published Friday, July 13th, 2012

Nude yard work leads to arrest and other news from around the Chattanooga region

Nude yard work leads to arrest

KNOXVILLE — A Knox County man wasn't properly dressed for yard work.

A sheriff's deputy said Lindsay Medd Stevens wasn't dressed at all, but was nude and was cutting a tree in his yard when the deputy arrived.

WATE-TV quoted the officer's report, which said Stevens ran into his house Wednesday when he saw the deputy, who charged him with indecent exposure and booked him into the Knox County Detention Center.

Neighbors told deputies Stevens has been seen nude outside his house in the past.

Speedy retrial demanded

One of the men convicted in the torture slaying of a young Knoxville couple five years ago is invoking his right to a speedy trial.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported an attorney for George Thomas has filed a motion asking that Thomas be retried soon. The move comes as the Knox County prosecutor seeks to block new trials for Thomas and co-defendants Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins.

Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood ordered new trials for the three after it was revealed the trial judge was abusing prescription painkillers during the time the trials were conducted.

The victims of the crime were 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom, who were kidnapped, tortured and killed in January 2007.

Thomas' trial is scheduled for October.


Lower alcohol limit for boaters urged

BUFORD, Ga. — A state legislative leader says he will introduce legislation to lower the legal alcohol limit for boaters after wrecks on Lake Lanier have raised concerns about safety.

WSB Radio reported that Republican House Speaker David Ralston, of Blue Ridge, Ga., said he has the support of Gov. Nathan Deal in the effort to lower the limit from 0.10 to 0.08. The lower figure is the limit for operating a vehicle on Georgia roads. Ralston said the different limits for boats and automobiles represent a gap in Georgia's law.

Two boys died when a fishing boat collided with a pontoon boat last month. Two more children were badly hurt last week, when a personal watercraft struck their inner-tube as they were being pulled by a boat.


Sentence ruled too harsh

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — A federal appeals court has overturned a sentence it ruled was unreasonably long for a defendant who failed to register as a sex offender.

Federal Judge Ronnie Greer of the Eastern District of Tennessee in 2009 ordered a six-year prison sentence for Jeffrey Stock, who was required to register because of two sexual battery convictions. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said it was one of the harshest sentences for that sort of violation and criminal record.

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