TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 28, 2013

Knox woman indicted for murder

Also faces three separate charges of first-degree assault following crash

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A 35-year-old Flat Lick woman was indicted on a murder charge Friday in Knox County Circuit Court.

Melissa A. Collett, of Flat Lick, received a five-count indictment from Judge Gregory Lay in connection with a car crash that killed 11-year-old Nathaniel “Nathan” Lee Broughton just over a year ago on May 21, 2012.

The first count indicts her for murder after she allegedly was driving a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, then crashed that vehicle, killing Broughton.

Counts two through four indict her on three separate charges of first-degree assault after allegedly causing the crash and seriously injuring Dominique Broughton and two other young children.

The fifth count indicts Collett for her third offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. She was previously convicted of this offense on two separate occasions in 2007 in Bell County.

Several others were indicted Friday by the Knox County grand jury. An indictment is a formal charge by a grand jury and not a conviction or admission of guilt.

Those indicted and their charges include:

— Harvey Cain, 28, of Artemus, and Amy Cain, AKA Amy Henson, 23, of Trosper, were both named on a two-count indictment Friday. The first count indicts Amy Cain for second-degree robbery after she allegedly used physical force on Tiffany Chadwell while committing a theft from Family Dollar on May 19. The second count indicts Harvey Cain for second-degree criminal facilitation to commit robbery after allegedly assisting Amy Cain in robbing the Family Dollar. Harvey Cain remains jailed at the Knox County Detention Center under a $5,000 cash bond.

— James Jones, 35, of Tyner, was indicted for flagrant non support for allegedly failing to make court-ordered payments to his two children creating an arrearage of $1,000 or more. This allegedly occurred from February 2008 to the date of the indictment.

— Benjamin Epperson, 30, of Middlesboro, received a three-count indictment Friday for charges incurred April 12. The first count indicts him for his first offense of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance after allegedly having in his possession 20 or more doses of Suboxone to sell. The second count also indicts him for his first offense of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance after allegedly having in his possession 20 or more doses of hydrocodone to sell. The third count on his indictment charges him with his first offense of possession of a controlled substance not in the original container.

Barbourville Police Detective Steve Owens said Epperson was arrested April 13 after he was detained by Walmart security for allegedly attempting to steal items from the store. After speaking with employees and Epperson himself, officers learned Epperson had taken two Suboxone strips while being led from the shopping area.

Owens said after he was arrested, officers questioned Epperson and subsequently uncovered a supply of more than 30 Suboxone strips and approximately $4,000 in cash.

While in Walmart, Epperson spent more than $400 before attempting to shoplift the other items, according to Owens.

Officers searched Epperson’s vehicle and found more than 70 hydrocodone pills hidden in a plastic box inside the passenger compartment, Owens said.

— Johnny Ray Jordan, 24, of Barbourville, Anthony Hubbard, 19, of Flat Lick, and Tommy Hubbard, 42, of Barbourville, were all three named on a four-count indictment Friday.

On the first count, both Hubbards were indicted for theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000 after allegedly taking a Craftsman riding lawn mower owned by Larry Carnes on April 23.

The second count indicts Jordan for receiving stolen property valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000 after allegedly receiving and possessing the lawn mower on April 24.

The third count indicts all three for obscuring the identity of a machine valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000 after allegedly removing or defacing the manufacturer’s serial number of that same lawn mower on April 25.

Tommy Hubbard was listed on the fourth count and was indicted for second-degree persistent felony offender after his 2006 conviction in Bell County for fraudulent use of a credit card more than $100 and within a six-month period. He was sentenced to four years for that crime.

Judge Lay issued arrest warrants Friday for both Hubbards — Jordan, who appeared in court Friday, remains jailed in the Knox County Detention Center under a $10,000 cash bond.

— Jaime Harris, AKA Jamie Harris, Jamie Shelton, Jamie Lyttle, 35, of Flat Lick, was indicted for theft of a firearm after allegedly taking a firearm owned by Pansy Reichard on May 5. According to Knox County Sheriff John Pickard, Deputy Adam Townsley was dispatched to Lick Branch Road to investigate a theft.

When Townsley arrived, Reichard said Harris came to her residence requesting to spend the night, as Harris allegedly told Reichard she had been assaulted and feared for her life.

