Chattanooga police officers win judgment against city

CHATTANOOGA — Hamilton County Chancellor Pam Fleenor has affirmed an $828,000 judgment on behalf of 25 senior police officers who alleged the City of Chattanooga fell short on the terms of a pay plan drawn up years ago.

"Today the chancellor puts an end ot the City's latest attempt to avoid paying this jury verdict," Janie Varnell, attorney for the plaintiffs, wrote in an issued release.

"What once started as a $562,000 jury verdict over a year ago has now increased to $828,700 because the City refuses to acknowledge a jury's unanimous finding that the City violated their own City Code and breached a contract with these officers."

The city now has 30 days to appeal to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, but another attorney for the plaintiffs, Bryan Hoss, said he believes it is unlikely the city "would drag this out even further."

In a jury decision last year, officers were collectively awarded $562,953 in back pay for the time that they worked without receiving promised raises.

The case stemmed from a years-long dispute over the police department's pay policies, which allowed new police officers to earn higher salaries than their supervisors.


Hamilton County Grand Jury indicts man shot by police

The Hamilton County Grand Jury has indicted a man shot by police earlier this month for aggravated assault on police, among other charges.

Casey Jay Smith, 33, was taken to the hospital in critical condition after being shot by police on Sept. 4 during an incident on the 5200 block of Central Avenue.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office assigned the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office the lead role in investigating the incident.

In addition to a charge of possession of methamphetamine on which he was being held in the Hamilton County Jail, Smith has now been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on police, two counts of theft over $10,000, felony evading arrest, felony reckless endangerment, escape and driving on a revoked license.

Smith's bond has been set at $40,000.


Two men get 30-year sentences in killing of mother, son

MEMPHIS — Prosecutors say two men have been sentenced to 30 years in prison each in the fatal shootings of a man and his mother in Tennessee.

The district attorney's office in Memphis said Thursday that 30-year-old Derrick Smith has pleaded guilty to two counts of facilitation to commit first-degree murder. Eighteen-year-old co-defendant Robert Beman has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.

Authorities say 29-year-old Ronnie Winborn and his mother, 59-year-old Laura Winborn, died of gunshot wounds in their home in August 2015 in Memphis.

A neighbor said Ronnie Winborn's children, ages 3 and 5, knocked on his door and told him their "nana" and "daddy" were both dead. The neighbor found the bodies.

The men were sentenced by Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Bobby Carter.


Authorities find more than 1,500 pot plants

DEKALB COUNTY, ALA. — State and local authorities in Alabama on Wednesday found and destroyed more than 1,500 marijuana plants and recovered a stolen vehicle.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said in a statement on the operation that deputies, Drug and Major Crimes Unit members, and Fort Payne and Geraldine police joined forces with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Alabama National Guard Counter Drug Unit's helicopter teams in an eradication operation on Wednesday.

The officers located the marijuana plants in "various locations in the county," and found a truck that had been reported stolen three days ago, Harris said.

The truck was found in a field covered with tree branches, he said.

Federal government estimates the value on each plant seized at $2,000, Harris said.