Authorities said in a news conference Wednesday Dylan “Pickle” Childress and Allyson Abram, who were wanted on charges of especially aggravated robbery, are to be considered armed and dangerous.
On Jan. 16, officers responded to a report of shots fired at 415 Cash Hollow Road. Upon arrival they found Shelton dead from a gunshot wound in the front yard. Resident Brandon Miller, 34, fled the scene with 24-year-old girlfriend Summer Bentley.
Miller was arrested Tuesday night after a standoff near Knoxville and is charged with voluntary manslaughter in Shelton’s death.
He is also charged with four counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, one count of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, four counts of employing a firearm during an attempt to commit a dangerous felony and three counts of a felon in possession of a firearm.
Chief Deputy Leighta Laitinen said during a press conference that a joint investigation led officers to a home in Seymour, Tennessee, belonging to a relative of Miller’s. U.S. Marshals and Washington County investigators identified a man fitting Miller’s description getting into a vehicle and leaving the home.
Sevier County Sheriff’s Office deputies tried to stop the vehicle, to no avail. They chased the vehicle until it left the pavement on Cunningham Road. After becoming stuck in a ditch, according to a WCSO deputy who was on scene, Miller fled on foot.
“Officers found Summer Bentley at the residence,” said Laitinen. “She was taken into custody there on her (violation of probation), without incident.”
Footprints in the snow led Sevier County deputies to 703 Curley Lane in Seymour. Pursuing officers were cautious about breaking into the house because they did not know if Miller had a weapon. Deputies believe Miller broke into the home through an unlocked door, Laitinen said.
“Miller had gone in this residence and barricaded himself inside,” said Laitinen. “He did not know the owner of the house. The owner of the home was not involved in any way. It was just a house he had come upon and broke into.”
A standoff between Miller and the police ensued. A Special Weapons and Tactics team arrived, and after three hours, a negotiator was able to get him to stand down.
“He was pretty much given an ultimatum,” the deputy on scene in Seymour said. “We had been there so long that everybody was starting to get frozen. Entry was about to be made.”
Officers also found a weapon in a ditch they believe Miller dumped because of its location.
Washington County deputies said everything about the chase and arrest was difficult. Sheriff Ed Graybeal added that SWAT became involved because the Curley Lane homeowner told officers he had weapons in the home.
Laitinen said she now believes five individuals involved were invited to Miller’s Cash Hollow Road residence. The home was described as a camper trailer next to a house. She said a fight then broke out between the individuals and Miller when they attempted to rob him. Laitinen said deputies believe Miller shot at the five as they fled his home.
Shelton was struck and killed in the front yard. Hailey Donald, 19, and Jason “Skinny” Hargrove, 37, are two other suspects named in the investigation. They fled the scene with Abram and Childress, who remain at large.
“On the night of the shooting, we also discovered that a female, Hailey Donald, had also sustained a gunshot wound and gone to the Johnson City Medical Center for treatment and was later released,” Laitinen said.
Donald and Hargrove have been arrested and are being held on charges of especially aggravated robbery, with Miller as the victim. Bentley has been arrested on a violation of probation and charged with accessory after the fact for fleeing with Miller and allowing him use of a car.
Abram and Childress are still being sought.
Abram could be in Kingsport or Nashville. WCSO said it has reports that she made comments suggesting she was going to flee the Tri-Cities. She is wanted on a charge of especially aggravated robbery.
Childress is believed to be in Lewisburg, Tennessee. He is wanted on charges of especially aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. Laitinen said the two should be treated as armed and dangerous.
The police are asking for the public’s help finding Abram and Childress. Anyone with information about their whereabouts can contact Tennessee Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Call the WCSO at 423-788-1414 or Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.