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Unicoi Co. deputy found guilty on DUI, weapon charges

Brad Hicks • Sep 6, 2012 at 3:34 PM

ERWIN — The Unicoi County Sheriff's Department deputy charged late last year with driving under the influence, speeding and possession of a handgun while under the influence was found guilty at a bench trial last week in Unicoi County Sessions Court.

Adam Keith Campbell, 501 Old Stage Road, Erwin, was found guilty by Judge James Nidiffer at a bench trial last Friday.

On the charge of speeding, Campbell was ordered to pay a $25 fine. For the driving under the influence conviction, Campbell was ordered to pay a $350 fine and sentenced to 48 hours in jail, and he was ordered to pay a $25 fine and sentenced to probation for 11 months 29 days on the possession of a handgun while under the influence conviction.

However, Campbell has appealed the convictions to Unicoi County Criminal Court. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Criminal Court on Oct. 24.

Campbell was arrested by officers with the Erwin Police Department on the morning of Dec. 29, 2011. According to an affidavit written by Erwin Police Sgt. Bob Rutherford at the time of Campbell's arrest, Rutherford was operating a stationary radar on North Elm Avenue in Erwin and had earlier received a be-on-the-lookout alert for a black Jeep possibly being operated by a drunken driver.

The affidavit states that Rutherford observed a vehicle traveling southbound on North Elm Avenue and clocked the vehicle traveling 38 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone. Court documents also state the Rutherford stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Holly and Spruce avenues, recognized the driven as Campbell, and that Rutherford "detected a strong odor of alcohol about (Campbell's) person."

Rutherford's report states that Campbell told the officer he had a "couple of beers," and that Erwin Police Lt. Mark Anderson was called to the scene to conduct a series of field sobriety test, on which he performed "unsatisfactorily."

As Anderson went to park Campbell's vehicle, he observed a 9 mm handgun lying in the passenger's seat and a .357 Magnum protruding from under the driver's seat, according to the affidavit. Current Unicoi County Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator Ronnie Adkins previously said neither of the firearms found in Campbell's possession were issued by the sheriff's department and that Campbell was off-duty at the time of his arrest.

According to the affidavit, Campbell agreed to submit a breath test and, after being unable to submit a satisfactory breath sample, agreed to submit a blood test. He was transported to the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital's lab to have blood drawn and was afterward transported to the Unicoi County Jail for processing, according to the report.

Campbell was released from jail shortly after his arrest after posting a $2,500 bond.

Following Campbell's arrest, he was suspended from the Unicoi County Sheriff's Department without pay pending the outcome of court proceedings. Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said this will remain the case pending the outcome of Campbell's case now that it will be heard in Criminal Court.

"I'll have to wait and see what they do on that," Hensley said.

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