HARRIS CONVICTED OF MURDERING BROTHER-IN-LAW

A Blountville Man Has Been Convicted Of Murdering His Brother-In-Law In Hawkins County Criminal Court. 63 Year Bryant Harris Was Accused In The Killing Of Jeffery Smith Nearly Three Years Ago. Kingsport Police Said The Motive For The Attack Was A Pending Lawsuit Smith Intended On Filing Against His Sister, Seeking Part Of A Wrongful Death Settlement His Sister Received From The Death Of Their Mother. The Jury Deliberated For Nearly Three Hours Yesterday Before Returning Guilty Verdicts Against Harris For First Degree Murder, Felony Murder, And Aggravated Burglary. Sentencing For Harris Is Scheduled For December 15th.

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WASHINGTON COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY

A Washington County Tennessee Man Accused Of Trying To Kill A State Trooper Has Plead Guilty To The Crime In Criminal Court. 22 Year Old Derrick Kitzmiller Plead Guilty To Attempted First-Degree Murder And Evading Arrest. Kitzmiller Led Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Appleba On A High Speed Chase In January 2013 That Ended In A Shootout On Hog Hollow Road. Kitzmiller Had Already Started Serving A 17-Year Sentence For An Earlier Weapons Conviction In U.S. District Court In Greeneville. He Remains Behind Bars.

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FORMER BAIL BONDSMAN TO SERVE TIME IN PRISON

A Former Hawkins County Bail Bondsman Will Spend Time In Federal Prison. A Federal Judge In U.S District Court In Greeneville Ordered 38 Year Old Gregory Rhea To Serve 24 Years In Prison. Rhea Plead Guilty To Conspiracy To Distribute Meth And Oxycodone. He Organized Trips For Himself And Others To Make Trips To Pain Clinics Locally And Out Of State To Obtain The Drugs.

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TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG CHARGES

A Traffic Stop In Washington County, Tennessee Has Lead To Drug Charges Against A Man. 64 Year Old William Branum Is Charged With Possession Of A Schedule Six Drug For Resale And Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia. Officers Pulled Over Branum For Speeding And, After A Brief Encounter, It Was Found That There Was A Strong Smell Of Marijuana Coming From The Car. A Search Of The Vehicle Yielded Almost A Pound And A Half Of Marijuana, Bags, Scales, And Over 94-Hudnred Dollars In Cash. Branum Is Being Held In The Washington County Detention Center Under Bond Of 11-Thousand Dollars. He Will Be Arraigned Soon. The Investigation Is Continuing.

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TRIAL DATE SET FOR FORMER JAIL SUPT. AND SON

A Trial Date Has Been Set For A Former Johnson City Jail Superintendent And His Son Accused Of Getting Paid From Two Employers For The Same Work. 59 Year Old Sammy Garland Is Charged With Theft Over 60-Thousand Dollars While His Son, David Garland Is Charged With Theft Over 10-Thousand Dollars And Two Counts Of Official Misconduct. The Investigation Revealed Sammy Garland Was Double-Dipping From His City Job From The Johnson City Boys & Girls Club For Supervising Jail Inmates While They Cleaned The Facility. David Garland Is Accused Of Billing Etsu And The City’s Payroll For The Same Hours Allegedly Worked. Both Men Are Free On Bond. Sammy Garland’s Official Misconduct Trial Is Set For February 3rd. Both Men Will Face A Trial For The Theft Charges After That Trial Date.

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FORMER UNICOI COUNTY DEPUTY WON’T SPEND TIME

A Former Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Who Admitted To An Assault Charge In Criminal Court Won’t Spend Anytime Behind Bars. 35 Year Old Kenneth Honeycutt Plead Guilty Under Diversion To Simple Assault. The Charge Stems From An Investigation Of Minor Injuries Honeycutt’s Wife Was Treated For At The Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. She Suffered The Injuries As A Result Of An Alleged Assault By Her Husband. A Judge Ordered Honeycutt To Serve 11 Months And 29 Days On Probation.

