published Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Chattooga woman stabbed; investigator fired

After a Chattooga County, Ga., woman was arrested in connection with the stabbing of her friend with a butcher knife, the sheriff’s office investigator on the scene was fired for having alcohol on his breath, authorities said.

When back-up sheriff’s deputies arrived at Misty Hames’ house Sunday night, they found her pinned to the ground by an officer and one of her friends drenched in blood nearby, an incident report states.

Earlier in the night, Hames had sent a text message to several friends, threatening “to kill herself and take anyone with her,” Sheriff John Everett said. When her friends arrived, Hames opened the door with a steak knife in one hand and a butcher knife in the other, he said.

Police believe Hames then stabbed one of her friends — Sandra Crowe — twice, once near her collarbone and once in a shoulder, Everett said.

Both women were taken to the hospital — Crowe for her knife wounds and Hames for a prescription drugs overdose, he said. Hames faces charges including aggravated assault once she is released from the hospital, he said.

But after the incident was handled, the sheriff said he smelled alcohol on the breath of one of his investigators.

When investigator Gary Mull was asked if he had been drinking, the sheriff said, Mull told him he had a couple of beers at dinner and drank whiskey and water about four hours before he was called to the scene.

Mull was the investigator on call, and Sunday was his last night for the week, Everett said. An alcohol test was done and Mull showed up positive, so he was fired, the sheriff said.

“It’s just not good to show up at a crime scene with alcohol on your breath,” Everett said.

But Mull, who had been an investigator with the department for six months and an officer for 17 years at several agencies, questioned the sheriff’s decision.

“I don’t think the punishment fit the situation,” he said Tuesday. “I made a mistake, I realize that.”

Mull said the sheriff’s office dispatcher called to tell him he was needed on the scene of a stabbing several hours after he had a couple of drinks at dinner with his wife.

But the sheriff said he had a policy against an officer consuming alcohol before a shift and, if someone is on call, he is “technically on duty.”

Mull argued he wasn’t being paid to be on call.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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holdout said...

So the Sheriff can tell you where to be, when to be there, what you can consume and require you to have your phone with you...but not pay you? I'm not surprised. Most Police agencies screw their employees over just like this.

March 23, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
rking said...

When a person is on call, they have to be ready to respond at all times. I think that the officer might have known that there is a clause in his contract that might state that. I guess it comes with the territory.

March 23, 2011 at 11:26 a.m.
rking said...

I don't think they had to fire the guy though. I do believe in grace. The man even admitted that he made a mistake.

March 23, 2011 at 11:29 a.m.
DoN2Much said...

well personally he should have brushed his teeth and/or taken a quick shower to make sure he didnt have a stinch of alcohol coming from his breath or pores. kinda dumb to do as an officer but hey we all human, I just would have at least freshened up first ie.. brushed, cologne something lol

March 23, 2011 at 3 p.m.
hope said...


May 18, 2011 at 12:18 a.m.
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