Author Archives: John Muse

Crawford Sentenced For Child Abuse


In August 2017 Zach Crawford was arrested and charged under Haley’s Law for allegedly abusing a five year old child. According to the report when Crawford was interviewed about the injuries he said he physically disciplined the child. This discipline reportedly included hitting the child with a riding crop and biting.

On Monday he entered a guilty plea on 18 counts of child abuse and neglect in a child under eight years of age and aggravated child abuse and neglect in a child under eight years of age.

He was sentenced to 20 years with no eligibility for early parole.

Haley’s law was passed in 2004 following the Haley Spicer abuse case. The law makes it a Class A felony to abuse a child under the age of 9 in a way that leads to bodily injury. A Class A felony is punishable by a minimum 15-year sentence with a maximum of 60 years or life in prison. Under the law, the serious bodily injury means bodily injury involving a substantial risk of death, and carries with it enhanced punishment.

Plea Deal Ends Pop Shop Case

In April of 2018 an undercover investigation led to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Department raiding a local business known as the Pop Shop. As a result three people were indicted. Joe Bolinger, LaFollette’s Vice Mayor at the time, along with Jennifer Brown and Jimmy Ivey were the individuals indicted in the case.

Ivey had the majority of the charges with 77. Ivey was charged with 69 counts of theft under $1,000, 5 counts of fraudulent receipt of food assistance, one count of criminal conspiracy, and one count of conspiracy to sell marijuana.

Brown faced one count of criminal conspiracy and 5 counts of fraudulent receipt of food assistance.

Bolinger was charged with one count of criminal conspiracy and 4 counts of fraudulent receipt of food assistance.

On Monday the case resolved by way of a plea deal.

Ivey was fined $5,250, received a year of unsupervised probation, and is receiving a judicial diversion.

Bolinger was fined $500, received a year of unsupervised probation, and is receiving judicial diversion.

Brown was fined $500 and received 11 months and 29 days of unsupervised probation.

Judicial Diversion is a type of expungeable probation for eligible offenders who plead guilty. An individual may be eligible for Judicial diversion if one has never been convicted of a felony or some types of misdemeanors and if one hase never received diversion before.

LaFollette Police And Drug Task Force Execute Morning Warrant

Possible activity related to the illegal use of suboxone brought officers to a LaFollette residence early Monday morning. The LaFollette Police Department Drug Unit and Special Response Team was joined by the 8th Judicial District’s Drug Task Force when they delivered and executed a search warrant at 308 South Indiana Avenue house.

More details as they become available.

Cougar Tennis Continues To Win

Morgan Smith

Cougar Tennis continued its rise against Knox Central last week. The Cougars traveled to Tyson Park to take on the Bobcats and came home with a win.

Jake Lane, who remains undefeated on the year, won his match 8-5, at the top seed. Garrett Medley and Jordan Tolliver also won their singles matches. The Cougars dominated the Bobcats in doubles play. The Cougars won the match 6-3.

Lady Cougar Tennis did not fare as well. The fell 1-8 to the Lady Bobcats. It was not all doom and gloom as Skylar Boshears won her first singles match as a Lady Cougar.

Swatzell Arrested In Rocky Top Kidnapping

In early March the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department investigated a reported assault and kidnapping on New Clear Branch Road in the Rocky Top/Clinton area. In late March they got their man.

Deputies with the ACSO arrested 34 year old Matthew Swatzell in connection with the case. It involves a female who escaped from a home on New Clear Branch Road. According to the report the victim was covered in bruises with one particularly fresh one on her head. The victim was also in fear of retaliation if she snitched on her attacker.

The deputy finally got her to talk with the promise of protection. The victim went on to describe how she was beaten and how her life was threatened at knife point on Friday. She stated that her life was threatened and that her alleged captor told her he could take her to Colorado and have her killed for the sum of $500. Her alleged captor also broke her cell phone on Saturday when she tried to call someone to come get her. The alleged captors mother gave the victim a sleeping pill and she escaped when they thought she was asleep.

Swatzell is being held in the Anderson County Jail on charges of vandalism, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, preventing a person from placing an emergency call, and parole violation.