Violence plentiful across the greater Chattanooga region

Violence plentiful across the greater Chattanooga region

January 4th, 2014 by Ben Benton, Tim Omarzu and Tyler Jett in Local Regional News

Investigators work at a Cottage Crest Court home near Chickamauga, Ga., where Joe Hendrix shot and killed a man shortly after 4 a.m. on Nov. 27.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

TENNESSEE

BRADLEY COUNTY

• Christopher Coty Tatum: Tatum, 28, died Aug. 25 at SkyRidge Medical Center, where he was taken for treatment after a shooting, while Gaberila Wendy Gasparian, 33, was treated for her gunshot wound at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga. Their address was listed as 3248 Springplace Road. Detectives said there was possible alcohol consumption and reckless handling of a handgun, which apparently was discharged accidentally. While pointed at the two, the weapon discharged with a bullet passing through Gasparian, then Tatum and finally lodging in a couch.

• Gilbert Blair: Blair, 48, was taken by ambulance to Erlanger for treatment Jan. 7 after being shot in the abdomen at 181 Burris Lane. An investigation showed Blair and his girlfriend were arguing when her brother, Jerry M. Kincaid Jr., 43, of 173 Burris Lane, shot Blair with a handgun. Kincaid was charged with felony aggravated assault. Blair survived.

COFFEE COUNTY

• Harry Bartee: Brenda Bartee, 47, of Tullahoma, was charged Dec. 7 with attempting to commit first-degree murder in the nonfatal shooting of her husband, local physician Harry Bartee, on Manchester, Tenn.'s town square after a mediation hearing.

• Austin Ferrell: No charges were filed in the Oct. 1 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Tullahoma teen Austin Ferrell and wounding of his uncle at the home of 73-year-old Nicholas Dipietrantonio after a confrontation at the front door of Dipietrantonio's home.

• Unnamed 13-month-old: A Tullahoma man was charged after his handgun discharged on May 12, striking his 13-month-old daughter. Kevin L. Sayre, 26, was charged with aggravated assault in the incident that left his daughter in critical but stable condition at a Nashville hospital.

• Connie Lou Brown: The partially burned body of Connie Lou Brown, 51, was found March 9 in a cave at an old rock quarry with a single gunshot wound in her chest and blunt force trauma to her head. The body was found by a family on an outing at the site between Manchester and McMinnville. Jimmy Bryon Jones, 51, of Warren County, was arrested in April and charged with first-degree murder.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY

• Danielle Jacobson, Steven Presley, Dominic Davis, John Lajeunesse: Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, was arrested on a parole violation the night after four bodies were found in a car on Renegade Mountain on Sept. 12, according to Associated Press reports. Bennett was accused of killing the driver, Danielle Jacobson, 22, and passengers Steven Presley, 17, Dominic Davis, 17, and John Lajeunesse, 16. Bennett had been sentenced to six years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to a series of charges in Cumberland and Fentress counties, including being a convicted violent felon in possession of a firearm and theft, according to court records. He had been released on parole from the Hardeman County Correctional Facility in March.

MARION COUNTY

• John Shanks: John Shanks, 29, was shot to death Sept. 7 by a Marion County Sheriff's Office deputy after he was found sleeping on a resident's porch on Lock Dam Road. The TBI investigation into the shooting is continuing.

• Unnamed shooting victim: Jasper resident Allen Pool, 43, was charged with attempted first-degree murder after police say he shot his wife in the face with a .22-caliber rifle on July 24. She survived the shooting.

• Jeffery Jonathan Mora: Oscar Delgado, 33, and Christina McLendon, 31, were captured in Blackshear, Ga., after the beating death of 32-year-old Jeffery Jonathan Mora. Delgado and McLendon were charged with first-degree murder after Mora was found severely injured at an abandoned building off U.S. Highway 41 in Marion County, Tenn., on June 22. Mora was taken to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga, where he later died.

