After the announced retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court last week, President Trump has been traveling this week, meeting with possible nominees and offering stump speeches and endorsement appearances for preferred candidates in the upcoming midterm elections. He’s also found time for golf while staying at his resorts along the way.
During his travels, he has also had to answer questions about the impending trade war with China, which is now more than an inevitability, as China has announced tariff plans of its own, intended to initially target the American farmer. Experts say the initial tariffs will likely do little damage to the United States, China or the global economy. But if they escalate, the pain will deepen and spread.
Scott Pruitt is another name that has popped up for Trump this week, as the ethics investigations and spending accusations finally took their toll on the EPA head, or rather, former EPA head. Pruitt resigned over the holiday, and was quickly replaced by Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist and climate change denier who lobbied to open portions of the Bears Ears National Monument to uranium mining.
There are other stories clouding the national headlines as well, and plenty more to discuss, such as the Moscow visit by seven Republican lawmakers on Independence Day - the day that the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the Russians did interfere in our elections in the hope of electing Trump - but I’ll move towards the local interest.
A fourth person has been charged with attempted murder in Carter County after a video surfaced of a man being stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat June 23, according to authorities.
After being arrested on another charge, investigators on June 27 found a video on Kasey Delamae Miller’s cell phone showing her beating a man with a baseball bat. The video also showed three men helping her with the act. Charged earlier with attempted first-degree murder were 20-year-old Matthew Duane Dye and 41-year-old Michael Todd Silcox. This week saw the addition of 38-year-old Ross Bee Kelly to the list of defendants.
Investigators said Miller accused the victim of cheating her on a drug deal, beat the man to the ground with a baseball bat, then forced him to lie flat on his back and said "bring me that knife." A man later identified as Matthew Dye then enters the video frame with what appears to be a knife in his right hand, standing on the right arm of the victim, and then stabbing him in the neck three times.
After the beating and stabbing, Miller, Dye and Silcox got into Miller’s vehicle and left the scene and victim behind. Kelly was shown on the video watching the assault as it occurred.
The sheriff’s office withheld the victim’s name, and declined to speak about the man’s condition.
Deputies are seeking public assistance in finding JR McInturff, who has accused of stabbing another man last month near Jonesborough. They have also issued a caution about approaching the wanted man.
On the night of June 21, Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies found a man just off U.S, Highway 11E bleeding from severe stab wounds to his face and arms. The man told deputies that he and James “JR” McInturff, were at a residence on Upper Sand Valley Road when an altercation occurred, and McInturff stabbed him with a knife.
A warrant was then obtained for McInturff’s arrest, charging him with aggravated assault, but police have been unsuccessful in attempts to find him. McInturff is white, 36 year old, standing about 6 feet, 1 inch tall, weighing 185 pounds with short brown hair and blue eyes, and has a distinctive scar on the right side of his face.
Citizens are asked not to approach or attempt to apprehend McInturff as he may be armed with a knife. Anyone with information regarding the case or the whereabouts of McInturff was asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 423-788-1414. Callers may remain anonymous.