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Hawkins Police Blotter: Accused 'squatters' charged with burglary, meth possession

Jeff Bobo • Jun 19, 2020 at 12:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County couple are facing aggravated burglary and drug charges after they were allegedly discovered squatting at a residence near Rogersville.

At about 6 p.m. on June 10, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Daniel DesOrmeaux responded to a reported “break-in in progress” at a residence in the 200 block of Choptack Road. DesOrmeaux met Ethan Shane Murrell, 28, Eidson, and Kristina Aleace Woods, 28, Rogersville, standing on the porch of the residence.

A witness reportedly told DesOrmeaux that Murrell and Woods had been putting items from inside the residence into the 2000 Ford Ranger they were driving, and that Woods had been attempting to straighten the broken back door with a hammer.

DesOrmeaux reportedly observed damage to the back door and lock. In the living room, he found an inflatable bed and other items that the owner stated she hadn’t placed there.

Upon searching the truck, DesOrmeaux allegedly found three glass pipes, two baggies containing meth (.18 grams and .34 grams), a baggy containing an unknown white powder (.52 grams), 17 Clonazepam pills, and 2.5 Suboxone pills.

Murrell and Woods were charged with aggravated burglary, possession of meth, possession of Schedule III narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Accused meth trafficker claimed he has diabetes

William John Couch, 27, Rutledge, was arrested June 6 and charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver, two counts of possession of Schedule III narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was found sleeping in his car in the parking lot of the Dollar General store in Mooresburg.

Deputy William Wilson reportedly found Couch asleep at about 8:30 p.m. in a Chevy Equinox, and observed several syringes on the floorboard and center console of the vehicle. When awakened, Couch reportedly stated he was tired from working all day and that he was diabetic and probably needed to eat.

Couch was reportedly unable to answer basic questions any diabetes patient should know, however. A search of his vehicle allegedly showed Couch to be in possession of 11 syringes, a glass pipe, a digital scale, approximately four grams of meth, a pack of Suboxone strips and several empty small baggies.

Military grave marker reported stolen

Bonnie Burton of Rogersville told the HCSO on June 8 that her father’s military grave marker had been stolen sometime before June 1.

Burton stated that on June 1 she discovered the bronze Veterans Administration-issue grave marker for her father, Charles E. Hensley, had been stolen from the Harrison Cemetery, located off Burem Road southeast of Rogersville.

Burton also stated she didn’t know when it was taken. The monetary value of the grave marker was listed at $200.

Meth hits the ground during traffic stop

Leroy Joseph Underwood Jr., 25, Mooresburg, was arrested on June 10 and charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was spotted by HCSO Cpl. Eric Pease in a vehicle with the interior light on at 1 a.m. in the parking lot of the Campbell Pharmacy in Bulls Gap.

Pease knew Underwood had a pending arrest warrant for probation violation, and although Underwood had pulled away by the time Pease was able to turn around, Pease caught up to him on 11-E and conducted a traffic stop.

When Underwood stepped out of the vehicle, a baggy of meth allegedly fell to the ground. Upon being searched, Underwood was also allegedly found to be in possession of a marijuana pipe and a pill bottle converted into a meth pipe with glass tubes sticking out of it.

Intoxicated man headbutted companions

Adam Douglas Cupp, 33, Eidson, was arrested on June 4 and charged with public intoxication after he was found by HCSO Deputy Mike Allen lying in the front yard of his residence “very intoxicated on vodka.”

Witnesses stated Cupp had been drinking liquor all day and had become belligerent and started head-butting his two companions, one of whom was a 72-year-old man. 

The victims stated they made Cupp leave due to the physical abuse. Allen stated in his report that by the time he arrived on scene, Cupp was unable to walk without help. 

Girlfriend choked to near unconsciousness

Shawn Ray Hunt, 44, of Eidson, was arrested on June 6 and charged with aggravated domestic assault after he allegedly choked his girlfriend to near unconsciousness.

The victim reportedly told HCSO Deputy Will Mullins that she and Hunt had been arguing in the early morning hours over a dirt bike, and that he had been drinking, but when the HCSO was called to the residence he left to stay with family.

The victim stated that at 4 a.m. Hunt kicked in the front door and the bedroom door, chased her out of the home, and wrapped his arm around her neck and choked her until she nearly passed out. Although Hunt denied the attack, Mullins reportedly observed an abrasion on the victim's shoulder that occurred when they fell to the ground.

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