published Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Police describe 'rough, bloody' home invasion in Red Bank


by Chris Carroll
Audio clip

Dan Knight

Four criminal defendants appeared in a packed Red Bank courtroom Monday as new details emerged about what police described as a "rough and bloody" home invasion two weeks ago.

Dressed in blue Hamilton County Jail jumpsuits, the defendants, all from Blount County, sat in a small steel cage before entering the courtroom with shackles around their ankles. One of the women defendants hyperventilated as she faced Judge Johnny Houston.

All four are charged with especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated burglary, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy. Their bond is set at $1.3 million each.

The charges against Steve Hannah, who is accused of impersonating a census worker to get into the home, were sent straight to the Hamilton County grand jury by Judge Houston because Mr. Hannah already has hired an attorney.

The other defendants -- Brandie Brandon, Mona Ray and Misty Wilson -- will receive court-appointed attorneys on April 12 before their cases move forward.

* Defendants -- Brandie Brandon, Steven Hannah, Mona Ray, Misty Wilson

* Bond -- $1.3 million apiece

* Charges -- Especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated burglary, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy

Source: Red Bank Police Department

According to police, a man approached Jewel Berg at her Knollwood Drive home in early March, posing as a census worker. A few days later, on March 6, he came back, police said, and Ms. Berg, thinking he had returned for more census questions, led him into her garage.

Two masked females then joined in, using extension cords to restrict Ms. Berg and her boyfriend, Ahwazi Bijan, as the house was looted, Red Bank Police spokesman Sgt. Dan Knight said.

According to Sgt. Knight, the male robber smashed his boot into Ms. Berg's face, causing deep lacerations.

"Their wrists and everything were cut from where they were bound so tight," Sgt. Knight said. "The extension cords were tied around their necks and socks were in their mouths to keep them quiet."

Sgt. Knight said the robbers took several hundred dollars in cash, a laptop computer, a digital camera and prescription drugs. Police have recovered everything except all the stolen medication.

"They wanted money and they wanted the drugs," he said. "They'll take anything they can get their hands on."

Sgt. Knight said two of defendants are Ms. Berg's cousins, and Ms. Ray actually lived inside the Red Bank residence with Ms. Berg for some time.

"They had been told there was a lot of jewelry, a lot of cash, things like that," he said. "They were going in with greed in mind."

According to Sgt. Knight, a man burglarized another Red Bank home on Goodsen Avenue the day before the home invasion, stealing guns, ammunition and other tools. Mr. Hannah has been charged with that burglary.

Police credited the city's traffic cameras with providing the Blount County license plate number from an old black Camaro.

Sgt. Knight said officers combed through four hours of footage from a traffic camera placed on Ashland Terrace at Dayton Boulevard.

"We get kicked every time somebody gets a ticket," Mayor Joe Glasscock said after Monday's hearing. "By the same token, we should be congratulated when a camera catches a crook."

Mr. Hannah was recently released from prison on assault and drug charges, officials said.

"Even family members and everyone that knew him said they were glad to see that he was off the streets," Sgt. Knight said. "They said hard-working people and people with homes would be safer with him off the streets."

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djohns said...

Did this black camaro commit a traffic violation to be photographed or do these Red Bank cameras capture every car that goes thru their intersection with cameras? Just curious.

March 16, 2010 at 11:11 a.m.
FreedomLover said...

They just had to praise the camera to brain wash the public in accepting more of their freedoms being taken away.

March 16, 2010 at 11:43 a.m.
princehal said...

I think the cameras are constantly running, and the flash acts as a marker. I still abhor them.

March 16, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.
TrailerParkStud said...

IF you're not breaking the law then the traffic cameras shouldn't be a problem. The only people I hear bitch about the cameras are the careless,rude,and thoughtless drivers who create a dangerous situation for everyone else. Just slow down, get the h*ll off your cell phone and you won't have a problem with the cameras!

March 16, 2010 at 1:12 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Sounds like TrailerParkStud is enjoying the idea that one could cash in responsible self-awareness for some low quality big brother protection. If you keep your eyes out and your head on a swivel, there are no "lawbreakers" that can cause you any trouble.

The real stoy here is that the police are glorified janitors with transportation, and the most that they can offer is some after the fact cleanup, and if your lucky some expensive "hey, gotcha back" courtroom/jail time for the transgressors.

The simple moral I see here is that you and you alone are the solely responsible party for your own safety and well being. The more you rely on someone elses actions to keep you safe, the less individual liberty and prosperity you will enjoy. We as a culture have become gullible and soft, and it has been so long since any animal predators have eaten up the slow and the foolish, they are now the majority. Devolution is only a legitimate theory if we allow it to be. But hey, if we werent all cattle to heard, then our "elected officials" would'nt have much to do... right?

March 16, 2010 at 1:49 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

TrailerParkStud, I haven't been cited in Red Bank and I "bitch" about the cameras. They are unconstitutional. They consider you guilty until proven innocent. In fact, if you lend your vehicle to a friend who receives a ticket, you are responsible simply because you own the car. Is that right? No. Also, they cannot even cite you as a criminal for the offense since an officer wasn't present to witness the crime, per the constitution. Instead they send you a civil invoice and expect you to pay, even though you are never pursued for not paying the tickets. They cannot add points to your license, issue a warrant or send you to debt collection. Do some research about the legality of these cameras and you will change your mind about them... unless you don't believe in the constitution.