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KNOXVILLE ATTORNEY FILES LAWSUIT ON BEHALF OF CLIENT

A Knoxville Based Attorney Has Filed Complaints In Unicoi County Circuit Court And U.S. District Court In Greeneville Against Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley, Deputies And The County. Attorney Gary Prince Alleges Jessie Shelton Was Falsely Arrested By Deputies Earlier This Year. Shelton Is Seeking Two-Million Dollars In Compensatory And Punitive Damages. County Mayor Greg Lynch And Hensley Said The Matter Has Been Referred To Their Attorneys.

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INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY FOLLOWING DEATH THREAT

A Rogersville Man Is Under Investigation Over An Alleged Death Threat. After Allegedly Threatening To Kill Another Man. Kim Alley Is Accused Of Threatening To Kill Danny Alvis Following A Confrontation At A Local Market. The Matter Has Been Turned Over To The Attorney General’s Office Who Will Determine How To Proceed With Any Potential Prosecution. Alvis Is Part Of A Group Of People Who Filed An 800-Thousand Dollar Libel Lawsuit Which Named Alley As One Of The Defendants.

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KROGER EMPLOYEE ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT

A Johnson City Grocery Store Employee Is Accused Of Stealing From The Business. 25 Year Old Bryan Davis Is Charged With Embezzlement Over A Thousand Dollars. The Charge Stems From An Investigation By Loss Prevention Employees At The Store That Revealed Davis Had Been Stealing Money From The Store Since September. He Is Free On Bond Of 5-Thousand Dollars And Has Been Arraigned In General Sessions Court. A Court Date Is Pending For Davis.

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HAWKINS COUNTY TO DECIDE ON AUTOPSIES

The New Hawkins County Forensics Committee Will Soon Decide Where The County Will Be Sending Its Bodies For Autopsy. A New State Law Requires An Autopsy For Deaths Suspected To Be Drug-Related. Up Until Now, The County Has Been Paying East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College Of Medicine Annually For Autopsies. The Fee Increased Recently From 81-Thousand Dollars To 158-Thousand Annually. This Jump In Cost Has Had Other Counties In The Region Looking At Other Options. The Forensics Committee Will Review All The Options Before Making A Decision On Who Will Handle The County’s Autopsies. A Meeting Date Has Not Been Announced.

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TRAFFIC ALERT FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY TENNESSEE

Motorists Should Be Aware Of A Traffic Shift On State Route 75 At The Interstate Exit 13 Interchange In Gray. Beginning At Nine A.M. Today, Traffic Will Be Moved Onto The New Portion Of The State Route 75 Bridge That Crosses Over Interstate 26. Crews Will Be Installing New Pavement Markings And Construction Signs, And Flaggers Will Be Directing Traffic Through The Work Zone. This Traffic Shift Will Remain In Place For The Next Six To Eight Months.

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JOHNSON CITY CHAMBER SUPPORTS HOSPITAL MERGER

The Johnson City Chamber Of Commerce Has Announced Its Support For A Merger Between Wellmont Health System And Mountain States Health Alliance. The Board Of Directors Agreed The Merger Would Not Constitute A Monopoly If Tennessee’s Certificate Of Public Advantage Is Used To Guide The Merger. Wellmont Officials Haven’t Decided On Its Future But Is Expected To Do So Before The End Of The Year.

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BRISTOL AND WASHINGTON COUNTY WORK OUT DIFFERENCES

Bristol Virginia And Washington County Virginia Have Reached An Accord That Will Allow Them To Share Revenue From Businesses. The Two Sides Have Been Trying To Come Up With An Agreement For At Least A Year. A Panel Of Judges Had To Approve It Before The City And County Could Vote On It. A Major Part Of The Deal Requires The City To Compensate The County For Lowe’s Moving From Exit 7 Off Interstate 81 To The Falls Development.

