Advertisement

For members: Three plead guilty, one sentenced to 10 years in drug conspiracy after overdose death

Three people have pleaded guilty in federal court to drug and conspiracy charges related at least in part to an overdose death in Oak Ridge in 2017. One of the defendants, a 28-year-old Knoxville woman, was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison on Thursday. The drug conspiracy involved the distribution of fentanyl and heroin.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

The Howard H. Baker Jr. United States Courthouse is pictured above in Knoxville on Jan. 19, 2020. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Three people have pleaded guilty in federal court to drug and conspiracy charges related at least in part to an overdose death due to fentanyl in Oak Ridge in 2017. One of the defendants, a 28-year-old Knoxville woman, was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison on Thursday. The drug conspiracy involved the distribution of fentanyl and heroin.

The Knoxville woman, Katarina S. Carinci, pleaded guilty last year. She was sentenced to 125 months, or 10 years and five months, on July 1 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville by District Court Judge Thomas Varlan. Her prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release.

Three people have pleaded guilty in federal court to drug and conspiracy charges related at least in part to an overdose death in Oak Ridge in 2017. One of the defendants, a 28-year-old Knoxville woman, was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison on Thursday. The drug conspiracy involved the distribution of fentanyl and heroin.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Advertisements

 

 

For members: Witnesses testify in sexual harassment lawsuit filed against county

The Joel W. Solomon Federal Building United States Courthouse is pictured above on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

CHATTANOOGA—Four women who testified during a civil sexual harassment trial in federal court last week said their former boss, a former Anderson County elected official, caressed them around the waist, rubbed them, sent graphic messages about oral sex, and asked them to have sex with him and his wife, among other allegations of inappropriate behavior. The experiences have left them traumatized, the women said, unable to eat or sleep, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, and in one case, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Two of the women have filed lawsuits in federal court over the alleged harassment by former Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk William Jones, who served one term from 2014 to 2018. A trial was held for one of the lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga last week. That lawsuit was filed in March 2018 by former employee Gail Harness, who started working for Jones as a college intern in 2016. The lawsuit had alleged that Harness had endured a hostile work environment in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Tennessee Human Rights Act. 

On Thursday, a seven-person federal jury found that Harness had been sexually harassed while working for Jones, but the jury found that the county was not liable. No damages were awarded.

Jones was originally a defendant in the lawsuit, but he was dismissed in June 2019, leaving Anderson County as the sole defendant. Jones was not the employer, so Harness could not sue him, Senior U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier said in court Wednesday. 

Jones had denied the allegations of sexual harassment, and he filed counterclaims in response to both lawsuits, the one filed by Harness and a second filed by Amy Ogle. In response to the Harness lawsuit, Jones had alleged that he had been defamed and his privacy invaded. But that was before before a jury found that Harness had been sexually harassed. Responding to the Ogle lawsuit, Jones has asked for at least $15,000 for legal services and fees.

The trial of the Harness lawsuit left unanswered, at least for now, a question about what can be done when an elected official violates constitutional rights. The county’s human resources director said a change in law might be required. 

The four-day trial included disagreements between the testimony of former Anderson County Human Resources Director Russell Bearden and Mayor Terry Frank. The two disagreed about when the mayor knew about allegations of sexual harassment by Jones. They disagreed about whether the mayor retaliated and whether she protected Jones over the women he allegedly harassed. And they disagreed about whether she told the former human resources director to not take a complaint to the county law director because that would “cause a political storm.” 

The trial, which was Monday to Thursday, had nine witnesses. They included Harness, the former employee who filed the $7.5 million lawsuit against Anderson County in 2018; her psychologist, who testified that Harness had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; three other alleged victims of Jones; the current human resources director, Kimberly Jeffers-Whitaker; a deposition of the county law director, Jay Yeager; Frank; and Bearden. 

Attorneys for Harness said the litigation will continue, and they said during the trial that it could be appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Harness’ attorneys disagreed with the jury instructions. Among the questions raised by the judge during the trial was whether Jones made policy for Anderson County and whether he is a county official or state official. The defense, Anderson County, argued that the office of circuit court clerk is created by the state constitution, while Harness’ attorneys said the county had delegated authority to Jones and he supervised county employees.