Reichard told the deputy she allowed Harris to spend the night while she went to work. When she arrived home, Townsley was told Harris was gone and so was her pistol.

Pickard explained when Townsley spoke with Harris about the alleged theft, Harris admitted to stealing the gun, and selling the gun, which was later recovered.

— James Merida, 33, of Flat Lick, was handed a three-count indictment Friday. The first count indicts Merida for his first offense of manufacturing methamphetamine after allegedly having in his possession chemicals and/or equipment used in the manufacture of meth on March 21. The second count indicts him for possession of marijuana. The third count indicts him for first-degree persistent felony offender after several previous convictions. In December 2005 he was convicted in Whitley County for second-degree escape and received a one-year sentence. In October 2005 he was convicted for second-degree burglary in Knox County and received a 9-year sentence. In October 2002, he was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument in Knox County and sentenced to three years enhanced to five, as he was considered a second-degree persistent felony offender then. Also in December 2001, he was convicted of theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $300 and received a five-year sentence for that.

— Freddie Gregory, 56, of Woodbine, received a three-count indictment for charges incurred April 19. The first count indicts him for first-degree wanton endangerment after allegedly “wantonly…engaging in conduct which created a danger of death or serious physical injury to Barbra Goodrid.” The second count indicts him for tampering with physical evidence. The third count indicts him for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, as he was convicted in 1996 in Floyd County, Ind. for dealing in marijuana, hash oil and hashish, for which he was sentenced to one year and 10 months.

— Natasha Bargo, 26, of Barbourville, was indicted for theft of identity of another without consent after allegedly using the personal identification information of Kimberly Smith on March 20.

— Tommy Hopkins, 30, of Lily, was indicted for his first offense of manufacturing methamphetamine after allegedly having in his possession chemicals and/or equipment used in the manufacture of meth on Jan. 4.  Hopkins was jailed Friday at the Knox County Detention Center and remains there under a $10,000 cash bond.

— Lee Jackson, 51, of Flat Lick, was handed a three-count indictment in court Friday for charges incurred Feb. 14. The first count indicts Jackson for third-degree burglary for allegedly entering a rental property owned by Cleveland Napier with the intent to commit a crime. The second count indicts Jackson for theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $10,000 after allegedly stealing a washer, dryer, refrigerator, gas furnace, air conditioner and other items owned by Napier. The third count indicts Jackson for first-degree criminal mischief after allegedly damaging both the rental property and other items causing more than $1,000 in damage.

— Jason Gray, 23, of Barbourville, received a two-count indictment for charges incurred April 18. The first count indicts him for theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000 after allegedly stealing money from Fern Smith. The second count indicts him for his first offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants.

— Tonya Hill, AKA Tonya Gregory, 36, of Manchester, received a nine-count indictment Friday for charges incurred March 2. Count I indicts her for tampering with physical evidence after allegedly destroying evidence which could have been used in an official court proceeding. The second count indicts her with reckless driving. The third count charges her with failure to signal. The fourth count indicts her for her second offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants after her conviction on her first offense on Sept. 24 in Laurel County. The fifth count indicts her for second-degree possession of a controlled substance after allegedly having in her possession a quantity of hydrocodone. The sixth count indicts her for third-degree possession of a controlled substance after allegedly possessing a quantity of Alprazolam. The seventh count indicts Hill for her first offense of driving a motor vehicle while license is suspended or revoked. The eighth count on her indictment charges her with failure to use a child restraint. The ninth count indicts her for possession of drug paraphernalia.

— Russell Roark, 45, of Cannon, received a five-count indictment Friday for charges incurred March 18. The first count indicts Roark for first-degree promoting contraband after allegedly bringing Alprazolam into the Knox County Detention Center. The second count indicts Roark for tampering with physical evidence. Count III indicts him for third-degree terroristic threatening after allegedly threatening to kill or injure an unnamed person. The fourth count indicts Roark for menacing “by (allegedly) intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.” The fifth count indicts him for being a first-degree persistent felony offender after several previous convictions in Knox County. Roark was convicted in 2010 for his fourth offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants and first-degree fleeing or evading the police and was sentenced to five years for each count. He was convicted in 2001 of his third offense of driving a motor vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked and received a three-year sentence for that crime. He was also convicted in 1994 of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants and was sentenced to four years. His first listed conviction came in 1990, where he received a one and a half year sentence for third-degree burglary.

