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Fight video brings mother's arrest in Unicoi Co.

March 20th, 2014 9:16 pm by Brad Hicks

Fight video brings mother's arrest in Unicoi Co.

Amanda Shelton

ERWIN — Officials with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday that a social media video of two Unicoi County girls fighting was recently brought to their attention, and the mother of one of the girls, who police said witnessed the scuffle, is now facing charges for not intervening.

Amanda Rana Shelton, 38, 1782 Tenn. Highway 352, Flag Pond, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and criminal trespassing.

The incident that led to Shelton’s arrest began Tuesday, when one of the girls involved in the scrape posted a video of the fight on her Facebook page, Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said. UCSD Chief Investigator Ronnie Adkins said after the video was posted, the department began receiving calls from concerned parents and citizens who had viewed it.

“I got several calls about it,” Hensley said. “It was actually placed on Facebook or social media. After learning this, I observed the video myself. It appeared there were two female juveniles fighting. The disturbing part was there were adults egging on the fight.”

Adkins said the approximately 3½ minute video depicts a fight between two 13-year-old Unicoi County Middle School students. The video opens with one of the juveniles ascending steps at the old Flag Pond School and calling down to another girl to “Get the (expletive) up here and fight me, (expletive).”

During the video, the girls engage in what Adkins called a “violent physical confrontation.” He said the two can be seen kicking and punching each other and, at one point, one of the girls drives the head of the other girl into the concrete at the entrance of the old school.

Adkins also said it appears from the video that several onlookers were present and the fight was recorded by more than one individual. He said at one point it appears the girls want to stop the fight, but are encouraged to continue by others present, including Shelton, who Adkins said also provided direction to her daughter on what to do during the confrontation.

It appears from the video that the juveniles were fighting over a boy, Adkins said.

“The little girl denied that at the end, but everybody there said it was over a boy,” he said.

Although Flag Pond School is no longer used by the county as a school and is now used by the Flag Pond Ruritan Club, Hensley said he contacted Director of Schools Denise Brown after the viewing the video. He said his department’s investigators later obtained information about the two girls involved in the fight and copied the video to a disc for evidence.

Hensley also said he contacted District Attorney General Tony Clark to make him aware of the situation.

“I want to make it clear — my administration will not tolerate this type of activity anywhere in this county, and the Attorney General Tony Clark has also stated the same thing,” Hensley said. “We take this very, very seriously.”

Hensley said the Department of Children’s Services has been contacted, and the juveniles involved in the fight will be petitioned into court.

Adkins said following her Thursday arrest, Shelton admitted to witnessing the fight and directing her daughter during the altercation.

“She looked at me and said ‘But I didn’t do anything.’ I said ‘Exactly. You didn’t do anything, and that’s why you’re getting arrested,’ ” Adkins said.

A bond has not yet been set for Shelton, and she is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court today for arraignment.

Adkins said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are anticipated.

Adkins also said Shelton’s arrest shows there are “consequences to bullying.”

“We have been told there’s a rash of these appointments to fight in the county, and we want stop to it before it gets started,” Adkins said. “We will not tolerate bullying in our schools or in our community. We will not. Any cases, any instances of that will be dealt with immediately.”

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