lights went off and Conley was seen leaving through a rear exit, police said. She was found dead the next morning after her husband of 25 years called police to say she had never come home. Conley was arrested Thursday just across the street from the counseling center. He had a defensive wound on his right pinky finger that was consistent with Hamilton’s stab wounds, according to the affidavit.

3rd of 4 teens who escaped juvenile facility found

NASHVILLE (AP) — A third teenager who escaped a juvenile detention center in Tennessee has been captured after a police pursuit, authorities said.

Morris Marsh, 17, was arrested late Friday in an SUV driven by his brother, Metro Nashville police said in a statement. Police said Marsh’s brother, Rashon Keesee, 26, led authorities on a 15 minute chase before both were arrested at a gas station.

Marsh and three other teens broke out of the downtown facility in Nashville on Nov. 30. Marsh was being held at the juvenile jail on a murder charge, authorities said.

Two other teens who escaped with Marsh have been captured. A fourth teen, 17-year-old Brandon Carruthers, has not been found, police said.