News Briefs:

Bluegrass and barbecue to benefit shopping programs
A Bluegrass Benefit and Barbecue will be held from 2 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 2 at the Rocky Branch Community Club. The proceeds benefit Shop with a Cop and the Santa Cop program.

Admission is $8 per plate. Door prizes will be given out each hour. Individuals also can donate new toys at the door for Santa Cop. For information, call Clarence Teffeteller at 865-379-8678 or 865-982-8302, or Jerry and Bernice Kincannon at 865-977-0054.

Man shoots self as officers investigate stolen vehicles
A 20-year-old Rockford man died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound Nov. 27 after deputies responded to his residence to locate a stolen vehicle. According to a Blount County Sheriff’s Office press release, Christopher Lee Watts, 20, Self Hollow Road, Rockford, was dead at the scene.

Deputies responded to Watts’ residence around 8 p.m. Monday after receiving information from the owner of a stolen Mercedes Benz that the onboard GPS tracking device pinpointed the vehicle to the 300 block of Self Hollow Road. Deputies located the vehicle in the carport of Watts’ residence.

Upon arrival, Watts was cooperative and courteous to deputies. While speaking with Watts outside of his residence, Watts said that he had water boiling on the stove. The deputy told Watts that he would check on the water, and for Watts to stay outside. The deputy then entered the residence, and seconds later, Watts followed him inside and ran to a back bedroom.

The deputy followed him, and found Watts searching a shelf in a closet. The deputy commanded Watts to show him his hands. Watts then turned around holding a handgun in his hand and shot himself in the head.

The Mercedes Benz was confirmed stolen. Two other late model vehicles that had been reported stolen out of both Blount and Knox counties were found on the property.

Alleged baby sale case bound over to grand jury
A Blount County judge on Monday, Nov. 27, bound over to a grand jury the case against a 19-year-old Louisville woman who allegedly tried to sell her infant for $2,700 to help her boyfriend.

Judge William Brewer bound the case against Amber Nicole Tackett over to a grand jury in a General Sessions Court hearing Monday. Tackett was charged with illegal payments in connection with the placement of a child and has been held in lieu of $2,500 bond since her arrest earlier this month.

During the hearing, Blount County Sheriff’s training officer Lisa Hoard detailed how she and her husband, special investigator Kelly Hoard, legally adopted Tackett’s child after she was born on Nov. 5, but then Tackett backed out of the adoption, and they gave the child back. On Nov. 13, she contacted the Hoards and asked for $2,500 to get her boyfriend out of jail. After the Hoards spoke with the Sheriff’s Office, the case was turned over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

When the exchange was set up, the teen brought the baby to the Blount County Justice Center, took $2,700 from Kelly Hoard and then officials arrested her.

The current custody status of the child was not released. A grand jury was scheduled to hear the case on Jan. 8.

Church burglary case reset for Dec. 11
The case against a Blount County man charged in connection with burglarizing two churches and shredding Bibles throughout the Rockford community was reset until December.

On Monday, Nov. 27, Blount County General Sessions Judge William Brewer rescheduled the case against 53-year-old Timothy Carl Clark to Dec. 11. Clark is charged with burglary and free in lieu of $60,000 bond pending the Dec. 11 hearing.

Clark is charged in connection with burglaries at Broadway Baptist Church, 2329 E. Broadway Avenue and at New Providence Presbyterian Church, 703 W. Broadway Avenue, both in Maryville. The pieces of Bible pages were found scattered at locations throughout Rockford following the burglaries.

Luncheon planned for Judge D. Kelly Thomas Jr.
A testimonial luncheon will be held in honor of Blount County Circuit Court Judge D. Kelly Thomas’ recent appointment to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Eastern Division.

The event will be at noon, Dec. 8, at Sullivan’s Downtown on West Broadway Avenue in Maryville. The guest speaker will be Justice Gary Wade of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The event is sponsored by the Blount County Democratic Party and the Blount United Community Credit Union.

Contributions are $25 per person with checks made to Blount County Democrats. Reservations deadline is Dec. 5. For information, call Joe Gallagher at 983-4557.

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