Welcome to the website of the 9th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office. We have developed this site to better inform you about the operations of the DA’s office. We hope that you will take the time to check out each of the pages and especially take time to review the frequently asked questions ‘FAQs’ section and General Russell Johnson’s answers to those questions. Please check back often as we will be continuously updating and adding information.
Tractor Thief Found Guilty by Loudon County Jury After a Day-Long Trial on Thursday
Russell Johnson, 9th District Attorney General, announced today that on Thursday, January 5, 2017, Timothy M. Dawson was convicted after a day-long jury trial for stealing a tractor belonging to his neighbor, Dennis Montooth, of the Erie community in Loudon County.
In April of 2014, Dawson stole a 7210 John Deere Tractor with a front end loader from the Montooth family’s beef cattle farm located on Big Springs Road in the rural farming community. The theft was investigated by Loudon County Sheriffs’ investigators led by Lt. Patrick Upton. During questioning by the Loudon County Sheriff's Department, Dawson admitted to the theft of the tractor. In fact, weeks after the theft, Dawson led the authorities to where the tractor was hidden in a wooded area. Click here to read the entire press release...
Roane County Criminal Court Closes Successful Term.
Kingston, Tennessee –
Prosecutors in District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s Criminal Court Division successfully closed out the most recent Roane County Term that began on October 31, 2016 and ended on December 16, 2016. In the term immediately preceding this term the office tried and convicted Shawn Smoot for First Degree Murder of Brooke Morris, paving the way for what the District Attorney’s Office hope would be a successful final term of the year.
We started this last term of this year in Roane County with a backlog of cases already in the system. Earlier in October of 2016, the Roane County Grand Jury returned indictments on 116 cases that were added to that backlog. Since that time, the District Attorney’s office had resolved 151 cases through trials and guilty pleas. Some highlights included: the conviction of John Paul Little on four counts of rape of a child; the conviction of Johnny Foland for vehicular homicide; an 18 year prison sentence for Alex Watts, a career criminal convicted of multiple burglaries and thefts; a 12 year prison sentence for Deshawna Buckholtz, convicted of drug felonies; and the conviction of Otto Flochbart, III, for vehicular homicide.
District Attorney General Russell Johnson stated “We are proud of the work that has been done this term in Roane County. The priority and ultimate goal of my office is bringing about justice in our community. Our relationships with law enforcement, community organizations, members of the community and victims have been paramount in achieving that goal.”
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Roane County Man Convicted of Child Rape
John Paul Little convicted of 4 counts of child rape. Each count carries a minimum of 25 years in prison. See below for the coverage provided by Roane County News.
Sentence minimum 25 yearsBy Damon Lawrence
Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm (Updated: December 15, 9:07 pm)John Paul Little might never be a free man again.
On Thursday, a Roane County jury found him guilty on four counts of child rape.
“Whenever we get one of these and get a guilty verdict, it’s all such a relief,” Assistant District Attorney General Bob Edwards said.
Little was indicted on four counts of child rape in 2013. His trial started Wednesday at the Roane County Courthouse and finished Thursday.
The victim, who said she was 5 years old when Little first raped her, testified on Wednesday.
“It was a brave thing that she did yesterday,” Assistant District Attorney General Alyson Kennedy said.
In addition to listening to the victim testify from the witness stand, the jury also watched video of her forensic interview, which was conducted at the the Kids First Child Advocacy Center of the Ninth Judicial District on Aug. 27, 2012.
“He said that if I told my mom he would kill me,” the victim told the interviewer.
She went on to provide the interviewer with graphic details of the rapes.
“He’s been doing it for four years,” the victim told the interviewer.
The victim said she eventually told one of her brothers what was going on, and the brother went and told her mother.
“We’re thankful for the jury’s verdict and very appreciative of the victim and her family for how they cooperated with us,” Kennedy said.
Little, 40, is already serving time in state prison for a drug-related conviction. He left the courthouse Thursday in handcuffs flanked by two state prison guards.
Little’s sentencing for the child rape convictions is tentatively set for March 20. Edwards said the minimum sentence he’s facing is 25 years.
“He’s been convicted of four counts so the sentence is going to be somewhere between 25 and 100 years,” Edwards said.
“That’s at 100 percent, too,” Kennedy added. “No parole.”
Little can appeal his conviction.
Roane is Better Together! a special community storytelling event
Princess Theatre, Thursday July 14th 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
As District Attorney General of the 9th Judicial District, I am proud to sponsor along with Public Defender Kim Nelson a special community storytelling event at The Princess Theatre on Thursday, July 14, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. National Public Radio (NPR) has been covering Roane County Recovery Court which launched in January of this year and featured several video and audio clips to their listening audience. NPR will emcee this event along with a panel including Senator Ken Yager and others as we celebrate how we are building a stronger community.
