published Monday, April 7th, 2014

Police Briefs: 1 dead, 2 sick after party

1 dead, 2 sick after party

Chattanooga police said one person is dead and two others were hospitalized after a party Saturday night where some people may have taken overdoses of the drug Ecstasy.

All three were adult men.

Police say 20-year-old Robert Allen was dropped off at an emergency room where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning. His body has been taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

The names of the overdose victims possibly related to the Ecstasy used at the party Saturday night are Antonio Espey and Roger Bell. The two arrived at Parkridge Hospital Sunday morning and are in stable condition. They told police that Ecstasy, a psychoactive stimulant, was handed out at the party, according to a news release. The release didn't state where the party took place.

Police described the drug as a crystal with a cloudy color.


Threats to judge result in arrest

A Soddy-Daisy man was arrested Saturday morning on a report that he had made threats against Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office arrested Kelly Rice, 29, in the Sale Creek area about 8 a.m. after his mother called police Friday evening.

According to the complaint, Margaret Rice told police her son had called her about 3 p.m. Friday and told her that he was going to "[expletive] up Judge Steelman and his family." She said he told her he had gotten the judge's address from Google.

She reported that her son had asked if she had his daughter, because he would be in jail for a long time.

Margaret Rice told police her son was upset that Steelman had not let his girlfriend, Erica Lynn Meredith, out of jail Friday. Meredith was arrested March 25 by Hamilton County deputies on the charge of violation of probation for theft.

Rice has been charged with retaliation against a judge and is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a $45,000 bond.


Dome Building arsonist held

A man jailed in 2010 for trying to start a fire at the Dome Building on Georgia Avenue was arrested again Saturday night for attempting the same crime, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Fire investigators found that Daniel Maier, 61, used an ax to break out 20 windows and two glass doors in the building. He then used fuel to try to start a fire in the building. The building's sprinkler system extinguished the fire.

No one was injured in the incident but close to $30,000 in damage was done, according to the fire department news release.

Spokesman Bruce Garner said Maier has been charged with arson and vandalism.

Firefighters were dispatched to the building shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday and noticed Maier lingering in the area. They called for assistance from police, who detained the man until he could be questioned by a fire investigator.

Maier was convicted of arson in 2010 for trying to start a fire at the Dome Building.

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