published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Assailant slain in Cumberland County home invasion

A 20-year-old man is dead after the victim in a Cumberland County home invasion fired several shots at his two assailants, fatally striking one of them, authorities said.

On Tuesday, Cumberland authorities and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents found the victim of a home invasion, who is unnamed by authorities so far, with "multiple abrasions and lacerations" after he made a 911 call about 11 a.m. The victim lived on Arthur Seagroves Road in the Pleasant Hill community between Crossville and Sparta, according to Cumberland County Chief Investigator Casey Cox.

The man told police that two men "had forcefully entered his residence and began assaulting him," Cox said. The homeowner had a .22-caliber pistol in his pocket and managed to get off three shots during the assault, he said.

"It was pretty much a two-on-one," Cox said. The victim "was being choked and he was able to retrieve his handgun and he fired off three rounds," he said.

Authorities later found Putnam County resident Jacob Andrew Clark dead of a gunshot wound to his chest a short distance from the home, police said.

Joey Allen Pugh, 18, of Cumberland County, was taken into custody as he fled on foot, according to authorities.

"We're ruling this a self-defense case right now," Cox said.

Cox said the men all knew one another. The homeowner operated a scrap metal business from his house and had done business with the pair in the past, Cox said.

The victim was still "roughed up" and "sore," when he came in for a second interview Wednesday, Cox said.

Clark's body has been taken to the state medical examiner's office in Nashville for an autopsy, according to authorities.

TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said agents in the initial investigation believe Clark and Pugh intended to rob the homeowner. The state agency "will lay out facts of the case in our case file along with results of the testing of evidence at the scene and completed autopsy report," Helm said. "We will turn the case file over to the district attorney general's office for review when completed."

Pugh is being held at the Cumberland County Justice Center on $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on June 18.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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