Pilot robbery suspect arrested in Rocky Top

Walter John Meachum

Walter John Meachum

A Caryville man suspected of robbing a Pilot Travel Center in east Knox County on Tuesday was arrested at a motel in Rocky Top in Anderson County on Wednesday, authorities said.

They said Walter John Meachum, 21, has been charged with aggravated robbery for an alleged armed robbery just before 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Pilot Travel Center at 1915 East Raccoon Valley Road in Knox County.

On Tuesday, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect was armed with a black and silver weapon, according to the initial investigation. Authorities said the suspect fled west on Raccoon Valley Road in a silver convertible with a black top after receiving an undisclosed amount of money from the business. He was described as wearing a skull mask, black hooded jacket, white shirt, and blue jeans at the time of the robbery.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said Meachum was arrested early Wednesday morning at the Scottish Inn in Rocky Top by its Major Crimes Unit in conjunction with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, and Rocky Top Police Department. As of Wednesday, Meachum was being held at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility on a $20,000 bond. [Read more…]

IRS tax scam reported again in Anderson County

The IRS scam has been reported again in Anderson County, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy.

“Scammers are making calls threatening arrest for not paying taxes or similar ploys to obtain money from unsuspecting citizens,” Lucas said. “The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department warns everyone not to fall victim to these frauds and scams.

“Please be aware the IRS does not make such calls.” [Read more…]

Officials recommend staying off roads unless travel is essential

Oak Ridge Roads on Feb. 16, 2015

South Illinois Avenue was a sloppy, slushy mix of snow, ice, and water early Monday evening.


Roads in Anderson County are ice-covered, and driving conditions are extremely hazardous, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy.

“We have already received reports of accidents due to slick roads,” Lucas said. “We are asking everyone to please stay at home and not to travel unless absolutely necessary.”

The roads in Oak Ridge appeared to be a sloppy, slushy mix of sleet, ice, and snow. There were reports in Anderson County and Oak Ridge of roads that were frozen or impassable. [Read more…]

Updated: KPD pursuit passes through Anderson, ends in Union

Jeremy Shane Howard

Jeremy Shane Howard

The police chase that passed through Anderson County on Thursday night started at a Weigel’s store in Knoxville and ended with an arrest in Union County.

The Knoxville Police Department said officers observed a suspicious man at Weigel’s on Callahan and Central Avenue Pike on Thursday night. The man was observed by officers on special assignment for recent robberies in north Knoxville.

The suspect, who was wearing surgical gloves, had been in the store for an extended period of time acting suspiciously before leaving without purchasing any items, the KPD said. [Read more…]

After tip, investigative work, sex offender wanted in Sullivan arrested in Heiskell

Glen Reed Keller

Glen Reed Keller

After a tip by a resident and investigative work by dispatchers, Anderson County deputies on Tuesday arrested a man in Heiskell who was wanted by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office in Blountville for violating the sexual offender registry.

Glen Reed Keller, 43, was arrested Tuesday evening at a home on White Oak Lane in Heiskell community, Anderson County  Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.

The Anderson County Communications Center had received a tip from a citizen who had watched a news report on television concerning Keller. Dispatchers had seen the same broadcast. The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office had sent a news release to the local media in the Tri-Cities, area which was shared with a local TV outlet in Knoxville, Lucas said. [Read more…]

Grandson charged with aggravated robbery after alleged knifepoint theft

Joseph Tyler Collins

Joseph Tyler Collins

The 18-year-old Anderson County man accused of robbing his grandfather with the help of a second man armed with a knife was arrested Tuesday, authorities said.

Joseph Tyler Collins has been charged with aggravated robbery and is being held in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy. Collins’ bond has been set at $75,000.

Collins’ grandfather, Genis Hawkins, reported that he was robbed at knifepoint by his grandson and the second unidentified man, who was wearing a green rag over his face and holding a 15-inch-long knife, on November 20. Collins was arrested at a Clinton home on Tuesday afternoon.

Lucas said Sheriff’s Department investigators are still working to identify the others involved in the robbery. [Read more…]

Woman dies after trying to save pets from house fire

Ridge Lane Firefighters

Firefighters battle a blaze at a Ridge Lane home on Wednesday. A woman who tried to save her pets from the fire died overnight. (Photo by Tom Scott)


Note: This story was last updated at 1:50 p.m. Nov. 23.