• Harley Fagin: A 13-year-old Marion County boy was wounded by his father in an accidental shooting on the family's Kelly Cove Road property. Kevin Fagin, 36, was working on a 9 mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol and stepped outside to test fire the weapon. Fagin told authorities he didn't know his son, Harley, was in the woods in the line of fire when he discharged the weapon, striking the boy in the shoulder.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

• Corey N. Matthews: In March, the body of Corey N. Matthews was found in a cornfield just outside Cowan, Tenn., in Franklin County, in a case that landed four men behind bars. Investigators said the March 24 slaying "was a specific and targeted incident related to Mr. Matthews' affiliation with a white supremacist organization." John Corey Lanier, 26, and Todd E. Dalton, 39, both of Manchester, Tenn.; David Gordon Jenkins, 46, of 3554 Ashbury Road in Manchester; and Coty Keith Holmes, 25, of 197 Rhoads Lane in Hillsboro, Tenn., were charged with first-degree murder and felony murder in the slaying. A trial date for Holmes is set in February.

MCMINN COUNTY

• Freddie Hall: Hall was shot in the leg Sept. 26 by Travis Odell during an argument at a party in McMinn County on County Road 312. Hall was taken to UT Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries.

• David Greenwood: An armed man who confronted Etowah police Dec. 4 on U.S. Highway 411 suffered gunshot wounds and later died at UT Medical Center in Knoxville. The man later was identified as 49-year-old David Greenwood, who was wanted by the Robertson County Sheriff 's Office after a "suspicious" house fire over the weekend and the death of his girlfriend, Kim Moran, in Pleasant View, Tenn., a town 20 miles south of the Kentucky line. According to a Robertson County Sheriff's Office release, Moran was found dead inside the couple's house at 2526 Jack Teasley Road over the weekend, and Greenwood was missing until the altercation in Etowah.

MEIGS COUNTY

• Mitchell Delashmitt: An April 2 altercation in Meigs County's Cottonport community left one man with critical gunshot injuries. Mitchell Delashmitt was shot after he went to the Holly Glen Road home of Wendell Beaty looking for someone about 6:50 p.m., Meigs County, Tenn., Sheriff Jackie Melton said. A decade earlier, Delashmitt was convicted in the 2003 reckless homicide of his 14-month daughter, Angel.

POLK COUNTY

• William Donally: Randall "Caid" Webb was charged with attempted first-degree murder after authorities found William Donally on Fifth Street lying on the ground on June 23 with a gunshot wound. The shooting took place after Webb went looking for his ex-girlfriend, and Donally confronted him.

RHEA COUNTY

• Landon Robbins: A Rhea County mother and her boyfriend were charged with felony first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse and neglect in the Aug. 30 death of 5-year-old Landon Robbins when an autopsy revealed the boy had more severe injuries than they said he got in a fall at their home north of Spring City, Tenn. Bradley Adcox, then 22, and Jessica Robbins, then 29, are charged in the death.

GEORGIA

WALKER COUNTY

• Roy Leonard McKeehan Jr.: On the night of Oct. 7, Daniel Marks got into an argument with his girlfriend, Lucinda Sasser. She said he hit her, and her father, 63-year-old Roy Leonard McKeehan Jr., found out. McKeehan confronted Marks, and one of them grabbed a lead pipe. The sheriff's office won't speculate on who held the weapon, but the pipe was followed by a gun, held by Marks. He fired it through McKeehan's throat, then drove away with Sasser. She says she didn't know her father was dead. Hours later, after a police chase through Chattooga County and into Alabama, Marks died after shooting himself in the head while Sasser sat next to him in a crashed car.

• Anderson Trammel Watts Jr.: On Oct. 30, 20-year-old Marcus Eugene Sutton and 23-year-old Anderson Trammel Watts Jr. got into an argument inside a Rossville apartment. Neighbors said they heard a thud, the sound of a body slamming against a wall. Then, they heard a gunshot. Police founds Watts dead, and the sheriff's office later charged Sutton with murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm in commission of a crime, reckless conduct and a probation violation. He has not yet gone to trial.

