Carter Co. deputies arrest man wanted in North Carolina for infant's death

John Thompson • Jan 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Deputies arrested a man Saturday wanted in Avery County, N.C., in the death of his 6-week-old baby boy.

Jacob Michael Ollis, 25, wanted on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Colton Ollis. In the arrest warrant Investigator T.A. Cook of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office said there was probable cause to believe Ollis “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did of malice aforethought kill and murder Colton Ollis.”

Avery County officers said the case was continuing and no further details would be released until after the results of the autopsy were released. The child died Dec. 21. Investigators believed Ollis is probably a native of Avery County but had lived in Tennessee. The death occurred in a section of the county near the town of Newland.

Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said it was his understanding from talking with Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye that the death resulted when Ollis had the infant in bed with him and the infant was crushed. The most troubling part of the conversation for Mathes was learning that there may have been an earlier incident in Carter County or in Elizabethton in which another of Ollis’ children died under similar circumstances.

The arrest warrant was filed on Jan. 13. The next day, Carter County Deputy Matt Ainsworth and Sgt. Derrick Hamm received a tip that Ollis was at 270 Hidden Oaks Drive, Johnson City. Ollis was wanted in their county on a warrant charging him with failure to appear to pay fines and costs in Carter County Sessions Court. That warrant was dated Dec. 30.

Acting on the tip, the officers went to Hidden Oaks Drive on Saturday afternoon but were unable to get anyone to answer the door. A passerby who performs maintenance for the property owner offered to pry the deadbolt for the deputies.

After gaining entry to the residence, the deputies found Ollis hiding under a mattress in the back bedroom. Ollis was then handcuffed and escorted outside to the waiting cruiser.

Ainsworth said after deputies checked warrants, it was discovered Ollis had the second-degree murder charge. He then charged Ollis with being a fugitive from justice.

After Ollis was placed in the back seat of Ainsworth’s cruiser, the deputy said Ollis began hitting his head against the glass separating the rear seats from the driver’s compartment. He said Ollis hit his head about four times before deputies were able to detain him. He had lacerations to his forehead, so he was transported to Sycamore Shoals, but Ollis refused treatment for his injuries.

Avery County will begin extradition proceedings this week.

In the meantime, Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said he has assigned the investigation of the allegations that an earlier Ollis child may have been killed in Carter County.

“I want to make sure if there was a death here that it is investigated and that nothing is left undone,” Mathes said Monday afternoon.

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