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Monday, February 19, 2018

Slatery seeks execution for Sutton
Attorney General Herbert Slatery is seeking execution dates for eight inmates on Tennessee's death row, including a Morristown man convicted of multiple murders. The state hasn't conducted an inmate execution in nearly a decade. Slatery says the eight executions he is seeking are for men who "have long since concluded the standard three-tier appeals process and each case has been thoroughly litigated in the state courts and on federal review through the United States Supreme Court." But Tennessee Department of Correction officials have been warned that the new cocktail of lethal injection drugs they plan to use might not work as intended. That warning is also cited in filings by attorneys representing five death row inmates who intend to challenge the new lethal injection protocol. Slatery says in a release that the state's ability to carry out executions by lethal injection "after June 1, 2018, is uncertain due to the ongoing difficulty in obtaining the necessary lethal injection chemicals," suggesting he believes the state should attempt to carry out eight executions in less than four months. If lethal injection drugs are unavailable, the state is also legally permitted to use the electric chair. One of the men Slatery wants to execute is Nicholas Todd “Nicky” Sutton, 57, who had been scheduled to die in 2015 but the execution was delayed. He has twice been convicted of capital murder. The first death sentence came in connection with the death of Knoxville contractor Charles P. Almon III, 46, in late 1979. Almon’s body was wrapped in a sheet, chained to a concrete block, then thrown into a rock quarry off Golf Course Road outside of Newport. The defendant was sentenced to death by electrocution in connection with Almon’s killing, but the method was changed to lethal injection when Tennessee’s law changed to require lethal injection as Tennessee’s sole method of execution. Sutton also was sentenced to death for the stabbing death of fellow inmate Carl Estep in 1985, at the Morgan County Regional Correctional Facility in Wartburg, Tennessee. But the defendant has a long history of criminal activities. In 1980, at the age of 18, Sutton was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his grandmother. Fifty-eight-year-old Dorothy Sutton, a retired teacher of Morristown, was severely beaten, wrapped in a sheet tied with tire chains and a cinder block, and then thrown into the Nolichucky River in December, 1979. She reportedly died of drowning. Sutton had beaten her to death with a piece of firewood after she discovered that he had earlier murdered two men. He was eligible for parole after 30 years. Two weeks after he was convicted, in April, 1980, Sutton led investigators to the grave of John M. Large, 19, of Morristown, a boyhood friend, near his aunt's cabin at Mt. Sterling, N.C. Sutton not only killed Large, and buried him in a shallow grave; a tobbaco stake was driven through the mouth of the victim to mark the location of the grave. He reportedly had been killed in July, 1978. The plea agreement in the Large death provided for Sutton to serve a sentence concurrently with the sentence imposed for the killing of Mrs. Sutton. Later divers looking for the body of an unrelated murder victim found the body of Almon in 90 feet of water in the Cocke County quarry. It was adjacent to a car which investigators said had been stolen in Hamblen County by Sutton, two weeks earlier. Almon reportedly had been killed near Mt. Sterling in late 1979 and taken to the Newport quarry three weeks later. Investigators found the belt of Almon near the Long grave. The skulls of all three victims had been crushed, and according to investigators, Sutton said he had a $100 per day cocaine habit. On January 15, 1985, Nicholas Sutton, along with inmates Thomas Street and Charles Freeman, entered the cell of Carl Estep. Other inmates observed the three entering the cell and heard Estep scream while the three were inside the cell. Guards discovered Estepp had been stabbed 38 times. Sutton was sentenced to death for the stabbing. Court documents indicate that Sutton was raised in an unstable and violent household. His father was mentally ill and institutionalized for part of Nicholas’ childhood. His mother abandoned him when he was young, and so he was adopted by his grandmother. Sutton briefly joined the Navy when he was 17, however he was soon given an honorable discharge, with records indicating that he was unable to adjust to military life. Lethal injections in Tennessee had been put on hold by the Tennessee Supreme Court after objections were raised regarding the lethal injection used by Tennessee. But Slatery says the US Supreme Court has denied two appeals filed regarding lethal injections in 2017 and this year, “Thus , the defendant's challenge to the lethal injection protocol is finally concluded, and this Court's, April 10, 2015 reprieve is lifted or dissolved”, says Slatery.

