ELIZABETHTON — Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department inadvertently cleared a couple of old cases when they responded last week to a call about a fight in the front yard of a residence at 1357 Broad St. Extension.
Sgt. Derrick Hamm reported the two men involved in the fight were Jerry Wayne Coleman Jr., 19, and Justin Stanford Frazier, 22, both of 1357 Broad Street Extension. Both men had fled to the residence’s rear when officers arrived.
The two men had been suspects in a May car burglary and had been questioned by deputies on the night of the burglary but they were not charged at the time because officers determined there was no probable cause to charge them.
The alleged car burglary had taken place around 1:45 a.m. May 26, when a citizen told deputies he had seen a green Dodge Intrepid driving on Starlight Drive and then onto Cross Street. The citizen said he heard glass break and saw two men, believed to be Frazier and Coleman, running from the residence at 113 Cross St. The men got into the Dodge and the citizen told deputies he followed them to 1357 Broad St. Extension.
The burglary victim told Deputy James Stevens that someone had broken the glass out of the passenger side of her 2010 Ford Mustang and stolen her purse, which contained $20. Stevens then went to the residence on Broad Street Extension and found Coleman and Frazier. The men told deputies they had not left the residence all evening and had not driven the Dodge parked there since 8 p.m.
The deputies were given permission to search the house, but did not find the stolen purse. They did find the engine on the Dodge was still hot, which they said was in conflict with the statements they gave, but there was no direct evidence at the time connecting them to the car burglary.
Following the fight last week, Sgt. Hamm spoke with another resident and obtained permission to search the house. While searching the attic, Hamm saw a purse stuck under an air conditioning duct. Hamm took possession of the purse, examined its contents and determined the purse belonged to the victim of the May 26 car burglary.
Sgt. Harmon Duncan said finding the purse at the very same residence where Coleman and Frazier had been questioned on May 26 provided the probable cause to charge the men.
At the time the purse was found in the attic, Hamm also found a man in the attic who was identified as Christopher Colt Anderson, 25, 412 Willow Springs Road. Hamm found that Anderson was wanted on a charge of failure to appear on a charge of theft.
The theft charge stemmed from a Feb. 19 incident at Walmart, 1001 Overmountain Drive, in which Anderson had allegedly taken a receipt and matched it up with merchandise he took from shelves in order to return the merchandise for credit at the customer service desk.
Sgt. Hamm returned to 1357 Broad St. Extension on Friday and reported finding Frazier and Coleman inside the residence. He charged both men with auto burglary and theft over $500. In addition, he charged Coleman with an outstanding Washington County warrant charging him with violation of probation. Both men are scheduled to appear in Sessions Court on Oct. 29.
Anderson appeared in Sessions Court on Monday. On the theft charge, Anderson was fined $50 and court costs and placed on a year’s probation with Crossroads. Judge John Walton also found him in contempt on the failure to appear capias and ordered him to serve 10 days in jail.