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JOHNIA BERRY TOY DRIVE SET TO GET UNDERWAY

Food City Will Once Again Host The Annual Johnia Berry Toy Drive. The Drive, Now In Its Eighth Year, Will Kick Off On Tuesday And Run Through December 5th. Specially Marked Collection Containers Will Be Located At Area Food City Locations Throughout The Tri Cities. Johnia, Who Was From Bristol, Was Killed In Her Knoxville Apartment In 2004. The Toys Collected Will Be Distributed To Needy Children In The Area On December 6th, The Anniversary Of Johnia’s Death. This Year Marks The 8th Year Food City Has Hosted The Memorial Drive.

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ALEXANDER TO DELIVER REMARKS IN JOHNSON CITY

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander Will Pay A Visit To The Region. He Will Be Speaking At The East Tennessee State University College Of Business And Technology Hall Of Fame Luncheon On Thursday. He Along With Etsu President Dr. Brian Noland Will Deliver Remarks At The Annual Induction Ceremony For The Etsu College Of Business And Technology Hall Of Fame. The Event Runs From 11:30 A.M. Until 1 P.M. In The Millenium Centre Ballroom At Etsu.

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DOWNTOWN JOHNSON CITY BUILDING GETS NEW LOOK

More Living Space Is Coming To Downtown Johnson City. The Old London Building Is Being Renovated To House 20 Lofts. The Venture Is Made Possible Through Both Private Funding And The City. The Upper Two Levels Will Be Loft Space While The First Level Is Available For Retail Or Restaurant Ventures.

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TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG ARREST IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE

A Traffic Stop In Washington County, Tennessee Has Lead To Drug Charges Against A Man. 64 Year Old William Branum Is Charged With Possession Of A Schedule Six Drug For Resale And Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia. Officers Pulled Over Branum For Speeding And, After A Brief Encounter, It Was Found That There Was A Strong Smell Of Marijuana Coming From The Car. A Search Of The Vehicle Yielded Almost A Pound And A Half Of Marijuana, Bags, Scales, And Over 94-Hundred Dollars In Cash. Branum Is Being Held In The Washington County Detention Center Under Bond Of 11-Thousand Dollars. He Will Be Arraigned Soon. The Investigation Is Continuing.

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DELIBERATIONS TO START THIS MORNING IN MURDER TRIAL

A Hawkins County Jury Will Have To Decide The Fate Of A County Man In The Shooting Of His Brother-In-Law. Bryant Harris Is Charged With First Degree Murder In The Killing Of Jeffery Smith Nearly Three Years Ago. Harris Is Claiming Self Defense But An Eyewitness Testified Harris Shot Smith Without Provocation. The Shooting Was Reportedly Over A Lawsuit Smith Was Threatening To File, Seeking Part Of A Wrongful Death Settlement His Sister Received From The Death Of Their Mother. A Jury Will Begin Deliberations This Morning.

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ELIZABETHTON SUPERINTENDENT ATTEMPTS TO QUASH CONCERNS

Elizabethton City Schools Superintendent Ed Alexander Is Speaking Out About A Controversial Sheet Of Paper A Student Brought Home From Harold McCormick Elementary School. The Third Grade Student Brought Home A Paper With Details Painting The Presidents On Mt. Rushmore As Racists. The Parent Contacted Several Organization about The Paper. Alexander Released A Statement On A Website Saying The Paper Was Background Material For A Teacher And The Student Found It And Took It Home. Alexander Said The Thought That Public Educators Would Deliberately Distribute Such Material Is Absolutely Absurd.

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BRISTOL MAN FACES VEHICULAR HOMICIDE CHARGES IN TRAFFIC DEATH

A Bristol Tennessee Man Is Facing Charges Following A Recent Crash That Left A Bicyclist Killed In Sullivan County. 35 Year Old Charles David Blevins Is Charged With Vehicular Homicide In The Death Of 37 Year Old Bradley Briggs. The Tennessee Highway Patrol Said Briggs Was Riding His Bike On Weaver Pike When He Was Struck By Blevins’ Vehicle. Briggs Was Knocked Off The Bike And Into A Ditch. Meanwhile, Blevins Is Also Charged With Dui, And Possession Of A Handgun While Under The Influence. He’s Free On A 50-Thousand Dollars Bond. Blevins Will Appear In Court Soon.

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