New Yorkers arrested in Jefferson County
Two New York residents who allegedly carjacked a vehicle from Knox County on February 11, were taken into custody a short time later following a pursuit into Jefferson County. Sunnia Ann Carberry, 33 allegedly grabbed the keys from a 65 year-old man as he was inside the Wendy's Restaurant on Strawberry Plains Pike. The victim chased Carberry outside where he was stabbed in the ribs. Carberry and Alexis Burgos, 37, entered I-40 eastbound, pursued by officers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Jefferson County Sheriff GW "Bud" McCoig said the couple abandoned the car just west of the I-81 split, and ran into a wooded area. A Jefferson County deputy located the couple a short time later as they waked along a nearby road, and took them into custody. Now Carberry is being held by Knox County authorities on charges of aggravated robbery, felony theft and evading arrest. Burgos is being held in Jefferson County on charges of felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to Sheriff McCoig additional charges are pending.

Carter death being investigated
Cocke County authorities say they are investigating the February 12 death of a Cosby man who reportedly had been struck by a car several days earlier. Deputy Michael Shelton on Friday reported that he had responded to the Michael Carter home on Trail Hollow Road after being contacted by a friend of Carter's, Matthew Weeks. Weeks said he hadn't been able to contact Carter in several days which was very unusual. Officers forced their way into the Carter home to find the 74 year-old deceased man in a recliner. Weeks reported that a week earlier Carter was in the parking lot of Lois' Kitchen when a young lady ran over Carter's feet. After the incident, the female reportedly exited her car crying. Carter reportedly told the woman not to worry about it, he would be fine. The injured man reportedly did not contact the police after the incident. When found, Officer Shelton says both feet of the victim were black with "leakage from both feet." Cocke County Detective Zach Shelton is investigating the case.

Tennessee Senate action
State Senator Steve Southerland says the Senate recently moved several pieces of legislation. R Reentry Incentive Grant program aims to reduce recidivism in Tennessee jails. Legislation calling for an innovative pilot program to provide grants to local county sheriffs or to probation departments that are successful in reducing recidivism passed through committee. The bill would provide $2 million in grants to fund a three-year successful reentry program in four Tennessee counties. The bill now is headed to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee for consideration. A bill which seeks to foster parent-teacher engagement in the earliest grades of a child's education was unanimouslyapproved by the Senate Education Committee. It proposes a three-year, voluntary pilot program under the Tennessee Department of Education to test the best practices models for parent-teacher conferencing in six schools across the state within K-2nd grade classrooms. The Department of Education will set up an application process for schools that are interested in participating in the pilot program and will decide which models to use. Fostering engagement will help parents understand the skills their children should be mastering and how to help at home. The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability tells lawmakers that charities serving the elderly will benefit from $36 million provided by the settlement of nursing home litigation. The final order issued by the court means non-government funds will go to major statewide initiatives serving elderly Tennesseans in four areas: affordable housing, transportation, dental and legal assistance.

US Senate race
Former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher says he's dropping out of his race for the Senate and thinks incumbent Bob Corker should change his mind and get back in the race. Fincher has been opposed by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the Republican primary. Former Gov. Phil Bredesen is the lone Democrat. In the midst of an ongoing public feud with President Trump, Corker announced last fall he wouldn't seek re-election to a third term. A recent poll by a firm that is supportive of President Trump says Blackburn is twice as popular among Republicans in Tennessee as is Corker. The poll shows Bredesen gaining in strength against Blackburn, with 44 percent supporting Blackburn and 39 percent favoring Bredesen. The poll was funded by the Committee to Defend the President, which plans to spend heavily to support the Blackburn candidacy.

Monday, February 19, 2018

  • Slatery seeks execution for Sutton
  • New Yorkers arrested in Jefferson County
  • Carter death being investigated
  • Tennessee Senate action
  • US Senate race

    Saturday, February 17, 2018

  • Cocke schools talk safety
  • Pasports
  • Alexander on infrastructure

    Friday, February 16, 2018

  • Arrest made in "Kill list"
  • Newport animal shelter
  • Cocke candidates
  • Ronnie Davis obit
  • Pilot Flying J execs convicted
  • Senator Alexander on budget infrastructure plans

    Thursday, February 15, 2018

  • NU water leak
  • Faison files Fresh Start legislation
  • TVA spends on aircraft
  • Cocke Landfill Committee
  • Carson Springs home destroyed by fire

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

  • Newport City Council talks property tax cut
  • More candidates qualify
  • Arwood/Prevost arrests
  • Cocke County Grand Jury returns indictments
  • Walters State enrollment is up
  • Trump wants to sell TVA

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