ELIZABETHTON — It didn’t take long for Carter County Sheriff’s Department deputies to find the items stolen in a reported burglary. A car crashed a short distance away just a few minutes after the burglary and deputies responding to the crash found items in the car that had been reported stolen.
It all started on Sunday night when Fred Smith called 911 to report a burglary of his neighbor’s apartment on Carson Drive. Smith told Deputy Ashley McCall that he heard a loud noise in the neighboring apartment and called the resident, Nikolas Williams, to find out if he had allowed anyone into the apartment. Smith told Williams no one was supposed to be in his apartment while he was out of town.
Smith said he went outside and saw a gold Honda driving away. He said it was the same car he had seen around the apartments earlier in the day. Smith had spoken to the car’s two occupants, who were looking for Williams, and gave a description of them to deputies.
Smith showed McCall where the apartment had been entered by prying open the front door. They went inside and described the scene to Williams on the phone. Williams said that from the description, it sounded like the burglars had taken a PlayStation 3, DVDs and video games from an entertainment center in the living room and lottery tickets from his dresser in the bedroom.
Williams said he had received a phone call from an ex-girlfriend, Lindsey Hurley, earlier in the day. She asked him if he was in town. Williams told her he was in Mississippi on a job and would not be back for a few days. Williams said from Smith’s description, the couple in the car sounded like Hurley and one of her friends, Ralph Holly. He said Holly drove a gold Honda.
About 18 minutes after 911 got the call about the burglary, Deputy Ricky Kinner was dispatched to an accident with injuries on Smalling Road. He arrived to find a gold 1991 Honda had run off the right side of the road, struck a ditch and flipped over. He identified the driver as Ralph Lynn Holly, 39, 1263 Bluefield Ave., Apt. C-2. His passenger, Lindsey Hurley, was injured in the crash. Kinner reported that Holly was gone when he arrived on the scene but returned a few minutes later.
A Sony PlayStation 3 was found in the vehicle that matched the serial number Williams had just provided to McCall. Also found were PlayStation games and DVDs.
When a Carter County Rescue Squad paramedic team arrived on the scene to treat Hurley, the medical personnel cut her clothes off and found lottery tickets concealed in her underwear. She was taken to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment.
Investigator Travis Ludlow said Holly was treated for his injuries and released because he had not yet been connected to the burglary. He allegedly returned to the crash scene and recovered some of the stolen items. Holly later told investigators he had taken Hurley to the apartment and waited in the parking lot for 30 to 40 minutes, then picked up Hurley after she had taken items from the apartment.
Ludlow charged Holly with facilitation of aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence and theft over $500. Kinner cited him with failure to exercise due care, driving an unregistered vehicle and no proof of insurance. Ludlow said Hurley has not been charged because she is still in the hospital.