The allegations against Jones became public in February 2018. The Anderson County Commission censured Jones that same month. Jones ran for re-election despite the allegations, although he lost the May 2018 Republican Party primary to the current clerk, Rex Lynch. However, Jones remains involved in local politics; he is currently vice treasurer of the Anderson County Republican Party. Jones declined to comment about the lawsuit or trial on Thursday. 

The presentation of the evidence during the civil trial last week lasted three days, Monday to Wednesday. The jury deliberated Thursday. Here we have included a chronological summary of the evidence presented to the jury. It includes information about the allegations of sexual harassment, the county’s response, and Jones’ response. We have also summarized discussions between the attorneys and Collier, the judge, and included more information about the jury verdict.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

The Joel W. Solomon Federal Building United States Courthouse is pictured above on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

CHATTANOOGA—Four women who testified during a civil sexual harassment trial in federal court last week said their former boss, a former Anderson County elected official, caressed them around the waist, rubbed them, sent graphic messages about oral sex, and asked them to have sex with him and his wife, among other allegations of inappropriate behavior. The experiences have left them traumatized, the women said, unable to eat or sleep, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, and in one case, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Two of the women have filed lawsuits in federal court over the alleged harassment by former Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk William Jones, who served one term from 2014 to 2018. A trial was held for one of the lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga last week. That lawsuit was filed in March 2018 by former employee Gail Harness, who started working for Jones as a college intern in 2016. The lawsuit alleged that Harness had endured a hostile work environment in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Tennessee Human Rights Act.

The Joel W. Solomon Federal Building United States Courthouse is pictured above on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

CHATTANOOGA—Four women who testified during a civil sexual harassment trial in federal court last week said their former boss, a former Anderson County elected official, caressed them around the waist, rubbed them, sent graphic messages about oral sex, and asked them to have sex with him and his wife, among other allegations of inappropriate behavior. The experiences have left them traumatized, the women said, unable to eat or sleep, suffering from anxiety and panic attacks, and in one case, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Two of the women have filed lawsuits in federal court over the alleged harassment by former Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk William Jones, who served one term from 2014 to 2018. A trial was held for one of the lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga last week. That lawsuit was filed in March 2018 by former employee Gail Harness, who started working for Jones as a college intern in 2016. The lawsuit had alleged that Harness had endured a hostile work environment in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Tennessee Human Rights Act. 

On Thursday, a seven-person federal jury found that Harness had been sexually harassed while working for Jones, but the jury found that the county was not liable. No damages were awarded.

Jones was originally a defendant in the lawsuit, but he was dismissed in June 2019, leaving Anderson County as the sole defendant. Jones was not the employer, so Harness could not sue him, Senior U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier said in court Wednesday. 

Jones had denied the allegations of sexual harassment, and he filed counterclaims in response to both lawsuits, the one filed by Harness and a second filed by Amy Ogle. In response to the Harness lawsuit, Jones had alleged that he had been defamed and his privacy invaded. But that was before before a jury found that Harness had been sexually harassed. Responding to the Ogle lawsuit, Jones has asked for at least $15,000 for legal services and fees.

The trial of the Harness lawsuit left unanswered, at least for now, a question about what can be done when an elected official violates constitutional rights. The county’s human resources director said a change in law might be required. 

The four-day trial included disagreements between the testimony of former Anderson County Human Resources Director Russell Bearden and Mayor Terry Frank. The two disagreed about when the mayor knew about allegations of sexual harassment by Jones. They disagreed about whether the mayor retaliated and whether she protected Jones over the women he allegedly harassed. And they disagreed about whether she told the former human resources director to not take a complaint to the county law director because that would “cause a political storm.” 

The trial, which was Monday to Thursday, had nine witnesses. They included Harness, the former employee who filed the $7.5 million lawsuit against Anderson County in 2018; her psychologist, who testified that Harness had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; three other alleged victims of Jones; the current human resources director, Kimberly Jeffers-Whitaker; a deposition of the county law director, Jay Yeager; Frank; and Bearden. 

