Three Ohio residents die in two-vehicle crash

Three Ohio residents died in a two-vehicle crash on Edgemoor Road at Old Emory Road in Claxton on Friday, July 22.

The three Ohio residents were all in the same vehicle, a 2018 Honda CRV, and they were all from Mansfield, Ohio, according to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The driver was Peter Webel, 75, and the two passengers were Linda Webel, 76, and Frieda Gottschling, 80.

The other vehicle, a 2004 GMC Sonoma, was driven by a juvenile male from Knoxville.

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TBI investigating man’s death

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a 39-year-old man during an interaction with Oak Ridge police officers in the Hendrix Creek subdivision on Sunday afternoon.

Oak Ridge Police Department officers had made contact with the man, Tyler Jones, after receiving a report of a suspicious person around Heritage Drive, the TBI said. He began showing signs of distress, and medical personnel were called.

“At some point during the encounter, after medical personnel arrived, Jones became unresponsive,” the TBI said. “Officers immediately rendered aid until paramedics arrived. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”

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Investigation under way in West Outer Drive house fire

Three people are safe after a house fire on West Outer Drive on Friday morning, July 15, 2022. (Photo from City of Oak Ridge)

Three people are safe after a house fire on West Outer Drive on Friday morning.

Fire crews arrived on scene of the home, located at 687 West Outer Drive, within three minutes of the call, a press release said. They arrived at 10:06 a.m. to find the home on fire with heavy smoke coming from the roof.

One man suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening after escaping through a window, the press release said. He was treated on scene and did not need to be taken to the hospital.

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Rocky Top woman pleads guilty to murder, sentenced to life

Christy Viola Comer, left, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, listens to testimony during a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. At right is defense attorney Leslie Hunt. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

An Anderson County woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the death of J.C. Copeland, an 83-year-old Rocky Top man, and she was sentenced to life in prison plus an extra 20 years.

Christy Viola Comer, 41, entered the guilty plea in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Tuesday afternoon.

Christy Viola Comer, left, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, listens to testimony during a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. At right is defense attorney Leslie Hunt. (File photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)

 

An Anderson County woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the death of J.C. Copeland, an 83-year-old Rocky Top man, and she was sentenced to life in prison plus an extra 20 years.

Christy Viola Comer, 41, entered the guilty plea in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Tuesday afternoon.

Comer had planned to rob Copeland, who was described as a “sweet old man,” because “it would be easy,” according to testimony during a preliminary hearing in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Clinton in January 2019.

Comer traded some of the property stolen from Copeland’s home, a digital video disc player, for a $10 bag of methamphetamine, according to court testimony by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agent John Hannon.

Copeland’s body was found partially wrapped in a pink blanket underneath a porch at a mobile home on Jacksboro Avenue in Rocky Top on August 31, 2018, Hannon said. Copeland is believed to have been strangled until he died, according to court records. There was white rope around his neck and other parts of his body, including his wrists and ankles, Hannon testified during the preliminary hearing.

“In the overnight hours of August 30, 2018, Christy Comer made the decision to rob him (Copeland) to get money for methamphetamine,” Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark said in a press release Tuesday.

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Secret City Academy student charged with terrorism after alleged shooting, bomb threats

A Secret City Academy student was charged with terrorism and other crimes after allegedly threatening to shoot people and use a bomb at the school on Friday, Anderson County’s district attorney general said. This is the fourth student charged with similar crimes in three incidents this school year.

Seventh Judicial District DA Dave Clark said the alleged oral threat by the juvenile briefly caused restrictions on movements within the school. The Secret City Academy is on the Oak Ridge High School campus.

“Nobody was hurt, and no firearm or explosive device was involved,” Clark said in a press release.

The alleged threats were investigated by the Oak Ridge Police Department, Oak Ridge Schools, Anderson County Juvenile Court, and the DA’s office.

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Police ask for help finding missing man

Arthur Lee

The Oak Ridge Police Department and several area agencies are searching for a missing Oak Ridge man near Melton Hill Lake.

Arthur Lee, 59, was last seen Sunday and may have been in the area of Melton Lake Drive and Melton Lake Peninsula, a press release said.

ORPD, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office began searching for Lee around 11 a.m. Tuesday, the press release said. The Oak Ridge Fire Department help search with its boat on Melton Hill Lake.

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