This week’s Johnson City Press Week in Review seems to be a quick round-up of local legal proceedings and police files.
Jurors handed down guilty verdicts on all counts Thursday against Kelly Lee Pits, the man who admitted shooting a deputy during a shootout with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department in December of 2015.
Pitts was convicted of seven counts of attempted first-degree murder and seven counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony after shooting Carter County Sheriff’s Deputy Jenna Markland in the face, and Brandy Hyder in the hand. Pitts fired 52 semi-automatic rifle rounds toward sheriff’s deputies that night, claiming he thought he was firing at his girlfriend’s brother’s friends, rather than law enforcement, and now faces sentences of 15 to 25 years in prison on each count of attempted murder as Judge Stacy Street considers sentencing May 17.
“It has been a long three years and three months,” Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said. “There are several of us that were victims, but the true victims were Deputy Markland and Miss Hyder. This is justice for them. The jury has spoken. Now it is up to him to pay his debt to society.”
Four people are in police custody in connection with the fatal shooting of Charles “Rooster” Shelton earlier this month on Cash Hollow Road, and authorities are still searching for two others.
Brandon Miller was arrested Tuesday night in Seymour, Tennessee, after a chase and a three-hour standoff with officers from multiple police agencies. He was charged with voluntary manslaughter related to the shooting, and four counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter.
Two people police said Miller shot at from his residence at 415 Cash Hollow Road, Jason Hargrove and Hailey Donald, are in custody and charged with especially aggravated robbery. Donald was captured after the incident, police said, when she sought treatment for a gunshot wound at the Johnson City Medical Center.
Two others, Allyson Abram and Dylan Childress, are wanted on charges of especially aggravated robbery, but have not yet been located by Washington County officers.
Summer Bentley, who police said fled with Miller after the shooting, was arrested Tuesday at the residence in Seymour in which Miller was originally found. She was charged with accessory after the fact.
Johnson City police announced yesterday they would be charging William A. Bonney with with aggravated domestic assault, after he engaged officers in a standoff last week.
About 1:15 p.m. Jan. 25, police went to Bonney’s apartment to check on a report that he had threatened a woman with a gun. Bonney’s girlfriend met with police outside the apartment building, reporting that Bonney was inside with a shotgun and possibly a handgun. Police contacted Bonney via cell phone, but he refused to come out of the apartment. The police department’s SWAT team, Explosives Ordnance Disposal unit and a negotiating team arrived, and after several hours, Bonney came out of the apartment and was taken into custody.
He was taken back into custody yesterday and jailed in the Washington County Detention Center, where he now faces the aggravated assault charges.
Finally - keep in mind that this weekend is Super Bowl weekend, so if you plan on enjoying the game with friends, do so responsibly and safely, and enjoy your Sunday evening. Geaux Saints (as it should be)!