Three charged with attempted murder in Unicoi County

Sue Guinn Legg • Dec 18, 2018 at 5:54 PM

ERWIN — Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department investigators charged three people with attempted murder on Monday for allegedly assaulting a woman, gagging her and throwing her over an embankment near the Nolichucky River before leaving her to perish in freezing weather overnight on Sunday.

Kendra M. Adams, 26, and Matthew Adam Taylor, both of 1801 Chestoa Pike; and Austin Denver Gill, 31, 315 Scott Road, Unicoi; were jailed on $100,000 bond each and scheduled for arraignment hearings on Thursday, Dec. 20, in Unicoi County Sessions Court.

According to a warrants filed by Investigator H.E. Duncan, an officer was dispatched to a remote area off Unaka Springs Road at 7:42 a.m. Monday following a 911 call reporting a woman screaming in that area.

The responding officer walked into the area and found the woman “in hypothermic distress with no shoes or jacket and visible injuries to her face.”

The woman told the officer that Gill had picked her up at her residence on Sunday evening saying they were going for a walk. He then took her to a wooded area off Unaka Springs Road later identified as Gulf Hole.

The woman reported Taylor and Adams joined them following their arrival in the area. The woman said that Adams told her she was going to kill her for talking about her behind her back. She said Adams then physically attacked her and she fell to the ground after being hit in the head with a rock.

She told the officer that Taylor and Gill then held her down while Adams continued to strike her, after which Gill gagged her and the three took her shoes, socks and coat and threw her over an embankment toward the river.

The woman said that she pretended to be dead to keep the three from coming after her and that she believed they intended to kill her by leaving her in a remote area in freezing weather without adequate clothing.

She said she continued to play dead until the three left, then crawled along the river bank for several hours until she reached a point acrossfrom the Nolichucky Gorge Campground at 101 Jones Branch Road and began yelling for help.

A raft was reportedly used to bring the woman across the river to the campground, where she waited for some time for an ambulance to take her to a hospital for treatment.

Adams, Taylor and Gill were located in a traffic stop Monday night, during which Gill was taken into custody on outstanding warrant, Taylor was cited for driving on a suspended license and Adams was cited and released from custody for possession of a half-ounce of marijuana.

The three were charged with attempted murder following a review of the evidence by the district attorney general’s office.

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