The 65-year-old woman who was burned and seriously injured while trying to save three pets from a house fire on Wednesday afternoon died overnight at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, authorities said.

Martha Babb Bailey and Adra Denton of Oak Ridge had arrived at Bailey’s home at 131 Ridge Lane around 3 p.m. Wednesday after grocery shopping. When they opened the front door, the house, which is in Orchard Knob subdivision in Anderson County, burst into flames. Denton called 911 to report the fire, and Bailey ran into the burning home to try to rescue two dogs and a cat, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said.

But Bailey’s clothes caught fire, and she collapsed in the living room, White said. Denton was unable to reach her and called 911 again to say her friend was trapped in the burning single-story home. [Read more…]

Updated: Sharps Chapel man dies in Andersonville shooting

A Sharps Chapel man died in a Sunday afternoon shooting in Andersonville, authorities said.

James Alvin Russell, 58, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said.

The shooting was reported at 4:35 p.m. Sunday at 1229 Sequoyah Road. In a Sunday evening statement, Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said the victim was dead when deputies arrived, and the shooter was still there.

In a statement later Sunday night, Lucas said Sheriff’s Department investigators were processing the crime scene and interviewing the person responsible for the shooting, as well as a witness. [Read more…]

Grandfather dies, granddaughter injured in ATV crash on Windrock Mountain

A Georgia grandfather died and his granddaughter was injured when an all-terrain vehicle went over a 60-foot embankment on Windrock Mountain on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Lindon Joald Lightsey, 68, of Baxley, Georgia, was fatally injured in the ATV crash north of Oliver Springs, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said. His 12-year-old granddaughter was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said deputies and emergency personnel were called to the crash at about 2 p.m. Saturday. [Read more…]

Officers cracking down on drunk, impaired drivers on Labor Day weekend

Drive Sober

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be out in force this Labor Day holiday as part of the “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving, a press release said.

“This effective nationwide campaign will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Anderson County,” Sheriff Paul White said in a press release. “The ‘Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will focus on drunk and impaired drivers with increased enforcement.”

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will take part in this campaign by saturation patrols during the Labor Day holiday period, which runs through September 1. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign on Friday, August 29, in cooperation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers will take aim at impaired or drunk drivers throughout Anderson County in an effort to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities, White said. [Read more…]

Woman escapes injury, drives away from fake officer with knife

Anderson County Sheriff Logo

A 49-year-old woman escaped injury on Monday night when she drove away from a man who pretended to be a police officer but pulled a knife after stopping her on Yarnell Road near Clinton, authorities said.

It’s the second report of a police impersonator in Anderson County this month.

The woman was pulled over by the man at about 9:45 p.m. Monday on Yarnell Road off East Wolf Valley Road, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said.

“He approached the victim and asked for her driver’s license,” Lucas said. “He then pulled a knife, and she immediately drove away and called 911.”

In this case, the descriptions of both the suspect and his car are different from the previous incident. The suspect in the Monday night incident was described as a white male in his mid- or late-20s to mid-30s, six feet tall, 200 pounds, clean-shaven, with a muscular build and short dark brown hair. He reportedly spoke with a soft voice. The suspect was well-dressed wearing dark civilian clothing (not a uniform) and had a badge on his belt. The victim did not see a firearm, Lucas said. [Read more…]

Motorcyclist dies in four-vehicle crash on Edgemoor Road

Fatal Crash on Edgemoor Road

Edgemoor Road was closed for several hours near the Bull Run Fossil Plant on Wednesday evening as authorities investigated a four-vehicle crash that killed a motorcyclist.


CLAXTON—A Powell motorcyclist died Wednesday afternoon in a four-vehicle crash on Edgemoor Road in front of the Bull Run Fossil Plant, authorities said.

Kenneth Lubthisophon, 55, was riding east on Edgemoor Road at about 4:41 p.m. Wednesday when he hit the left rear of a car driven by a 54-year-old Knoxville woman who was slowing down for stopped traffic, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.

Lubthisophon’s 1989 Honda G15 was then hit from behind by a pickup truck driven by a 25-year-old Clinton man, and Lubthisophon was thrown from the motorcycle into the westbound traffic lane, where he was hit by a second pickup truck driven by a 70-year-old Clinton man, according to a preliminary THP report.

Lubthisophon was wearing a helmet, the report said. [Read more…]