Woman accused in multiple car crashes indicted Tuesday

Becky Campbell • Jul 15, 2014 at 10:33 PM

A Bristol woman arrested in April after witnesses said she had five separate wrecks in less than 10 minutes was indicted this week by a Washington County grand jury on charges related to the crashes.

Jessica Ketron, 23, Walnut Hill Road, was indicted on two counts of reckless aggravated assault, three counts of leaving the scene of an accident, and one count each of reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of financial responsibility.

It all happened April 5. Police said they were told a black Honda Accord had been driven into three separate vehicles at a north Johnson City intersection. After arriving at the scene, police said they found the driver — later identified as Ketron — rambling and not making clear sentences while still inside the car.

After she was extricated from the Accord, police said Ketron tried to run away, but was stopped and restrained before she ran into traffic on North Roan Street. Afterward, she was transported to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury she suffered in the crash.

While at the hospital, police said they asked if Ketron had used drugs or had anything to drink. In response, police said, Ketron told them she “smoked as much pot as she could” that day. Police said Ketron then consented to a blood test in accordance with the implied consent law.

During a search of the Accord, police said they found a pack of rolling papers in the floorboard and a cigarette pack containing marijuana residue.

According to the arrest report, police said they learned Ketron’s Accord was the at-fault vehicle for four separate hit-and-run incidents that occurred within 10 minutes of the wreck at the North Roan Street-Mountcastle Drive intersection. Police said two other individuals were hospitalized for injuries they suffered during those crashes. Both of those injuries were described as non-life-threatening, however, and police said the two people were discharged after being treated.

Others indicted in the grand jury’s meeting on Monday included:

• Nathan J. Armstead, 20, Bell Ridge Road, was arrested in December after Johnson City police developed him as a suspect in a Nov. 14 aggravated robbery at a home on Marion Drive.

According to court records, the victim told police he was in his back yard cutting wood when two men wearing bandanas approached him with guns in their hands.

When the victim asked the men what they wanted, they said, “your money,” according to the warrant. The robbers forced the man into his home where he was assaulted as they continued to demand he give them money.

At some point during the incident, the victim recognized the voice of one man and told police it was Armstead. The men were able to get $300 from the man before they fled.

• Christopher Elliott, 29, Johnson City, on two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of reckless endangerment. He was arrested in April in connection to a March 22 robbery in the parking lot of Super 8 Motel, 108 Wesley St.

When police arrived at the scene, the female victim reported she had been thrown down, dragged with a car and her wallet was stolen by the driver.

Witness accounts led police to Elliott, who was picked out of a photo lineup by the victim as the man who robbed her.

• James Ballard, 32, Jonesborough, and Jamie Robbins, 34, Telford, on numerous charges related to methamphetamine. The grand jury indicted Ballard on child neglect, possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of simple possession — methamphetamine and Lorazepam — and 23 counts of promotion of methamphetamine production.

Robbins was indicted on one count of child neglect and 10 counts of promotion of methamphetamine production.

The charges came after Washington County sheriff’s investigators went to the couple’s residence on Feb. 3 to serve warrants for aggravated burglary and theft. Robbins told her daughter to go to the bedroom to retrieve her phone so Robbins could call someone to come care for three children in the home.

An officer went with the girl and in the bedroom saw, in plain sight, a white substance in a plastic baggie sitting on a computer desk. Officers asked Ballard for permission to search the residence based on the discovery and he allowed the search, during which officers found pills and more white powder in plastic baggies.

Follow-up investigations showed both Ballard and Robbins had purchased pseudoephedrine from numerous drug stores between February 2013 and July 2013.

Follow Becky Campbell on Twitter @CampbellinCourt. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BeckyCampbellJCPress.

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