Henry Ford was once quoted as saying “Coming together is a beginning….keeping together is progress…working together is success.” Henry Ford understood that there is more to community building than getting organized. You have to bring everyone to the table and talk about change, but in order for change to be accomplished, we have to do something. Mobilizing a community to partner together behind a common cause does not happen easily. It takes work to mobilize and engage people and there is no cookie cutter technique.
In spite of facing an epidemic, you have continued to take tangible, positive steps and have created a network of healthcare awareness, law enforcement agencies, non-profit agencies, social services and those working on the front lines of our faith based community. I would like to extend an invitation for you to participate with us in this celebration.
In an effort to gage how many folks to expect, please RSVP to email@example.com or to register for booth space in the lobby of The Princess Theatre, contact Charlene Hipsher in my office at (865) 376-2145 x. 108 or Mollie Swallows in Kim Nelson’s office at (865) 719-8046. I am looking forward to this event as we take proactive steps to strengthen, inform and unite the citizens and services of Roane County at this special event.
Harriman woman convicted of felony for Easter Sunday theft.
Kingston, Tennessee –
Prosecutors in District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s Criminal Court Division obtained a conviction on July 7, 2016, against a woman charged with theft arising from an incident occurring at Emory Heights Baptist Church in Harriman. After a day-long trial, Cortney LeeAnne Armour, 40, was convicted of Theft of Property between $1,000 and $10,000. Criminal Court Judge Jeff Wicks set the case for sentencing on November 14, 2016.
Click here to read the entire press release...
Rockwood man sentenced to 17 years for Roane County crime spree.
Kingston, Tennessee –
Prosecutors in District Attorney General Russell Johnson’s Criminal Court Division obtained multiple convictions on May 2, 2016, against a man charged in numerous cases with crimes ranging from misdemeanor drug paraphernalia, theft and vandalism counts to felony vandalism, theft and burglary. In a plea agreement announced before Criminal Court Judge Jeff Wicks, Alex Shane Watts, 35, was convicted of 7 counts of felony burglary, 5 counts of felony theft, and 1 count of felony vandalism; he was also convicted of several misdemeanors. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Watts was sentenced to 17 years with the community corrections program. Watts violated the terms of his community corrections supervision within a week and was subsequently arrested on those violations.
Click here to read the entire press release...
Press release May 26, 2016
Loudon County Sex Offender Gets Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison
(Loudon, Tennessee) - District Attorney General Russell Johnson announced that on Wednesday in Loudon County Criminal Court a defendant, Joseph Leslie Slusher (29 year old, W/M) formerly of Hotchkiss Valley Road in Loudon, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual battery, Class B felonies. The case involved Slusher sexually molesting a young male child who was 8 years old at the time of the offenses. The young victim lived in the home of Slusher in Lenoir City during a time frame of October 2012 through October 2013. The abuse was later disclosed to authorities in Arkansas where the victim had moved with his mother.
Click here to read the entire press release
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April 20, 2016
COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADS TO A LENGTHY PRISON SENTENCE FOR RUFUS RAGLAND WHO INJURED LCSO DEPUTY
Background on Ragland incident: On August 22, 2014, a black Chevy Tahoe stolen out of Knox County was reported to be in Loudon County on I-75 Southbound when the vehicle was spotted by LCSO Deputy Craig Brewer. Brewer confirmed it to be the stolen vehicle through the use of the stolen Tahoe’s OnStar system. The OnStar operator communicated with Loudon County dispatch and remotely flashed the vehicle’s lights so Brewer could confirm that it was indeed the stolen vehicle. Click here to read the entire press release
March 31, 2016
The District Attorney's Child Support Enforcement Division recently received results from the State of Tennessee via a Program and Performance Review. During this review a random sample of 125 cases are pulled and screened for timeliness and within standards set by federal and state regulations. Additionally, overall performance is reviewed to ensure the office meets performance standards provided by the State of Tennessee in several areas. District Attorney General Russell Johnson would like to release the summary of this review and announce that his office exceeded requirements in all categories. The District Attorney General contributes the success to the diligent effort of the Child Support staff of 14 that manages a caseload of approximately 4,500 cases. Please click here to read the review in it's entirety.
February 2, 2016
District Attorney General appoints Assistant District Attorney Katherine Parks. Mrs. Parks was appointed to the position of Assistant District Attorney General in the Child Support Enforcement Division.
