Church Hill woman accused of kidnapping, beating robbing son's friend

Jeff Bobo • Dec 20, 2019 at 8:30 PM

CHURCH HILL – A Hawkins County mom accused of beating, robbing and tying up a young woman her 17-year-old son brought home in October, was arrested Thursday morning by Church Hill police after two months on the run.

Sandy Gayle Garland, 49, 132 Pine Street, Church Hill, is facing multiple serious felonies including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. The kidnapping and robbery charges are both Class B felonies punishable by 8-12 years in jail if found guilty.

Church Hill Police Department Chief Chad Mosley told the Times News that Garland had been on the run since the alleged crimes took place on Oct. 13. Thursday morning, his department received a tip regarding Garland’s whereabouts and she was arrested.

“No one would ever find her”

The victim, who Mosley said is a woman either 18 or 19 years of age, had exchanged social media messages with Garland's 17-year-old son before the two met in person in Kingsport.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 13, the son reportedly brought the victim to his home at 132 Pine Street, where Garland and another female accomplice allegedly beat and robbed the girl, and at one point tied her up with rope and stated “no one would ever find her.”

The victim told police that eventually the victim was able to free herself from the rope. Garland and the other female accomplice, who was identified only as “Erika” then allegedly threw her outside and beat her again before she made it to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

By the time CHPD Officer Chad Gillenwater arrived everyone at 132 Pine Street had left.

Garland was later identified by the victim in a photo lineup as her assailant.

A second suspect still at large 

According to Garland's arrest warrant, which was filed by Gillenwater, Garland and Erika were angry that the son had brought the victim to their house.

Police believe Erika is a friend of the son, and an arrest warrant has been issued for her as well, but she is still at large. Mosley said he is not ready at this time to identify Erika, but he said he has spoken with Erika on the phone and she knows she is wanted.

The victim stated that shortly after her arrival Garland and Erika began assaulting her by punching and slapping her several times, and made the statement that the victim had made a mistake by coming to that house.

The victim told police that Garland and Erika then restrained the victim with rope around her hands, and began making statements about killing her and sexually assaulting her.

“Forced her to beg for her shirt and keys”

Erika and Garland then allegedly directed the son to go through the victim's purse and take her car keys, phone and $200 in cash.

The victim also told police that Erika directed the son to remove the victim's hoodie sweatshirt for Erika to keep.

“The victim stated that Garland and 'Erika' were making statements to her that nobody would ever find her, and forced her to beg for her shirt and keys back before eventually giving her back the items,” Gillenwater stated in the warrant. “The victim said (Garland and Erika) physically threw her out the door of the home,and once outside she was again struck in the face by Garland before leaving the residence in her vehicle, and driving to a neighbor for help.”

“No attempt to conceal (narcotic) activity”

On Oct. 15, the CHPD executed a search warrant at 132 Pine Street where they allegedly seized numerous items of drug paraphernalia left in plain view on the nightstands of two bedrooms.

No one was home at the time of the search.

CHPD Detective Kevin Grigsby stated in his report that among the items seized were marijuana pipes, glass pipes with white powder residue, a grinder scales and empty baggies. A small amount of marijuana was also located in a safe in a bedroom along with the birth certificates of Garlands two sons ages 17 and 18.

“While conducting a search of the home it was obvious that narcotic use appeared to be occurring frequently by the occupants, and there was no attempt to conceal this activity,” Grigsby stated in his report.

Mosley said the 17-year-old son was being detained at the regional juvenile detention center in Johnson City, although information about the charges against him was not available.

As for Garland, in addition to aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault, she was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of marijuana, and maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are used, sold or stored.

Garland was being held in the Hawkins County Jail with no bond set pending arraignment set for Monday in Sessions Court.