Criminal Justice & Policing

Planned Parenthood clinic

Unsealed documents identify man behind arson, shooting at Knoxville Planned Parenthood

BY: - October 31, 2022

Two weeks after traveling to the U.S. Capitol to participate in the Jan. 6 insurrection, a Tennessee man fired into the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic under construction in Knoxville. Less than a year later, he burned the clinic down. Federal court documents unsealed Monday identify Mark Thomas Reno as the man authorities say […]

Photo from Knox County Sheriff's Office

Indicted former Knox County Sheriff’s chief no longer mentally competent for trial, lawyer says

BY: - October 31, 2022

A former chief of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office accused of using the agency’s drug fund and a county credit card as a piggy bank and on-duty subordinates as a private construction crew is no longer mentally competent enough to stand trial, his attorney says. Attorney Robert Kurtz says in a recent motion that David […]

(Getty Images)

Grainger County settles suit over “sex shows” in jail

BY: - October 28, 2022

Grainger County taxpayers will be shelling out $110,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging a former corrections officer forced female inmates to put on “sex shows” that he viewed from atop milk crates in a control room as he masturbated, records show. Attorneys for Candace McGhee, Chasity Bailey and Wendy Brown have filed notice in U.S. […]

Sign at the entrance to the John S. Wilder Youth Development Center. Reports have chronicled instances of verbal, physical and sexual assault of juveniles housed at the facility. (Photo: Google Earth)

Tennessee DCS commissioner tells lawmakers lack of staff contributes to juvenile housing shortage

BY: - October 25, 2022

Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday continued their review of the Department of Children’s Services, where resources have been stretched to the breaking point, and children are sleeping on office floors or languishing in juvenile detention centers because there are no other places to put them. “We are kind of full up on our bed situation, so […]

Evelyn Boswell. (Photo: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

As trial looms, accused child killer Boswell fires her attorney

BY: - October 21, 2022

With her trial looming, a Sullivan County teenaged mom accused of stuffing her 15-month-old daughter inside a trash can where she smothered to death has fired her court-appointed attorney. Sullivan County Criminal Court Judge James Goodwin on Friday allowed Megan Boswell’s current attorney to withdraw from her case and appointed a new attorney. The move […]

(Photo: Johnson City Police Facebook)

Johnson City top cop admits officers were aware of sexual assault claims against businessman

BY: - October 19, 2022

Johnson City’s police chief is admitting in court records that his agency knew a downtown business owner was suspected of plying women with drugs and sexually assaulting them but never sought to question him about it — even after a distraught woman told officers she had just been raped by him. Despite that admission, Johnson […]

A police car blocks entrance to the Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River in Memphis after a substantial crack was found in it May 11. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Shelby County Commission approves 5-year safety plan

BY: - October 18, 2022

The Shelby County Commission on Monday approved a five-year plan to increase public safety and tackle the surge of violent crime in Memphis this year.  Memphis recently attracted nationwide attention after the murder of kindergarten teacher Eliza Fletcher by alleged killer Cleotha Henderson and the shooting spree of 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly within a span of […]

Southeastern Provision slaughterhouse in Grainger County. (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

$1.2M settlement reached in feds’ slaughterhouse raid targeting Grainger Co. immigrant workers

BY: - October 13, 2022

A $1.175 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit over federal agents’ treatment of Latino workers at a Grainger County slaughterhouse, court records show. The proposed settlement agreement was filed late Wednesday in U.S. District Court. It still requires approval from U.S. District Judge Travis McDonough. According to the settlement, the seven Latino workers […]

Memphis City Hall (Photo: City of Memphis Community Affairs page, Facebook)

Memphis hospital declines participation in city’s violence intervention program

BY: - October 12, 2022

An intervention program aimed at curbing violence in Memphis by speaking to shooting victims and their families encountered resistance from one of Memphis’ largest hospitals, prompting city officials to intervene.  On Tuesday, Memphis City Council members voted to pass a resolution requesting the Shelby County government help facilitate an agreement between Regional One Health Hospital […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Gucci bags, crypto & Vegas vacations: COVID relief scams land public employees in legal trouble

BY: - October 7, 2022

Rhea County’s longest serving executive is headed to federal prison for fraudulently obtaining more than $650,000 in government COVID relief funding and using the cash to buy cryptocurrency. U.S. District Judge Charles Atchley Jr. on Thursday sentenced former Rhea County Executive George Thacker, 59, to 33 months in federal prison for wire fraud. Thacker served […]


Stockard on the Stump: Release inmates with more than just 30 days of meds

BY: - October 7, 2022

State lawmakers serving on a new committee studying Tennessee’s prison release policy are running into a harsh reality: Rehabilitating violent prisoners isn’t easy or cheap. Cleotha Abston Henderson, who is charged with raping and murdering Memphis kindergarten teacher Eliza Fletcher, committed his first major crime when he was 16, kidnapping and robbing attorney Kemper Durand. […]

Evidence collection kit. (Photo: Getty Images)

Shelby County officials urge more funding for TBI to speed up sexual assault kit testing

BY: - October 6, 2022

Shelby County commissioners urged the Tennessee General Assembly to prioritize clearing the state’s backlog of rape kits on Wednesday. The Shelby County Legislative Affairs Committee unanimously passed a joint resolution of the Shelby County Commission and the Memphis City Council requesting increased funding to staff the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  After the kidnapping and killing […]