published Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

2 face charges in Sequatchie County, Tenn., stabbing

One of two men charged earlier this month in a stabbing on Sequatchie County, Tenn.’s Lewis Chapel Mountain is free on bond as the victim in the incident recovers and a court hearing looms on Friday.

James Earl Conner, 44, and Randall Peters, 57, each are charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of 58-year-old Gerald Davis after a disagreement turned violent at the victim’s home on Henson Gap Road, officials said. The stabbing happened July 13, and the men were arraigned July 25.

Peters is free on $10,000 bond while Conner was still behind bars on the same bond late Tuesday, according to Circuit Court Clerk Karen Millsaps. Millsaps said both men are scheduled for a possible preliminary hearing in General Sessions Court on Friday.

Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock said investigators still aren’t sure what the dispute was over, but Davis had not had contact with the pair for about a year before the incident.

Davis told investigators that he and Peters talked about a year ago, but then they stopped communicating. Hitchcock said the subject of conversations between the two is unknown.

Davis said he heard a vehicle in his driveway on July 13, stepped outside to see who it was and discovered Peters and Conner.

“They got in an argument — he didn’t say what over. He was talking about that they needed to leave and they started to get in the vehicle,” Hitchcock said.

At that point, Conner turned around armed with a knife and “started slashing at [Davis] and he threw up his arm to defend himself,” the sheriff said. The attackers then drove away, leaving Davis bleeding from a laceration to his forearm.

Davis’ wife headed out with him for Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga until she was stopped by Soddy-Daisy police and the victim was transferred to an ambulance, Hitchcock said. Davis was treated for the wound and released.

Hitchcock said Peters and Conner have served time in prison, Conner being released just six to eight months ago, but neither of the men have any known past problems with Davis, the sheriff said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.

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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