Johnny Kay Hensley, Robert James Moffitt and Keri Ellen Baird
ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday that a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 19E on Oct 18, 2012 that took the lives of two children and their mother was preceded by an argument in a CVS Pharmacy parking lot between the mother and the man who was the father of one of the children and stepfather of the other child. The department said he was at the pharmacy that day for the purpose of obtaining ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine.
The father, Robert James Moffitt, 37, 340 Lovers Lane, Lot 14, along with Johnny Kay Hensley, 40, 340 Lovers Lane, Lot 12, and Keri Ellen Baird, were at the pharmacy moments before the crash in Valley Forge that killed 2 year-old Dalton Moffitt and 7-year-old Jonathan Nye. Their mother, Katrina Nye, 31, died a few days later at Johnson City Medical Center.
Moffitt, Hensley and Baird have been charged by Sgt. Harmon Duncan with promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine. Moffitt and Hensley have already been arrested. Baird has not been located but has addresses in Elizabethton and Bristol.
The crash took place on U.S. Highway 19E in Valley Forge near the intersection with State Line Road. Nye, the boys and an adult passenger, Jodie J. Hensley, were going southbhound in a 1995 Ford Taurus.
During the investigation of the October accident, Trooper Edward Tester of the Tennessee Highway Patrol said the car went out of control, crossed the median and into the northbound lanes, ending in a collision with a northbound 2004 Chevrolet van driven by Amy Alexander of Elizabethton.
In the arrest warrant on the methamphetamine charges, Duncan said Baird spoke with Sheriff Chris Mathes at the scene of the fatal accident and informed him that she had met with Moffitt and Hensley at the CVS Pharmacy on Highway 19E on the evening of the crash in order to buy psuedoephedrine for Moffitt at his request. Riding in the same vehicle with Moffitt was Johnny Kay Hensley.
Duncan said Baird can be seen on CVS security video with Moffitt, and a juvenile girl at the pharmacy counter at 7:33 p.m. They purchased 2.4 grams of Sudafed 12 Hour cold medicine.
Upon leaving CVS, Duncan said Moffitt discovered Nye was waiting in the parking lot. The two reportedly had a brief argument about Moffitt being with Baird. Duncan said that following the argument, Baird left the parking lot in her vehicle and told Moffitt she would give him the medicine "down the road." Nye left with her two children and Jodie Hensley in the Taurus and Moffitt and Johnny Hensley followed Baird in a third vehicle.
Duncan said that following the accident, Baird stopped to help extract the children from Nye's vehicle. She was approached by Moffitt, who said "put that in my truck and get out of there." Baird said she told Moffitt "there was babies involved and I could not leave the scene." After that she spoke with Sheriff Mathes, telling him she had met with Moffitt at his request to buy psuedoephedrine, a vital ingredient in making mehtamphetamine.
Duncan said Johnny Hensley had purchased 1.92 grams of cold medicine in the company of Moffitt earlier in the day at Walgreens in Elizabethton. They then went to CVS where Moffitt got Baird to buy the Sudafed. Duncan said Moffitt had the others buying the cold medicine because he had already made purchases and could not buy again for a 24-hour period.
Baird remains at large and is wanted by the sheriff's department. Any one with information about her may contact the Carter County Sheriff's Department at 542-2350.