Category Archives: News

Walker’s Conviction Upheld By Appellate Court

On January 20, 2021, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals filed its opinion in the matter of State of Tennessee vs. Tammy Lynn Walker, wherein Tammy Walker appealed her conviction for passing a worthless check over $2,500.00, a Class D felony.

Ms. Walker, the former owner of Natural Sorb and The Diner, wrote a worthless check to the Campbell County Clerk and Master’s Office as payment for delinquent taxes owed on two LaFollette properties and one Caryville property. Ms. Walker was not found indigent in Criminal Court, and she failed to hire a private attorney to represent her at trial. Ms. Walker waived her right to a jury trial, and the case was heard without a jury before the Honorable E. Shayne Sexton.

On appeal, Ms. Walker alleged that Judge Sexton erred in determining that she made an explicit waiver of her right to counsel. However, the Court of Criminal Appeals found that Ms. Walker clearly understood her right to counsel and that her decision to proceed without an attorney was clear and unequivocal based upon her statements in Court and past conduct in similar cases. The appellate Court tellingly noted that “one with the means and ability to employ counsel is not indigent, and she cannot be permitted to frustrate the process of the law and completely thwart and avoid trial indefinitely by just not employing counsel”.

As a result of Ms. Walker’s failed appeal, she will remain a convicted felon serving a three (3) year sentence with incarceration suspended to ten (10) years on supervised probation. The State of Tennessee was represented at trial by David Pollard, Assistant District Attorney General.

Jellico Names New Fire Chief

Keith Blair

“With much sadness and a heavy heart, the City of Jellico and Jellico Fire Department learned of the passing of Fire Chief Wayne Honeycutt. Wayne will be greatly missed. My condolences to all Wayne’s family and the many men and women who were his friends and brother and sister firefighters,” Jellico Mayor Dwight Osborn said on a Facebook post a few weeks ago.

At January’s Council Meeting, Osborn announced that Keith Blair will fill Honeycutt’s position as Jellico’s newest Fire Chief. Jimmy Leach will also work alongside Blair as Jellico’s Assistant Fire Chief.

“As far as filling Wayne’s position, that’s some big shoes to fill,” said Fire Chief Blair. “I hope I can do as good of a job as my predecessors that were before me.” He added, “I’ll do everything I can to make it as good of a fire department as it always has been.” 

Blair has been a member of the Jellico Fire Department for 10+ years. Before he worked as a firefighter, he also worked for the City of Jellico and Jellico Electric and Water System. 

South Campbell County Rotary Club To Receive William T. Sergeant Polio Eradicator Award

The South Campbell County rotary Club is receiving one of the international organization’s top honors, William T. Sergeant Polio Eradicator Award. The William T. Sergeant Polio Eradicator Award replaces the Eradicator Club recognition that had been in place since 2009-10.

To receive a William T. Sergeant Polio Eradicator Award, a club must contribute an average of $50 per member to PolioPlus (based on club membership reported on July 1st 2020).

The 38 member South Campbell County Rotary Club has raised $1,900 between July and January 18th to be one of the first clubs in the district to qualify for the William T. Sergeant Polio Eradicator Award.

Eradicating polio world wide is one of Rotary Club International’s top goals. Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a paralyzing and potentially deadly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. The virus spreads from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can then attack the nervous system.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Department Receives Tennessee Highway Safety Office DUI Grant

For the past several years the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office has received funds from the THSO DUI Grant. These funds are provided to aid law enforcement in the enforcement of alcohol and drug related crimes. Through this grant the Sheriff’s Office is able to purchase equipment and pay overtime to deputies for specific tasks related to the enforcement of drug and alcohol laws.

For the 2020/2021 grant cycle the Sheriff’s Office was able to purchase equipment such as laptops, flashlights, a camera system for one (1) K9 patrol unit, and equip one (1) patrol unit with emergency equipment such as lights and sirens. These funds saved taxpayers approximately $19,000 in equipment costs.

In addition, the grant will fund approximately 825 hours of overtime pay to deputies to specifically patrol areas to prevent and enforce impaired driving, saving the taxpayers another $19,000 in overtime costs. This averages around 16 hours per week and the Sheriff’s Office tries to use these hours in the most efficient way possible. The Sheriff’s Office grant administrator works with staff to strategically schedule extra patrol on holiday weekends, expected busy weekends, in areas that have a high likelihood of DUI related crimes, and in response to citizen complaints or tips.

This past weekend four deputies were scheduled Friday and Saturday evening in strategic locations, such as HWY 63 towards Scott County, Elk Valley into Newcomb and Jellico, and HWY 25W in the Morley, White Oak, and Duff areas, in response to citizens tips concerning impaired ATV drivers and violations of ATV riding laws. During the weekend’s saturation, deputies stopped multiple ATV’s and vehicles and several citations were issued for various traffic offenses. Several drivers were issued warnings only as deputies attempted to provide education regarding ATV riding laws in Campbell County.

Teague Arrested On Narcotics Charges

On January 13, 2021, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office executed a narcotics search warrant at the home of David Lee Teague, DOB 08/30/1975, at 328 Camp Ridge Rd in Lafollette. The search warrant executed at this residence was obtained following a confidential tip. This tip sparked an investigation in which investigators made multiple buys of Schedule II controlled substances, believed to be Methamphetamine, from the residence.

Investigators located narcotics to include Schedule II controlled substance, believed to be Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during the search of the residence.

Mr. Teague was arrested on scene on charges including Possession of Schedule II controlled substance for resale and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He remains in the Campbell County Jail with a $70,000 bond. His court date is scheduled for January 21, 2021.