Attorneys for Harness said the litigation will continue, and they said during the trial that it could be appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Harness’ attorneys disagreed with the jury instructions. Among the questions raised by the judge during the trial was whether Jones made policy for Anderson County and whether he is a county official or state official. The defense, Anderson County, argued that the office of circuit court clerk is created by the state constitution, while Harness’ attorneys said the county had delegated authority to Jones and he supervised county employees.

The allegations against Jones became public in February 2018. The Anderson County Commission censured Jones that same month. Jones ran for re-election despite the allegations, although he lost the May 2018 Republican Party primary to the current clerk, Rex Lynch. However, Jones remains involved in local politics; he is currently vice treasurer of the Anderson County Republican Party. Jones declined to comment about the lawsuit or trial on Thursday. 

The presentation of the evidence during the civil trial last week lasted three days, Monday to Wednesday. The jury deliberated Thursday. Here we have included a chronological summary of the evidence presented to the jury. It includes information about the allegations of sexual harassment, the county’s response, and Jones’ response. We have also summarized discussions between the attorneys and Collier, the judge, and included more information about the jury verdict.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Jury: Anderson County not liable for sexual harassment by former elected official

The Joel W. Solomon Federal Building United States Courthouse is pictured above on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Note: This story was last updated at 10:30 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA—A seven-person federal jury on Thursday found that a former Anderson County employee had been sexually harassed by former Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk William Jones, but the county was not liable. The former employee, Gail Harness, had filed a lawsuit in federal court because of the sexual harassment, and she had sought $7.5 million in damages.

The lawsuit was tried in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga from Monday to Thursday.

Attorneys for Harness had alleged that Anderson County had inadequate training or supervision and had tolerated violations of federal law. Harness had endured a hostile work environment caused by the pervasive, unwelcome sexual advances from Jones, and her rights had been violated under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the attorneys said. Harness had sought damages for pain and suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, permanent injury, and loss of enjoyment of life and reputation.

But attorneys for the defendant, Anderson County, said the county had no control over Jones, an elected official, and the county had investigated after Harness filed her complaint in 2017. 

Four women testified in federal court in Chattanooga this week. They said Jones had caressed them around the waist, rubbed them, whispered inappropriate things about how other employees looked, sent graphic sexual messages about oral sex, asked them for “alone time” and to accompany him on a trip, and responded to a question about a job with a message that included a suggestion to send a picture of breasts, among other allegations. Jones referred to himself as “Daddy,” the women said, and he asked Harness to have sex with him and his wife, according to her testimony. Jones boasted about being unaccountable to anyone except the voters of Anderson County, according to the witnesses. Employees said they worried about being moved to the Oak Ridge court—the “clerk’s graveyard”—or fired if they didn’t please Jones or comply.

“He is an elected official, and he told us all the time, no one can touch me,” said employee Tracy Spitzer, a witness for Harness.

“They were all scared to do anything about it,” said Richard Collins, one of three attorneys for Harness.

Jones said he could do whatever he wanted, including masturbate in his office, according to the testimony.

[Read more…]

For members: Millions of gallons in sewer system overflows reported in four-year period

An Oak Ridge wastewater overflow tank is pictured above on Emory Valley Road on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 3:20 p.m. June 6.

Millions of gallons in sewer system overflows were reported to the state by the City of Oak Ridge between 2012 and 2017, and most of the largest overflows—500,000 gallons or more—were reported in the summer of 2013, according to a federal lawsuit that could be settled soon.

The lawsuit by Tennessee Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization based in Alabama, was filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville in 2018. It alleged that the city had reported about 40 million gallons of sewer system overflows in a four-year period near local waters and that the city had violated the Clean Water Act. The city denied the claim. The lawsuit had sought to force the city to make repairs to keep pollutants out of creeks and rivers, and to charge the city $37,500 per violation per day. It also asked the city to pay reasonable attorney’s fees and expert fees. Riverkeeper said the discharges have affected how often its members use the Tennessee River and its tributaries for recreation. The discharges continued through at least early 2017, with more overflows reported later, according to the lawsuit and legal documents filed in the case.

Now, the lawsuit could be settled if the court approves and Oak Ridge makes at least $4 million in repairs by 2025 and pays more than $100,000 in attorneys’ fees. The settlement agreement was approved by City Council in May. A notice about the agreement was filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Thursday.

