Student arrested after threatening to ‘shoot up’ school

Note: This story was updated at 4:40 p.m. A Robertsville Middle School student was arrested Thursday after threatening to “shoot up the school,” authorities said. The Oak Ridge Police Department received a report of the threat at 9:59 a.m. Thursday. The alleged threat came during a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting in Florida, the ORPD said. The 13-year-old male student was immediately removed from class and taken to the principal’s office where two ORPD officers conducted an interview, according to a statement from police. The student admitted to saying he was going to “shoot up the school,” but he apologized and told officers he was joking and did not mean it, the statement said. Officers also interviewed a parent of the student who confirmed that the teen does not have access to any firearms at home. [Read more…]

In child abuse case, police allegedly find drugs, knives; dog urine, feces; roaches, dirty dishes

Jordan Tyler Etheridge and Honey Lee Hook July 2016

Jordan Tyler Etheridge, left, and Honey Lee Hook are pictured above. (Photos by Anderson County Sheriff’s Department)


An Oak Ridge man and woman were charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect after police conducting a welfare check on North Hollywood Circle on Saturday allegedly found drugs, paraphernalia, and several knives lying where a small child could reach them; dog urine and feces in several spots on the floor; roaches and dirty dishes with mold and bugs throughout the home; no running water that an officer could find; and a large bucket of dirty water in the middle of the floor, court records said.

The bathroom toilet was full of human waste, and there was a “foul odor throughout the residence,” according to arrest warrants filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge.

There were several small individual wrapped plastic baggies lying in plain sight on the living room floor, and some had a green leafy substance inside that looked and smelled like marijuana and several had a white powdery substance inside them, packaged for resale, Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Sherrill Selby said in the warrants. There were two spoons with a white powder substance on them lying on a television stand, Selby said.

The home is within 1,000 feet of the playground of the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, making it a drug-free school zone, the warrants said. [Read more…]

Worried about city judge’s reaction, tenant concocted home invasion story after alleged rampage, police say

An Oak Ridge man who allegedly went on a rampage and broke bedroom windows inside his home concocted a story about a home invasion to try to avoid trouble with his landlord, City Judge Lawrence Tunnell, authorities said.

Derek Scott Fitzpatrick, 26, has been charged with false reporting, a felony. He remained jailed at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton early Friday morning.

The alleged home invasion on North Hollywood Circle was reported one week ago at about 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1. The Oak Ridge Police Department quickly set up a perimeter in the Highland View neighborhood and searched for the two suspects for about 30 minutes before “finding out the story was made up,” Officer Garrett Robbins said in an affidavit filed in Anderson County General Sessions Court. [Read more…]

Neighbors respond to alleged knife attack with gun, videotape, but no suspect found

Kayla Pesterfield

Kayla Pesterfield

An Oak Ridge woman who alleged she was attacked and cut with a knife by an unknown man in her home on Tuesday afternoon was charged with false reporting after police checked the Beverly Circle property and reviewed a neighbor’s videotape, which showed no man had entered or left the residence, authorities said.

Kayla Pesterfield, 21, reported the alleged assault at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. She said the stranger was in her bedroom and attacked her by pushing her up against a wall. The man then cut her right thigh and the front of her shorts with a knife, Pesterfield told police, according to an arrest warrant.  [Read more…]

Oak Ridge couple remains jailed after infant allegedly kicked in head

David Lee Francis

David Lee Francis

Melissa Darnell Shillings

Melissa Darnell Shillings

An Oak Ridge couple accused of being involved in a domestic dispute on Saturday that resulted in a seven-month-old child being kicked in the head with a boot remained jailed Wednesday evening.

David Lee Francis, 38, and Melissa Darnell Shillings, 35, of Wainwright Road, are both charged with aggravated child abuse and domestic assault. [Read more…]