A Washington County grand jury heard evidence last week in the death of a county jail inmate and ruled there was no foul play or criminal act that caused the man’s death, District Attorney General Tony Clark said Monday.
“I thought it was prudent to take it through the grand jury. Of the deaths at the jail, that one involved detention officers. I did that out of an abundance of caution instead of me making the sole decision,” Clark said.
Stewart Peppers, 22, died in April at Johnson City Medical Center after being transported from the Washington County Detention Center. He had been in jail several days when sheriff’s department employees said he began acting violent inside his cell.
When officers went in to restrain Peppers in an attempt to calm him down, he collapsed after being shocked with a Taser, pepper sprayed and physically restrained.
An autopsy showed Peppers’ death resulted from excited delirium, a condition associated with the misuse of an anabolic steroid — nandrolene decanoate (aka Deca-Durabolin) — non-naturally occurring testosterone and acute cannabinoid (marijuana) use.
Peppers’ parents have rejected that conclusion and sued the sheriff’s office for their son’s death.
Clark said the grand jury’s decision has officially closed the criminal investigation.
The grand jury indicted:
n A city man charged after drug investigators found the largest meth lab ever found in the city was indicted on charges of manufacturing the highly volatile drug and aggravated child abuse/neglect.
Daniel K. Hylmon, 23, 201 S. North St., was arrested in the case Jan. 29 after Johnson City police and Drug Task Force agents went there on a tip about the drug being made.
Hylmon’s mother told police she had no knowledge of the drug-making process they discovered in her basement. Hylmon initially denied he was making meth in the basement, but officers began finding evidence of the process. Officers obtained permission to search the house from Hylmon’s mother.
The child neglect charge came from Hylmon’s 9-year-old brother living at the residence and being exposed to the meth production process, which apparently results in toxic materials released into the air.
n Kasandra Milhorn, 33, Telford, and Jack H. Johnson, 26, Johnson City, in a December assault at Milhorn’s residence.
Johnson was indicted on a charge of aggravated assault and Milhorn was indicted on a charge of accessory after the fact. The attack happened Dec. 18 when Johnson allegedly hit another man over the head and in the face with a bottle after an argument.
n Anthony Eugene Newton, 49, 314 W. 8th Ave., on three counts of rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape by an authority figure.
A court affidavit filed by Johnson City Police Investigator Debbie Carey-Dunn said the victim, now a teenager, was first abused by Newton when the victim was 10.
The allegations are that Newton first began touching the boy, which brought sexual battery charges, and that led to further sexual contact that would constitute rape.
Newton was reported to police in September after another person witnessed an alleged sexual assault, Dunn’s report said.
n Jonathan Ray Pennington, 32, 903 Embreeville Road, on two counts of aggravated robbery, and Chad Raymond Miller, 31, 1903 Pleasant View Drive, on two counts of aggravated robbery.
Pennington is accused of robbing Boones Creek Pharmacy on North Roan Street on Aug. 21 and West Towne Pharmacy on West Market Street on Oct. 18. Miller is accused of being involved in the Boones Creek robbery.
n Jamie Lynn Silvers, 49, and Nathan Allan Silvers, 37, both of 124 Sevilla Road, Flag Pond, on one count of theft under $500, four counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of aggravated assault and eight counts of reckless endangerment in an Oct. 20 alleged holdup at a home in Washington County.
It happened at 230 Pickens Bridge Road, where at least 15 people were gathered throughout the house. Court records said the two intruders told investigators they had previously been cheated out of money while playing poker at that residence.
It was not clear when that alleged incident took place.
Those indicted by the grand jury will appear in Criminal Court later this month.comments powered by Disqus