The largest overflows, by volume, were reported about two years before the city completed millions of dollars worth of repairs to its aging sewer system and built three large wastewater holding tanks after an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010. The EPA order had required the city to bring itself into compliance with its discharge permit. However, the overflows continued even after the city said it had satisfied the conditions of the EPA order, according to the lawsuit, although the overflows appeared to be at a lower volume than in the summer of 2013.

Legal arguments in the case have included debate over whether Tennessee Riverkeeper has standing—someone who had been injured by the sewer system overflows—and whether the discharges have continued.

The rest of this story, which you will read only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

An Oak Ridge wastewater overflow tank is pictured above on Emory Valley Road on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Note: This story was last updated at 3:20 p.m. June 6.

Millions of gallons in sewer system overflows were reported to the state by the City of Oak Ridge between 2012 and 2017, and most of the largest overflows—500,000 gallons or more each—were reported in the summer of 2013, according to a federal lawsuit that could be settled soon.

An Oak Ridge wastewater overflow tank is pictured above on Emory Valley Road on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 3:20 p.m. June 6.

Millions of gallons in sewer system overflows were reported to the state by the City of Oak Ridge between 2012 and 2017, and most of the largest overflows—500,000 gallons or more—were reported in the summer of 2013, according to a federal lawsuit that could be settled soon.

The lawsuit by Tennessee Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization based in Alabama, was filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville in 2018. It alleged that the city had reported about 40 million gallons of sewer system overflows in a four-year period near local waters and that the city had violated the Clean Water Act. The city denied the claim. The lawsuit had sought to force the city to make repairs to keep pollutants out of creeks and rivers, and to charge the city $37,500 per violation per day. It also asked the city to pay reasonable attorney’s fees and expert fees. Riverkeeper said the discharges have affected how often its members use the Tennessee River and its tributaries for recreation. The discharges continued through at least early 2017, with more overflows reported later, according to the lawsuit and legal documents filed in the case.

Now, the lawsuit could be settled if the court approves and Oak Ridge makes at least $4 million in repairs by 2025 and pays more than $100,000 in attorneys’ fees. The settlement agreement was approved by City Council in May. A notice about the agreement was filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Thursday.

The largest overflows, by volume, were reported about two years before the city completed millions of dollars worth of repairs to its aging sewer system and built three large wastewater holding tanks after an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010. The EPA order had required the city to bring itself into compliance with its discharge permit. However, the overflows continued even after the city said it had satisfied the conditions of the EPA order, according to the lawsuit, although the overflows appeared to be at a lower volume than in the summer of 2013.

Legal arguments in the case have included debate over whether Tennessee Riverkeeper has standing—someone who had been injured by the sewer system overflows—and whether the discharges have continued.

The rest of this story, which you will read only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

For members: Former ER doc sentenced to 18 months for drug conspiracy, false statement convictions

Michael Lapaglia

Michael LaPaglia (File photo)

KNOXVILLE—A former emergency room doctor and ambulance medical director in Oak Ridge and Anderson County was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday more than two years after he pleaded guilty in federal court to drug conspiracy and false statement charges.

U.S. District Judge Katherine A. Crytzer granted a request from Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne-Marie Svolto to lengthen the sentence for Michael A. LaPaglia to 18 months. The guideline range had been six to 12 months. Svolto said even 18 months might be considered too lenient. When he is released from prison, LaPaglia will be on supervised released for three years. He also has to pay restitution of about $5,000.

LaPaglia, who has been a doctor for almost 20 years, pleaded guilty to the two federal charges in an information in November 2018, meaning before he had been indicted by a grand jury.

His plea agreement said he had obtained pre-signed prescriptions from another doctor, and the other doctor also give LaPaglia blank prescriptions that LaPaglia filled out, forging the other doctor’s signature. Drug patients would pay LaPaglia and the other doctor $300 cash per month in exchange for the controlled-substance prescriptions. The prescriptions included diazepam; buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone; clonazepam, also known as Klonopin; and pregabalin, also known as Lyrica. The doctors distributed and dispensed the Schedule III, IV, and V drugs between March and September 2018, according to the plea agreement.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Michael Lapaglia
Michael LaPaglia (File photo)

Note: This story was last updated at 12:30 p.m.

