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Grand jury has lengthy session Monday

Last updated: 8:39 PM, 04/07/2008
 


Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-”There is probably no one in this county with greater powers than the grand jury,” Circuit Judge Ben Hooper told members of the panel after a day-long session on Monday. “Your power is really broad-it covers almost anything about what goes on in the offices and the conditions of this county.”

Members of the Cocke County Grand Jury ended the first of a two-day session on Monday by returning 72 indictments, seven presentments, and two no true bills, clearing the accused of charges against them. Another full day is scheduled for Tuesday.

Judge Hooper again encouraged the grand jury to take a look at the Cocke County Jail. The judge observed that conditions in the jail and the jail's annex in the Cocke County Courthouse have not improved in recent months.

Defendants have told the judge that drugs and alcohol are easily available in the jail, and Judge Hooper said “fights and fusses” are often reported to him. He said he is powerless to take strong action to improve jail conditions; but the grand jury is in a position to take action.

“There's a lot that goes on over there in the jail that you don't see in the newspaper or hear on the radio,” Judge Hooper told the panel. “Fights break out, people are hurt, and I think we had a jailer with a broken arm the other day.

“As the grand jury, you have the ability to go over there and take a look at the jail,” Judge Hooper said. “You can find out who's in charge, find out who the jailers are, and you might even find out how little they are being paid.”

One member of the panel expressed concerns about “garbage being stuffed in the windows” of the courthouse jail annex, and Judge Hooper encouraged members to meet in a special session if necessary to consider conditions at the jail, to tour the facility, and to interview officials and employees.

The 72 indictments and two of the presentments were read in court Monday, and the remaining presentments were ordered sealed until the arrest of the accused. A presentment differs from an indictment in that it originates within the grand jury rather than from warrants and proceedings in general sessions court. Presentments are usually sealed from public view until the defendants are taken into custody.

Here is a list of the indictments handed down by the grand jury on Monday. Court records do not identify defendants by age, address, or occupation and there may be other people with the same or similar names.