— Ford Collett, Jr., 53, of Barbourville, received a three-count indictment for charges incurred July 10, 2012. The first count indicts Collett for receiving stolen property valued at more than $10,000 after allegedly receiving and possessing a coal trailer reported stolen from Rodney Lawson. The second count indicts him for obscuring the identity of a machine valued at more than $10,000 after allegedly removing or defacing the serial number of the trailer. The third count indicts Collett for receiving stolen property valued at more than $10,000 after allegedly receiving and possessing a backhoe reported stolen from K&K Contracting.

— Roger M. Fuson, 38, of Ingram, received a five-count indictment for charges incurred on Dec. 31. The first count indicts him for first-degree promoting contraband after allegedly bringing hydrocodone into the Knox County Detention Center. The second count indicts him for his first offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. The third count indicts Fuson for second-degree possession of a controlled substance after allegedly possessing a quantity of hydrocodone. Count IV indicts him for failure to wear a seat belt. Count V indicts him for not having his rear license plate illuminated.

— Brett Barrett, 29, Christopher Scott, 24, both of the same address in Barbourville, were named on a four-count indictment for charges incurred April 29. The first count charges the pair with third-degree burglary after allegedly entering a garage owned by Jerry Baker with the intent to commit a crime. The second count indicts both men for theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000 after allegedly stealing car batteries, alternators, stereos and other items owned by Baker. The third count charges Scott and Barrett with third-degree criminal mischief after allegedly damaging a Jeep Cherokee owned by Baker causing less than $500 in pecuniary loss. The fourth count indicts Barrett for second-degree persistent felony offender after his 2010 conviction in Knox County for trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and his second offense of possession of drug paraphernalia. For those charges he was sentenced to three years for each count to be served concurrently. Barrett remains jailed at the Knox County Detention Center under a $10,000 cash bond.

— Carmon Yates, AKA Carmen Yates, 36, of Gray, was handed a three-count indictment for charges incurred April 19. The first count indicts him for second-degree burglary after allegedly entering the residence of Joe Sturdivant with the intent to commit a crime. The second count charges him with theft by unlawful taking property valued at less than $500 after allegedly stealing a Motorola cell phone, tobacco and cold medicine from Sturdivant. The third count indicts Yates for first-degree persistent felony offender after three previous convictions. He was convicted in Boyle Circuit Court in 2005 for two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card over $100 within a six-month period and was sentenced to one year for each count served concurrently. In September 2006 in Mercer Circuit Court, he was convicted on two separate cases — one case he was convicted of second-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief for which he was sentenced to five years for each charge. In the other case he was convicted of receiving stolen property valued at more than $300, for which he received two years. According to Knox County Sheriff John Pickard, Yates was arrested April 19 after Deputy Brian Hensley investigated the burglary. Upon investigation Hensley found Yates, who Pickard said was identified by the victims after allegedly entering their residence through the kitchen window.

Yates denied breaking into the residence, saying he had only been visiting, Pickard said, however, Yates allegedly admitted to Hensley that he stole several items from the victim’s home.

Pickard said Yates then stated to Hensley guilt led him to return the items, and had asked the victims not to call the police.

He remains jailed at the Knox County Detention Center.

— Jason Barton, 29, of Gray, and Angela Day, AKA Angela Middleton, 32, of Corbin, were both named on a three-count indictment Friday for charges incurred April 13. The first count indicts the duo for theft by unlawful taking property valued at more than $500 but less than $10,000 after allegedly stealing a purse, credential wallet and other items from Rebecca Shoen and John Balenovich. The second count indicts them for tampering with physical evidence. The third count indicts Barton for second-degree persistent felony offender after his 2003 conviction in Knox Circuit Court for second-degree robbery, to which he was sentenced 10 years.

— Herman Smith, 28, of Girdler, received a four-count indictment for charges incurred Jan. 6. The first count indicts him for first-degree promoting contraband after allegedly bringing Diazepam into the Knox County Detention Center. The second count indicts him for third-degree possession of a controlled substance after allegedly possessing a quantity of Diazepam. The third count indicts Smith for possession of drug paraphernalia. The fourth count indicts him for possession of marijuana.

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