Note: This story was last updated at 3:45 p.m. March 22.
An Anderson County man has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly beating another man in the head, arms, and back with a baseball bat at a car wash in Oliver Springs in the summer of 2016, according to court records.
Clayton Perry Jones, 53, of Dutch Valley Road, was indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury on Tuesday, March 13, on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a weapon, according to court records. He has an arraignment scheduled for March 26 in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton.
Jones is accused of beating Brett Blank in the head, back, and arms with a baseball bat as Blank was cleaning his vehicle at the Sportsman Car Wash on East Tri County Boulevard in Oliver Springs on Thursday, July 14, 2016, according to an affidavit filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge on July 13, 2017.
The alleged beating was stopped by a witness with a handgun who was also at the car wash cleaning his vehicle, which was parked in front of Blank’s vehicle, according to the affidavit. The armed witness, Hank Mullins, saw Jones hitting Blank with the baseball bat, and Mullins revealed his concealed-carry handgun to deter the fight and told them to “Stop! Stop! Stop!” according to the affidavit. Both Blank and Jones then ran in opposite directions, said the affidavit, which was filed by Oliver Springs Police Department Patrolman Samuel Seiber.
Blank was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for treatment of his injuries. He told Seiber, the police officer, that he was cleaning his vehicle at the car wash when he heard a male voice say “Stand up, (expletive)!” As he turned around, Blank said, he saw a baseball bat coming at him, hitting him in the head, back, and arms.
“Mr. Blank then stated that he ran across the road to get away from the fight,” Seiber said in the affidavit.
Seiber located Jones, who told Seiber “I know I have to go to jail” and put his hands behind his back, according to the affidavit.
Jones did not have the baseball bat, but he told police he left it at Ace Hardware across from the car wash, the affidavit said. Officers found the bat there, the affidavit said.
Jones was taken to the Oliver Springs Police Department, but he declined to answer questions without an attorney present after being read his Miranda rights, the affidavit said.
The affidavit and the indictment do not include a motive for the alleged attack, and defense attorney Michael Farley and District Attorney General Dave Clark were not immediately available for comment earlier this week.
Jones was initially charged with aggravated assault. His tennis shoes were placed in evidence because of the blood stains on them from the alleged assault, the affidavit said.
The aggravated assault charge against Jones was sent to the grand jury, or bound over, after a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge on September 28, 2017.
The attempted murder charge is new. The two-count indictment by the Anderson County Grand Jury, which now includes the attempted murder charge, moves the case from Anderson County General Sessions Court to Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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