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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Fake money increases charges against man

August 9th, 2011 10:11 pm by John Thompson

A man who is already facing two charges of attempted second-degree murder and a long list of other charges following a car chase through three counties last week has been served with 10 counts of criminal simulation following a police investigation of the alleged counterfeiting scheme that started the chase at the IGA supermarket at 1729 U.S. Highway 19E.
Travis Grover Richardson, 29, 1180 Dry Creek Road, was served with the warrants on Friday in the Carter County Jail. One of the charges is for the alleged passing of a $100 counterfeit bill and requesting $20 bills in change. The transaction was observed by Officer Matthew Taylor of the Elizabethton Police Department.
Taylor attempted to make contact with Richardson, resulting in a brief altercation and pursuit that began as a foot chase to State Line Road, where police said Richardson stole a Jeep Cherokee. During the pursuit, Richardson allegedly rammed into three police cruisers driven by Elizabethton Police Officer Eric Buck, Carter County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Penny Cornett and Sgt. Gregg Copp of the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department. Richardson eventually wrecked on South Roan Street in Johnson City and during the investigation police said he was found to be in possession of an additional counterfeit $100 bill which had the same serial number as the one passed at IGA.
As the investigation continued Elizabethton officers said they learned that a few days before the chase an IGA employee, Brittany Rice, Chista Drive, Johnson City, had been asked by Richardson to exchange nine counterfeit $20 bills for authentic bills from her register till.
Investigator Kirk Carrier said Rice exchanged the bills on July 31 during closing duties. Rice said she left the store and gave all of the money to Richardson, who was waiting in the parking lot.
Rice turned herself in to Elizabethton officers at the Carter County Sheriff’s Department on Monday and was charged with nine counts of criminal simulation. Her bond was set at $9,000 and she was scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on Aug. 29.
Richardson appeared in Sessions Court on Tuesday to answer the 10 criminal simulation charges, two attempted second-degree murder charges, aggravated assault, evading arrest, reckless endangerment and vandalism. Judge John Walton appointed a public defender to take his case. The case was reset for Sept. 6.
Walton also found Richardson guilty of contempt on two outstanding capiases charging him with failure to pay costs on orders of protection. Walton sentenced him to two consecutive sentences of 10 days each.

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