Ongoing TBI probe into domestic incident keeps delaying Bobby Stone court date

Robert and Lacie Stone

Bobby Stone's latest court date was postponed again because the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is still actively probing the domestic incident that ignited allegations of an inappropriate sexual relationship between Stone's wife and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

During Tuesday's court date, Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom announced that attorneys wanted to move Stone's case because the TBI wasn't finished yet. A TBI spokesman confirmed Tuesday the investigation was active and ongoing but could not give a completion date.

Attorneys ultimately settled on Sept. 13 to deal with Stone's domestic assault and vandalism charges, while waiving his right to make an appearance. His wife, Lacie Stone, was also absent.

photo Mayor Andy Berke speaks to media outside Calvary Chapel about a domestic assault case involving his advisor Lacie Stone and her husband Bobby after the mayor appeared at the Chattanooga Police Department's annual awards ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Mayor Berke declined to answer questions about the case, citing its ongoing nature.

The case - and investigation - stems back to May 21 around 11:30 p.m., when Lacie Stone told police she and her husband got into an argument about her phone. Bobby Stone told investigators his wife was having an affair. When he caught her texting the other man outside on their porch, he confronted her and tried to grab her phone. Then, as they struggled over the phone, he dragged her by the belt to the door of their home in North Chattanooga and ordered her to leave, according to a Chattanooga Police Department incident report.

During the fight, Lacie Stone said, her phone was crushed. Several times she hit her husband in the head with it, records show. Then, as she left in a car, Bobby Stone hurled a rock into the back windshield, shattering it, records show.

She called police Police Chief Fred Fletcher, who later confirmed she followed his suggestion and took refuge at his house. As for Bobby Stone, when police told him he would have to report for a taped interview, he told officers his wife was having an affair with the mayor.

In a later statement, Berke said Bobby Stone was lying. But the episode took on a new dimension when District Attorney General Neal Pinkston asked the TBI to investigate how police handled the situation. Berke and Fletcher made comments that raised "unusual concerns" for prosecutors, his spokeswoman, Melydia Clewell, explained.

At the same time, local media sources reported an internal police record said Lacie Stone gave inconsistent statements to the police, prompting her attorney, John Cavett, to release a statement in her defense.

"After Lacie gave an initial statement to the police, she had multiple contacts with investigators and gave approximately two hours of statements on Tuesday which were not released," he said. "Lacie was injured in the attack and those injuries have been properly documented. To suggest she was the perpetrator in this instance is ridiculous."

She appeared beside her husband on May 31, her husband's first scheduled appearance in General Sessions Court. During that hearing, attorneys also put off Stone's case, citing the TBI investigation.

Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at Follow on Twitter @zackpeterson918.