• Ronald Westbrook: Around 4 a.m. on Nov. 27, 34-year-old Joe Hendrix and his girlfriend heard someone knocking on their door, ringing their doorbell and ratting their doorknob. They thought it was an intruder looking to hurt them. The girlfriend called 911, and Hendrix walked outside. In the backyard, he saw a silhouette. Hendrix called out, but he later told police that the man didn't respond. Instead, he walked toward Hendrix, and Hendrix shot him in the chest. Turned out the man was 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook, an Air Force veteran suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Hendrix has not been charged in the case. District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin is reviewing the investigative file.

CATOOSA COUNTY

• Dalton McConathy: A 69-year-old Ringgold man said he caught two teenagers trying to steal from him. On Nov. 11, Fred Youngblood said he heard someone rattle his doorknob before walking around to the back of his house. When Youngblood walked outside, he allegedly saw the two boys leaving his basement. He yelled at them, told them to leave. Then, Youngblood told police, the boys charged at him, so he shot one of them, 17-year-old Dalton McConathy. The boy died later that day, and his friend was charged with burglary. McConathy's family claims the boys thought the house was abandoned and came to get scrap metal. The family also claims Youngblood was standing on a porch above the boys when he shot McConathy, raising questions about whether the shooter's life was really in danger, as he says. District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin has not decided whether to bring the case to a grand jury.

GORDON COUNTY

• Allen Ott: On Jan. 16, Allen Ott's wife claimed he threatened her, and a Floyd County judge issued a protective order. Then, later that day, Floyd County authorities called the Gordon County Sheriff's Office and reported that Ott was threatening to kill his wife. Deputies found him on Dews Pond Road near Calhoun, Ga., standing in front of a stolen truck. The deputies said they walked toward him and told him to lower his rifle. Ott refused, they said. So a deputy shot him. But Ott, 48, was still alive, and he apparently pointed his gun at another deputy. Again, a deputy shot him, this time killing the man.

CHATTOOGA COUNTY

• John England III: An Alabama man who escaped from police after an alleged theft turned around and killed a friend in Trion on Jan. 16. The Cherokee County, Ala., Sheriff's Office held warrants on Justin Long when he came to Chattooga County to stay with a woman. There, in Trion, Long got into an argument with 41-year-old John England III. As the two exchanged words, Long pulled out a handgun and shot England, who died later in a Rome hospital. Long, of Cedar Bluff, Ala., then hitched a ride with a stranger, claiming he needed to get to a gas station because his four-wheeler was out of fuel. But investigators found out and stopped the car. They found a gun under the passenger's seat and charged Long with murder.

ALABAMA

DEKALB COUNTY

• Unnamed 8-month-old: A 20-year-old Crossville, Ala., woman who claimed a falling shoe rack injured her infant son on Aug. 11 is facing an indictment charging her with child abuse in what medical officials called "nonaccidental trauma." The baby's mother, Sabrina Sprayberry, was charged on an indictment in December with aggravated child abuse. Sprayberry called 911 to report her son had fallen at their Crossville home and needed medical help. The incident happened on Aug. 11, 2013. She's free on $25,000 bond and faces a Jan. 28 court date.

MARSHALL COUNTY

• Gary Lee Willis: Willis' body was found Dec. 17 inside a burned car near Geraldine, Ala. Christopher Todd Cagle, 28, and Delia May Downs, 33, both of Albertville, Ala., and Michael Stanley Townsel Jr., 28, of Fort Payne, were jailed on kidnapping charges. Murder charges were added against Cagle and Townsel this week, and Downs also was charged with hindering prosecution.

JACKSON COUNTY

• Kaisley Phaith Anderson: An 18-year-old Jackson County, Ala., father was charged on a Dec. 11 indictment with murder in the Oct. 24 death of his daughter. Marcus Shane Anderson, of Pisgah, Ala., was arrested on the indictment Dec. 13 and posted a $50,000 bond. An autopsy showed 2-month-old Kaisley Phaith Anderson died of "traumatic head injuries," and the indictment states the father killed his daughter "by throwing the infant down, resulting in a traumatic head injury."

• Jeremy Daniel Gregory: Gregory, 31, of Jackson County, Ala., was found dead Jan. 29 of a gunshot wound after an exchange of gunfire with a Madison County, Ala., SWAT team called to a standoff at a home on County Road 48 near Section.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.