KNOXVILLE—A former emergency room doctor and ambulance medical director in Oak Ridge and Anderson County was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday more than two years after he pleaded guilty in federal court to drug conspiracy and false statement charges.

Michael Lapaglia

Michael LaPaglia (File photo)

KNOXVILLE—A former emergency room doctor and ambulance medical director in Oak Ridge and Anderson County was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday more than two years after he pleaded guilty in federal court to drug conspiracy and false statement charges.

U.S. District Judge Katherine A. Crytzer granted a request from Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne-Marie Svolto to lengthen the sentence for Michael A. LaPaglia to 18 months. The guideline range had been six to 12 months. Svolto said even 18 months might be considered too lenient. When he is released from prison, LaPaglia will be on supervised released for three years. He also has to pay restitution of about $5,000.

LaPaglia, who has been a doctor for almost 20 years, pleaded guilty to the two federal charges in an information in November 2018, meaning before he had been indicted by a grand jury.

His plea agreement said he had obtained pre-signed prescriptions from another doctor, and the other doctor also give LaPaglia blank prescriptions that LaPaglia filled out, forging the other doctor’s signature. Drug patients would pay LaPaglia and the other doctor $300 cash per month in exchange for the controlled-substance prescriptions. The prescriptions included diazepam; buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone; clonazepam, also known as Klonopin; and pregabalin, also known as Lyrica. The doctors distributed and dispensed the Schedule III, IV, and V drugs between March and September 2018, according to the plea agreement.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

For members: Mason indicted on attempted murder, assault charges

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019

An Anderson County man with two homicide convictions and a 28-year prison sentence for federal drug and gun convictions has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, among other charges, after he allegedly tried to shoot a deputy in April 2019.

Charles Edward Mason, 53, was indicted on the one count of attempted first-degree murder, five counts of aggravated assault, and other charges in November. The other charges are two counts of interfering with a 911 call and one count of resisting arrest. Mason pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in Anderson County Circuit Court in Clinton on Thursday.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019
Charles Edward Mason, 53, has been indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury on one count of attempted first-degree murder and five counts of aggravated assault, among other charges. He pleaded not guilty in Anderson County Circuit Court on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Mason is pictured above during a preliminary hearing in July 2019. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Note: This story was last updated at 12:25 p.m. Feb. 2.

An Anderson County man with two homicide convictions and a 28-year prison sentence for federal drug and gun convictions has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, among other charges, after he allegedly tried to shoot a deputy in April 2019.

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019

An Anderson County man with two homicide convictions and a 28-year prison sentence for federal drug and gun convictions has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, among other charges, after he allegedly tried to shoot a deputy in April 2019.

Charles Edward Mason, 53, was indicted on the one count of attempted first-degree murder, five counts of aggravated assault, and other charges in November. The other charges are two counts of interfering with a 911 call and one count of resisting arrest. Mason pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in Anderson County Circuit Court in Clinton on Thursday.

The rest of this story is available if you are a member: a subscriber, advertiser, or contributor to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

For members: Mason sentenced to 28 years for gun, drug charges after allegedly trying to shoot deputy

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019

An Anderson County man previously convicted of two homicides and charged with attempted murder last year after allegedly trying to shoot a deputy was sentenced to more than 28 years in federal prison on Wednesday on federal gun and drug charges.

The rest of this story, which you will find only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: an advertiser or subscriber to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019
One count of attempted first-degree murder and five aggravated assault charges filed against Charles Edward Mason, now 53, of Anderson County, were sent to the grand jury after a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton on Thursday, July 25, 2019. Mason was sentenced to more than 28 years on federal gun and drug charges in the case in a U.S. District Court hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

Note: This story was last updated at 1:40 p.m. Dec. 10.

KNOXVILLE—An Anderson County man previously convicted of two homicides and charged with attempted murder last year after allegedly trying to shoot a deputy was sentenced to more than 28 years in federal prison on Wednesday on federal gun and drug charges.

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019

An Anderson County man previously convicted of two homicides and charged with attempted murder last year after allegedly trying to shoot a deputy was sentenced to more than 28 years in federal prison on Wednesday on federal gun and drug charges.

