Public defender appointed for Unicoi Co. man arrested after armed standoff

Brad Hicks • Nov 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

ERWIN — The Unicoi County man arrested Sunday evening for allegedly pointing a gun at and threatening a member of his family appeared in county Sessions Court on Monday.

Brice McGhee Jr., 4560 Old Asheville Highway, was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault. At his hearing, a $40,000 corporate bond was set for McGhee and the public defender’s office was appointed to represent him. He is scheduled to again appear in Sessions Court on Nov. 14.

Officials with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department said officers were called to a residence at 4561 Old Asheville Highway on Sunday evening in response to the report of a man wielding a gun. The affidavit of complaint filed in Sessions Court said officers found “numerous people” at the road advising McGhee was in the house across the street and that he still had a gun.

During police interviews with members of McGhee’s family and other witnesses, it was determined that McGhee’s family had met at 4561 Old Asheville Highway to discuss the finances and last wishes of their mother, who had passed away earlier in the week, the affidavit said. Court documents also said McGhee sent his girlfriend to the family meeting in his place.

“The other family members stated that they felt that he should be there in person instead of her, so they sent her out to go and get him,” the affidavit said. “When the defendant arrived, he was angry and had a pistol.”

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said it may have been too soon after his mother’s death to discuss the matters.

“I assume he just didn’t want to talk about those things right now,” Hensley said.

Witnesses said that after some “yelling and foul language,” McGhee pointed the gun at his brother, turned the gun’s safety off and said “if you say one word, I’ll blow your brains out,” the affidavit said.

McGhee lowered the pistol and returned to a residence across the street also owned by the family, the arrest report said.

Hensley said when officers arrived, McGhee would not respond or exit the residence. Hensley said he was called to the scene, adding that he is familiar with the family and McGhee himself. The sheriff said he approached and entered the residence, where he was able to talk McGhee into turning over the gun and got McGhee’s “side of the story.”

“He admitted he did pull a gun on his brother,” Hensley said.

After statements were taken from the alleged victim and witnesses, and the pistol was collected and logged as evidence, McGhee was arrested and transported to the Unicoi County Jail without incident.

As of late Monday afternoon, McGhee remained in the Unicoi County Jail.

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