Criminal Court Judge Jeff Wicks
administers Oath of Office
Russell Johnson discusses realworld problems and solutions regarding drug addiction through the Roane County Recovery Court. For details please go to http://www.knoxnews.com/news/crime-courts/new-roane-county-drug-court-now-in-operation-2d044ead-123f-5411-e053-0100007f399d-370707421.html
Press release in Roane County "Murder for hire case" : Kingston – Roane County Detective Bryan Walker arrested Laura Ann Buckingham (W/F dob 4/21/1986) of 507 West Race Street in Kingston Wednesday evening on a warrant for Criminal Attempt to Commit First Degree Murder. As the warrant alleges ‘Buckingham did attempt to commit the offense of first degree murder….Click here to read the entire press release
Press release: District Attorney General Russell Johnson addresses media on 2/19/16. This is a summary explanation of the review by 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson of an Officer Involved Shooting on December 24, 2015 involving Rockwood City Police... _Click here to read the entire press release
**At the press conference today the question was asked when and under what circumstances was Joshua Scarlett released from UT Regional Hospital. The response was “when our office and the TBI agent contacted UT Hospital several days ago to learn of Joshua Scarlett’s condition we were told that he had been released from the hospital. When asked when and to where he was released we were told they could not give us that information as he had been released at least more than 48 hours ago.” I told the reporters this and that UT Hospital did not tell my office or TBI as the lead agency before releasing Scarlett. We have since learned that UT Hospital did contact the Roane County Sheriff’s Office who told UT that there were no holds or outstanding warrants. Therefore, UT Hospital released Scarlett. Scarlett was indicted on Wednesday and there is an outstanding capias for his arrest on the three felony charges as outlined in our earlier press release.
Follow up to the Boarded Up post:
Today 2/18/16 Assistant District Attorneys Kristin Kelley and Bob Edwards appeared in Loudon County Criminal Court before Judge Jeff Wicks this morning for a scheduled hearing on the temporary injunction that Russell Johnson's District Attorney General's Office obtained last week on a house located in Harrison Hills subdivision in Lenoir City which was the subject of drug activity. In fact, when authorities from the Loudon County Sheriff's office and the 9th DTF went to serve the temporary injunction week an active meth lab was located in the residence. The owner of the residence, Flo Hicks, and her son, Chris Hicks, who is in the Loudon County jail on a $50,000 bond both appeared at the hearing. They agreed on the record to a temporary injunction forbidding anyone from occupying the house, including Chris Hicks. Mrs. Hicks as the owner of the house will be allowed to have specialized meth lab cleaning services performed on the house to decontaminate it. It is believed that Mrs. Hicks will then make efforts to try and sell the property. There is a hearing scheduled on the matter to review the progress of the cleanup on April 11 in Loudon County criminal Court.
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February 12, 2016 Boarded Up! - Russell Johnson's District Attorney General's Office has obtained an Order temporarily boarding up a residence in Harrison Hills that has allegedly been used in drug and other criminal activity. This location was the focus of a recent incident involving a number of people with shots being fired outside the residence, some of which impacted a neighboring house. This location has been the focus of law-enforcement activity involving the Ninth Judicial District Drug Task Force out of General Johnson's office as well as Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider's Narcotics Unit with assistance from the Lenoir City Police Department. This action is the culmination of the combined efforts of all agencies in cooperation with the District Attorney's Office. More to follow as the situation develops over the next few days.
9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson announced that on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 two defendants pled guilty to sexual offenses in Morgan County Criminal Court in front of newly appointed 9th District Criminal Court Judge Jeff Wicks.
James Alsante (40 year old, W/M with an address of 622 Green Street, Wartburg) pled guilty to one count of a violation of the sex offender registry and one count of attempted statutory rape by an authority figure involving a 14 year old W/F. Alsante received a two year sentence which is to be served consecutively to a 4 ½ years sentence that he received in April 2015 for related Click here to read the entire release:
Press release regarding office involved shooting in Loudon County: At approximately 3:30 pm on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 four investigators of the Loudon County Sheriffs’ Office (LCSO) were at a residence located on Grand View Drive in the Martel Estates East subdivision in Loudon County (which subdivision is located off of Martel Road north of Lenoir City). The investigators were there to serve an arrest warrant on a male subject who was known to be living at the residence with his girlfriend. The residence belonged to the girlfriend’s father. Click here to read the entire release:
Press release regarding murder indictment at MCCC: Wartburg, Tennessee – On Monday, September 21, 2015 the Morgan County Grand Jury met and, among other cases, returned an indictment involving a homicide in the Morgan County Correctional Complex, a state prison with approximately 2,400 inmates operated by the Tennessee Department of Corrections. Click here to read the entire release:
Press Release regarding the conviction of Morgan County resident Cody Ryan King for Child Rape and a litany of other sexual offenses involving multiple children: Please visit the link to read an article from the Times Free Press...
Press Release regarding Victim Photo Law: Victim rights advocates, prosecutors and law enforcement officials from across Tennessee today gathered on the steps of the Capitol to celebrate Gov. Bill Haslam’s signing of the Victim Life Photo Bill into law. Click here to read entire press release...
District Attorney General’s Office confirms multiple press inquiries that former Loudon High School Assistant Band Director indicted by Loudon County Grand Jury – Click here to read entire press release...
Former Meigs County Finance Department Employee Indicted by Meigs County Grand Jury
Click here to read entire press release...
Press Release on MCCX Smith stabbing death of Eddie Tattoo Harris
Click here to read entire press release...
Click here to find out more information on the TBI initiative
"IT HAS TO STOP" to combat Human Trafficking.