March 16, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.
signalmtnman said...

I think the camera concern is that WHETHER you are breaking the law or abiding it, the government and police department now can track your movements for whatever purpose they choose. In this instance they can hold them up as a great thing, but at what cost to your freedom. All the crazy folks screaming about Obama's socialism should be outraged at the thought of cameras patrolling everyone's movement.

March 16, 2010 at 2:45 p.m.

Man what paranoia. Yes, the cameras per se are unconstitutional, but do we want anarchy? Well, maybe dao1980 does or maybe he just wants the T-Rex to make a comeback. In a perfect world, everyone would behave. But that isn't happening here. There are evil folk and stupid folk. There are evil, stupid folks, a bad combination. I like the fact we have laws and they should be enforced. I do not want anarchy. Anarchy is Somalia, Afghanistan, the South African barrios. Wanna live in any of those? Be our guest.

I've had experience with worse than the stupid cameras, try corrupt cops out West and in other environs. Cops who are forced to make their quota and no court will take your side if you're innocent. Bottom line is: the cameras do NOT photo you and follow you around wherever you go. If you don't speed or run a red light, you pay no one.

Ashland Terrace and Dayton Blvd. are magnets for the Indie 500 speed goons. What if your kid or wife were killed/maimed by one? The criminals were caught because they went through that intersection, thank God. Did you read what they did to those poor people? I'm always glad when bad guys and gals are caught. Right on, Law enforcers!

Did the cops spy on 400 citizens? No, they had to view alot of license plates and cars to find the reported black Camaro. Do you really think they had the time or the desire to run every plate and spy on everybody else who was innocent? Come on, I read Clockwork Orange long before the movie came out, Animal Farm too. Yes, there are elements of both societies in ours today. But it ain't here yet and we all have more important issues and people to go after in our Gov't, than cameras spying on us. When the proof is shown to us that mass spying by our Gov't is happening with red light cameras (and I tend to believe that may involve this generations plaything, the Internet and cute little high-tech chips), then I'll eat one of my feathers. Until then...relax. And watch out for the really Bad Guys.

March 16, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

"Yes, the cameras per se are unconstitutional, but do we want anarchy?"

Are you kidding me? How long did we live without traffic cameras, which are ILLEGAL in and of themselves, without anarchy? I didn't say I speed through there, and I don't. I went to Red Bank High in my day and a fellow student was killed in that intersection, so I am aware of the dangers of bad driving there. Anyone who breaks the laws of the road should be punished, but not unconstitutionally. Period. Having a little camera will not stop a fatal accident. Do you think that little "ticket" (if you can call it that) will matter to someone standing in front of a judge for vehicular manslaughter? No, it won't.

March 16, 2010 at 3:56 p.m.
dao1980 said...

I can think of a few folks that I would love to see chomped up by hungry ole T-rex ;) Seriousely though, I agree with you Canary, that some of the places that you mentioned are in terrible shape, and dealing with a little domestic babysitting is a walk in the park compared to what life there must be like. I also agree that rules are necessary to keep the order of society as well as provide a template for the finer things in life such as philosophy and the arts. I just get a little frustrated with any athority that insists upon "my best interest" when I cannot trust the qualification of their judgement to begin with. The whole "give a man a fish" thing comes to mind here. I personally know how to fish, so I can't help but "bow up" a little when I am told that many do not so I must hand in my rod. If the athority really cared that many do not, they should spend their energy teaching.

They in fact do not care that many cannot, I belive they look upon it as job security. Which is fine, until they come for my rod.

March 16, 2010 at 4:34 p.m.

Before you get your britches in a knot musicman (btw are you the guy on 1150am who is always ranting about the cameras? you sound like him) did you read my entire post?

The point was: not one of those turds that beat up a defenseless woman and her man would have been caught as the police did not have a license plate. And the goons who speed up and down Ashland/Dayton day and night would be getting away with it too. There are not enough cops to catch anybody in the daytime, much less during the night.

Alot of things in our society today are unconstitutional. Social Security, Medicaid, schools teaching biased information to our kids, forcing it down their little throats. Big, bad Gov't mandating this and that. I don't like it all either. But one thing we need is for our laws to be enforced and for criminals to get caught and go to jail. Our borders and citizens to be secure. How is that unconstitutional?

Wherever I've lived in North America, where the cameras are, it puts the fear of God in bad drivers. The fines are usually huge too, that kinda acts as a good deterrant. If you have a case against the camera, the courts are there. Some choose that route and win. Others not, your choice. Drive in Red Bank or not. Smile and say cheese, or not.

Red Bank's cameras are not a problem for many people who obey the law. So what's your beef, besides making this your life's mission? aaahhh, did the camera spy catch you speeding?

March 16, 2010 at 4:39 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Lol, no, I haven't been cited by any traffic cameras (ever) and I'm not on the radio. I understood your point and I'm glad the cameras were able to help catch the suspects. However, had those cameras not been there, the investigative team on the case could have found them via other means, such as forensics. Just because the camera helped the good guys this time doesn't make it constitutional to have them, which was MY point. And as more and more laws are written without any regard for the constitution, we are moving ever further and further away from the gov't our framers wanted and closer and closer to... well, there's really a whole heap of possibiites there.

March 16, 2010 at 5:33 p.m.

Touche. You and dao both have good points there. Now that we've solved that problem...or?

March 16, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.
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