Bobby Stone says he caught his wife kissing the mayor [videos]

New facts emerge about Bobby Stone's fight with wife over alleged affair

Bobby Stone leaves Judge Lila Statom's courtroom after having charges from a domestic violence dispute with his wife, Lacie Stone, dropped.

In the back of a police car at 2 a.m., Bobby Stone described how good it felt to hurl a rock through the rear windshield of his wife's car.

"I threw a rock through it, which was probably not a good move," he said, talking on a cellphone with an unidentified person. "But it felt good, particularly 'cause it had a Berke sticker on the window."

photo Bobby Stone leaves Judge Lila Statom's courtroom after having charges from a domestic violence dispute with his wife, Lacie Stone, dropped.
photo Bobby Stone rides in a police car on the night of an alleged domestic disturbance involving his his wife, top aide to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, over allegations of an affair.

He chuckled.

That night, Bobby Stone accused his wife, Lacie Stone, of having an affair with Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. Lacie Stone works as an adviser to Berke; both have adamantly denied the affair.

The phone conversation in the early hours of May 21 was recorded by the patrol car's video camera and released Tuesday as part of the police department's entire investigative file into the domestic incident.

On the night of May 20, the Stones got into a domestic dispute over Lacie Stone's cellphone. Bobby Stone said he believed she was texting Berke and demanded to see the phone, but Lacie Stone refused. The pair then wrestled over the phone, which was smashed during the incident.

As Lacie Stone was leaving, Bobby Stone threw what appeared to be a cantaloupe-sized rock through her back windshield. Lacie Stone called her neighbor, Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher, and said her husband was going to kill her.

Fletcher reported the incident and Bobby Stone was arrested and charged with domestic assault and vandalism. Both charges were dismissed on Oct. 21, and he no longer faces criminal prosecution.

The charges were dismissed, in part, because officers failed to inform Bobby Stone of his right to remain silent and because Lacie Stone gave inconsistent statements to police, according to a memorandum filed in court.

Lacie Stone spoke with police on the night of the incident, but then initially failed to appear for a scheduled follow-up interview. She later did meet with police. She gave a different version of events to Fletcher than to investigators that night, and those statements also differed from those in her follow-up interview.

Fletcher said Lacie Stone told him that her husband was going to kill her and had choked her. But when officers arrived at the home, she told them she and her husband wrestled over the phone but he didn't assault her.

photo Lacie Stone, center, watches as her husband, Bobby Stone, appears in Judge Lila Statom's courtroom to have charges from a domestic violence dispute with her dropped.
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. Berke declined to answer questions about the case, citing its ongoing nature.

At her follow-up interview four days later, Lacie Stone said she was bruised when she and her husband fell over a fence together while fighting over the phone and that he grabbed her arms. She said she fell down some stairs while trying to leave, and he dragged her out the door.

The case file includes photos previously obtained by the Times Free Press that depict Lacie Stone with bruises on her arms, wrist, back, chest, upper leg, face and thigh. In one picture of her elbow, Lacie Stone appears to have four fingerprint-sized discolorations on her skin. Other photos show Bobby Stone pointing to cuts on his hands and leg.

The case file largely reiterates details that have already been disclosed, but does reveal some new facts, including:

* Bobby Stone had blood on his shorts, and his T-shirt was torn when police arrived at his home. He told police it was his own blood. There was also blood around Lacie Stone's broken windshield.

* Lacie Stone told police her husband was delusional, paranoid and making outrageous claims.

* Lacie Stone told police her husband did check the texts on her phone and became irate when he couldn't find proof of an affair. She said he accused her of using an app to hide her communications.

On Tuesday, Bobby Stone again claimed that Lacie Stone and Berke were using a cellphone app to hide inappropriate communication.

"The city would like you to think that their release is the complete story," Bobby Stone said in a text message. "But there's an entire dark layer of secret communications between the mayors [sic] top staff and CPD that they have not released and likely deleted."

Lacie Stone did not return a request for comment Tuesday. She has previously asked for privacy.

Ever since the incident in May, Bobby Stone has maintained that Fletcher and Berke worked to cover up the alleged affair. Fletcher and Berke have denied those allegations.

The case prompted Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston to ask the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into how Fletcher and the mayor handled the incident, saying that some of Berke and Fletcher's public comments were raising "unusual concerns" for prosecutors.

photo Staff photo by Tim Barber Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher
photo Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston

The TBI finished that report but it has not been released to the public because it is exempt from state open records laws.

During the phone call in the back of the patrol car, Bobby Stone never suggests Fletcher was trying to cover up the incident and twice calls Fletcher a "by-the-book guy." He said he made a mistake when he called Fletcher that night, because Fletcher felt compelled to report the incident.

"Well no, she went over to Fred's house, I guess because it was close," Stone said on the phone. "And I don't know if Fred believes her or not, but Fred's like a totally by-the-book guy. He's like, 'You all called me, and she called me, so I'm going to have to call this in.' Which is disturbing, but, you know. It's he said/she said - but the guy always loses in he said/she said."

Bobby Stone did suggest that Berke would try to keep the domestic dispute and allegations of an affair quiet, and said that he caught his wife kissing Berke two weeks before the incident but that she'd said it was a fluke.

"If I die in incarceration, the mayor had me killed," he said with a chuckle at the end of the conversation. "All right? All right. See ya. Thanks."

He hung up the phone and addressed the police officer driving the car.

"You won't let me die in incarceration, will you?"

"No sir," the officer replied.

"All right," Bobby Stone said.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips or story ideas.