The rest of this story, which you will find only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: an advertiser or subscriber to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today
P.O. Box 6064
Oak Ridge, TN 37831

We also have advanced subscription options. You can see them here.

We also accept donations. You can donate here. A donation of $50 or more will make you eligible for a subscription.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today. We appreciate your support!

Rocky Top man indicted for Oak Ridge bank robbery

A bank robbery was reported at One Bank in Oak Ridge on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Photo courtesy City of Oak Ridge)

A Rocky Top man has been indicted for allegedly robbing One Bank in Oak Ridge in October.

Warren Calvin Lavender, 31, was charged in a one-count indictment filed by a federal grand jury in Greenville, Tennessee, on November 18.

Lavender entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the indictment on December 3, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Lavender will remain in custody pending trial, which has been set for December 28 in front of United States District Court Judge Travis McDonough, the press release said.

[Read more…]

Oak Ridge celebrating 65th anniversary of school desegregation

Four of the “Oak Ridge 85” students at a recent music event. From left to right are Larry Gipson (Oak Ridge 85), Eric Dozier (musician), Deloise Mitchell (Oak Ridge 85), Emma McCaskill (Oak Ridge 85), and Mary Guinn (Oak Ridge 85). (Photo by Barbara McCord)

Oak Ridge is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its school desegregation this weekend.

“Sixty-five years ago this September, 85 brave and dedicated young African American students entered all-white classrooms in the Oak Ridge High School and the Robertsville Junior High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in a historic school system desegregation,” organizers said in a press release.

It wasn’t the first public school desegregation in the nation, but organizers said it was the first public school desegregation in the Southeast.

“As such, it challenged the racist and sometimes dangerous Jim Crow culture,” the press release said. “This desegregation stands as an important milestone in American civil rights history.”

The anniversary events are being held with the Oak Ridge school system. Public participation in some events had to be scaled back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Read more…]

NYT: Judge orders deportation of Oak Ridge man who served as Nazi camp guard

The New York Times reported Thursday that a federal immigration judge in Memphis has ordered the deportation of an Oak Ridge man who served at a Nazi concentration camp in Germany during World War II.

Friedrich Karl Berger, 94, was an armed guard in a sub camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, where prisoners were held during the winter of 1945 and forced to work outdoors “to the point of exhaustion and death,” the newspaper said.

The Times said Berger is a citizen of Germany, where he will be deported, and has continued to receive a pension based on his employment, “including his wartime service.”

[Read more…]

For members: Mason found guilty of federal gun, drug charges

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019
An Anderson County man who has been convicted of two homicides and has been charged in state court with the attempted murder of a deputy was found guilty in federal court on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, of gun and drug crimes that have potential sentences of life in prison. Charles Edward Mason, 52, is pictured above during a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton on Thursday, July 25, 2019, when one count of attempted first-degree murder and five aggravated assault charges were sent to the Anderson County Grand Jury. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

KNOXVILLE—An Anderson County man who has been convicted of two homicides and has been charged in state court with the attempted murder of a deputy was found guilty in federal court on Friday of gun and drug crimes that have potential sentences of life in prison.

A 12-person jury deliberated for about two hours Friday morning before reaching a unanimous verdict on the four federal charges:

Charles Mason Preliminary Hearing July 25 2019

KNOXVILLE—An Anderson County man who has been convicted of two homicides and has been charged in state court with the attempted murder of a deputy was found guilty in federal court on Friday of gun and drug crimes that have potential sentences of life in prison.

A 12-person jury deliberated for about two hours Friday morning before reaching a unanimous verdict on the four federal charges.

The rest of this story, which you will find only on Oak Ridge Today, is available if you are a member: an advertiser, sponsor, or subscriber to Oak Ridge Today.

Already a member? Great! Thank you! Sign in here.

Not a member? No problem! Subscribe here:

Basic

Pro

Temporary

If you prefer to send a check, you may do so by mailing one to:

Oak Ridge Today

P.O. Box 6064

Oak Ridge, TN 37831

Learn about our advanced subscription options here.

Note: Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. Some are considered premium content. This story is premium content. Premium content can include in-depth, investigative, and exclusive stories. These stories generally take more than four hours to report, write, and publish.

Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today!