One Oak Ridge man was beaten in the head with a wrench on Thursday after a social media conversation, and another was charged with attempted murder after an alleged assault on South Walker Lane.
The victim, Andrew Steelman, had been talking to someone on social media that he thought was the girlfriend of Jeremy Jon Bessette, 40, according to affidavits filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge.
But it turned out that Steelman was not talking to Bessette’s girlfriend, but rather to Bessette, who was posing online as his girlfriend while Steelman “flirted with her,” the affidavits said.
The Oak Ridge Police Department first learned of the incident when they were notified of a physical disturbance on South Walker Lane at 1:53 p.m. Thursday. There, a witness said a man, later identified as Bessette, entered the home and began hitting another man in the head with what appeared to be a wrench, according to the affidavits, which were filed by ORPD Officer Perry Lewis.
The alleged assailant then got into a dark-colored Pontiac and fled, the affidavits said.
Lewis went to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, where Steelman was along with two other witnesses. The other witnesses corroborated the story of the first witness that Bessette had come into the home and began striking Steelman in the head and face with some type of tool, the affidavits said.
They knew the alleged assailant only as “Jeremy” and confirmed that he fled in a Pontiac sedan. Steelman confirmed that the man who had attacked him was Jeremy Bessette, according to the affidavits.
“Per the witnesses, the defendant (Bessette) showed no signs of stopping his assault until he noticed that they had observed him,” the affidavits said.
Bessette used force to enter the home on South Walker Lane with the intent to cause severe bodily harm, or even death, as retaliation for Steelman talking to his girlfriend, the affidavits said.
Bessette has been charged with attempted second-degree murder (a Class A felony), aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault.
He remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton early Tuesday afternoon, with his bond set at $200,000.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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