•Ernest Lee Casey, charged with two counts of forgery, theft of property valued at more than $1,000, and theft of property valued at less than $500. The defendant is alleged to have forged a $2,555 check on the account of John M. or Amy M. Ogle, of Gatlinburg, on June 2, 2002, and to have used the funds to obtain a 1985 Chevrolet Blazer owned by Duriel and Pamela Campbell. Casey is also alleged to have forged a $565 check and used the funds to obtain a .357-magnum handgun from Remon Hensley on June 1.
•Christopher Lee Cavett, charged with aggravated sexual battery of a child less than 13 years old on March 22.
•Joseph Kendrick Chaney, alias Joseph K. Chancy, charged with speeding, driving on a revoked license, unlawful possession of a weapon, and theft of property valued at less than $5,000. The charges were filed after Chaney's vehicle was stopped by a state trooper who found a .40-caliber handgun belonging to Clint Lamar Farley, of Wiggins, Mississippi, inside the car on November 22, 2001.
•Denny Joe Duncan, charged with theft of property valued at more than $1,000, two counts burglary of a motor vehicle, and theft of property valued at more than $500. The defendant is alleged to have stolen both power- and hand-tools from vehicles belonging to Wayne and Keenan Ellison, of Brockwell Construction Company, on March 31.
•Jeffrey M. Elmore, charged with violation of the Tennessee Habitual Motor Vehicle Offender (HMVO) Act, second- or subsequent-offense driving on a revoked license, and violation of the state vehicle registration and financial responsibilities laws on June 22.
•James Lee Turner, charged with aggravated assault of Michael Paul Evans on November 2, 2001.
•David Scott Turner, charged with third-offense driving under the influence, second- or subsequent-offense driving on a revoked license, and violation of the HMVO act on June 16.
•Jevan Vesty Whitehead, charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, and assault in connection with the June 4 break-in of the home of Elizabeth Grooms. The defendant is alleged to have “removed or confined [the victim] so as to interfere with [her] liberty in order to terrorize [her]” and to have assaulted Grooms.
•Harold Shelton, charged with fourth-offense driving under the influence, second- or subsequent-offense driving on a revoked license, an HMVO violation, and violation of the state vehicle registration and financial responsibility laws last May 17.
•Janice Elaine Hartnett, charged with driving under the influence on April 9.
•Ricky F. Hembree, charged with theft of property valued at more than $1,000, identified as four tires, wheels, and rims from a 1990 Toyota; four tires, wheels, and rims from a 1995 Ford Taurus; three wheels, tires, and rims from a 1998 Chevrolet; and four tires, wheels, and rims from 1987 Monte Carlo. The property belonged to Jack Raines, of 860 Chicken Hollow Road, Cosby, and the theft occurred in November 2001.
•Bryan Steven Hoskins, charged with attempted second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, second- or subsequent-offense driving on revoked license, failure to obey traffic control devices, violation of the state light law, and violation of the state financial responsibility and seat belt laws. The indictment alleges that after THP Trooper Kevin Kimbrough attempted to stop the defendant's vehicle on June 19, the defendant “intentionally rammed [the trooper's] vehicle while [he] was in said vehicle, then [placed] the vehicle in neutral and [allowed it] to strike [the trooper's] vehicle a second time.”
•Steven Ray Hicks, charged with theft of property valued at more than $10,000, reckless driving, and driving on a revoked license. The theft charge involves a 1999 Chevrolet pickup owned by Waldo Freeman on March 7, 2002.
•Steven Hicks, charged with failure to appear in general sessions court on October 5, 2001, to answer domestic assault, vandalism, and theft charges.
•Roger Kirkpatrick, charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor by transporting a child younger than 18 years old from her home on January 21, 2002, without her parents' permission and by not returning her to her home until the following morning.
•Charlene Frazier, charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the same allegations as those against Kirkpatrick.
•Joseph Ray Jacobs, charged with aggravated assault of Reginald Jerome Hines, of 111 Big B Way, last May 27 by firing a weapon into the victim's occupied vehicle.
•Anderson Jenkins Jr., charged with fourth-offense driving under the influence, having no driver's license, violation of the Tennessee financial responsibility law, and assault on June 8. The victim of the alleged assault is identified as Cocke County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Snapp.
•David E. Swagerty, charged with violation of the HMVO act, driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license, violation of the state vehicle registration law, and failure to obey traffic control devices on March 25.
•Caswella Pruitt, charged with second-offense driving under the influence, second- or subsequent-offense driving on a revoked license, and criminal impersonation.
•Anthony Jack McGaha, charged with public intoxication and possession of diazepam on July 26, 2001.
•Ricky M. Keys, charged with third-offense driving under the influence, second- or subsequent-offense driving on a revoked license, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, and theft of property valued at more than $1,000 on March 25 of this year. The property involved in the case is identified as a 1985 Ford Bronco belonging to Mary Susie Barton.
•James R, Lindsey, charged with sixth-offense driving under the influence and an HMVO violation on April 14.
•Kenneth Lee Robertson, charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, theft of property valued at less than $500, and public intoxication on June 11. The charges stem from a break-in of a vehicle owned by Everett Jay Phillips, of Bicentennial Way, and the theft of a JVC compact disc player.
•Joshua L. Parker, charged with second-offense driving under the influence and second- or subsequent-offense driving on a revoked license on March 3.
•Mitzi Gibson, charged with forgery and theft of property valued at less than $500. Gibson is alleged to have forged a $104.82 check on the account of Hartford resident Mary B. Shieferstein on April 21. The remaining charge involves the alleged theft of two checkbooks, a broach, a World War II commemorative silver dollar in a case, a Vietnam commemorative silver dollar in a case, and prescription medication owned by Bruce Hoffman on April 20, 2002.
•Roger Kirkpatrick, charged with four counts of statutory rape of a 13-year-old Carson Springs girl in December of last year.
•Norman Rankins, charged with statutory rape of a 14-year-old Newport girl last August.
•Darlene Kaye Griffin, charged with driving under the influence and violation of the state implied consent law on June 17.
•Debbie Ann Mooneyham, charged with an HMVO violation, driving on a revoked license, speeding, and violation of the Tennessee seat belt and financial responsibility laws last February 24.
•Mary Elizabeth Billingsley, charged with driving on revoked license on November 2, 2001.
•Randall Joemack Mathis, charged with manufacturing marijuana on May 26, 2002.
•Chad Allen Love, charged with theft of property valued at more than $10,000-a 1994 Dodge Ram van belonging to Cherokee Mental Health Systems-on December 3, 2001.
•Chad Allen Love, charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property valued at more than $1,000. The charges stem from the December 6, 2002, break-in at the home of Charles Drew Finchum at 424 Ruble Street on December 6, 2001, and the theft of a footlocker and several knives.
•Robin Haney, charged with aggravated robbery for allegedly using a block of wood as a deadly weapon in obtaining cash from a clerk at Newport's Mapco Express last April 14.
•Charles R. Prevost, charged with theft of property valued at more than $1,000-a 1991 Chevrolet Beretta belonging to Amy Ogle on April 1, 2002.
•James Anthony Kelley, charged with burglary and theft of property valued at more than $1,000 in connection with a break-in of Newport Church of Christ on May 8 and the theft of a computer, a printer, and a TV/VCR.

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