CLAXTON—Two men were hit in the arms during the shooting in Claxton on Saturday evening, January 13, and the Oak Ridge man charged with attempted murder in the case also shot at a woman but missed, according to court records.
The shooting at the home at the intersection of Clinton Highway and Lonesome Dove Road allegedly occurred “during some type of altercation” in a bedroom, according to affidavits filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton.
Jacob Lynn Rutherford, 23, of Oak Ridge, has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of reckless endangerment in the shooting.
The affidavits, which summarize the alleged facts of the case and are attached to arrest warrants, said Rutherford pulled a handgun from his waistband during the altercation, pointed it at Nathan Phillips, 36, and fired. Phillips had two gunshot wounds to his left upper arm, the affidavits said.
Rutherford then pointed the gun at William Foster, 34, and fired again, striking Foster in his right elbow area, the affidavits said.
Rutherford then pointed the gun at Brenda Foster and fired the weapon in her direction, but the bullet did not hit her, according to the affidavits, which were filed by Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Harold Crowley.
Several other people were inside the home when the shooting occurred, the affidavits said, and they were “in fear of bodily harm or death.”
The affidavits said Rutherford and his girlfriend Maggie Atteberry, 24, who was in the home and has also been charged in the case, left the area after the alleged shooting.
They were found early Sunday morning, January 14, at the home of Atteberry’s aunt just north of State Route 61 in Anderson County, between Norris and Interstate 75, and they were detained and taken to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the affidavits said.
Atteberry said she understood her Miranda rights, and she waived them, according to the affidavits. During an interview with Crowley, she said Rutherford had a handgun and he fired it inside the Claxton home, the affidavits said.
Later, after she and Rutherford arrived at her aunt’s home, Rutherford gave Atteberry a bag with two firearms, told her to give it to her aunt, and have the aunt put the bag in her car, Atteberry told Crowley, according to the affidavits.
Atteberry gave the bag to her aunt and asked her to put the bag in her car, the affidavits said. The aunt was not told what was in the bag.
Crowley also interviewed Rutherford, who also waived his Miranda rights, according to the affidavits. Rutherford admitted he had a handgun in his waistband when he went to the Clinton Highway home, and he admitted pulling the handgun from his waistband and shooting Phillips, Crowley said.
“Mr. Rutherford stated Nathan Phillips punched him in the face, so he pulled the gun and fired one shot,” the affidavits said.
It’s not clear whether Rutherford has made any statement regarding shooting at the Fosters.
In the affidavits, Crowley said the two firearms were located in the aunt’s vehicle and logged into evidence. Rutherford and Atteberry were arrested and taken to the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton.
Rutherford remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on Saturday, February 10. His bond has been set at $250,000. He appears to also have a bond of $150,000 on a probation violation, or a total bond of $380,000, according to jail records.
His next court date, a status hearing, is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, February 14, in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton.
Atteberry, who lives near her aunt in Anderson County, according to court records, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact. She was released from the Anderson County Detention Facility on a $5,000 bond on January 14. Her next court date, also a status hearing, is also scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, February 14, in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton.
The January 13 shooting was investigated after an injured person was reported at the Bread Box on Edgemoor Road. Deputies responding to that report found Phillips with gunshot wounds, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said at the time. Another person was driving Phillips to the hospital, but they had stopped at the store to call for an ambulance. Phillips was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville by Anderson County EMS.
Deputies then went to the Clinton Highway home, where they found that William Foster, who lives at the home, had also been shot. He was transported to UT Medical Center by Anderson County EMS, and he was treated and released, according to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.
Rutherford was charged with attempted murder for the shootings of Phillips and Foster, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said at the time. Rutherford also shot at the third person (Brenda Foster) but missed, resulting in the additional attempted murder charge, the Sheriff’s Department said. There were four other people at the home at the time of the shootings, Lucas said.
It’s not the first time that Rutherford has been charged with attempted murder. He has previously been charged with attempted second-degree murder in Oak Ridge, but that charge and others were dismissed in July 2016 after a victim or state witness failed to appear, according to Anderson County court records and court officials. Also dismissed at the time were charges of especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and assault.
Rutherford had been charged in two separate alleged assaults that year, one on February 25 and another on April 28. Police responded to both alleged assaults on Locust Lane in Oak Ridge, where Rutherford lived.
Responding to the second assault, the one that resulted in the attempted murder charge, the Oak Ridge Police Department allegedly found Rutherford at the side door with blood on his right hand and the victim inside covered in blood on her face, neck, stomach, and arms, among other injuries. Rutherford allegedly strangled the victim and threatened to get his gun and kill her just before ORPD Officer Sherrill Selby arrived at the home, according to warrants filed in 2016.
Rutherford allegedly used a metal rod in one of those two beatings, authorities said, and he was also accused of hitting the woman in the head with a gun and forcing her into his vehicle at gunpoint, according to arrest warrants at the time.
Oak Ridge Today reported at the time that it wasn’t clear if the the Anderson County District Attorney General’s Office might take the charges to the Anderson County Grand Jury for its consideration, or if the DA would need the victim’s cooperation to prosecute the case.
It appears that authorities were not able to serve subpoenas, which order someone to be in court at a certain date and time, on the two women involved in the two separate assaults, according to Anderson County General Sessions Court records.
See previous story on the Claxton shooting here.
See story on the earlier attempted second-degree murder case here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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