Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
Mother and Boyfriend Arrested in Abuse Case
A case that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Family Crisis Unit has been investigating for nearly two years resulted in two arrests Thursday morning. Laurel Harmon, 26, and her boyfriend Robin Mayes, 27, were arrested Thursday morning at their residence in Harriman. They were both charged with aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect and are in jail, each under a $300,000 bond.
A Knox County grand jury returned the indictments against the pair. The case goes back to January 2012 when Harmon and her son lived in Knox County with Mayes and involves the abuse of Harmon’s son, who was two years old at the time. He is now in foster care. The Family Crisis Unit is continuing the investigation. The two mug shots are not current. Harmon's is from 9/21/12 and Mayes' is from 11/18/12.
Former Halls Middle School Teaching Assistant Arrested
A former teaching assistant for special education at Halls Middle School has been charged with four counts of child abuse and two counts of assault. Rebecca Shoemaker, 53, is in the Knox County Jail under a $5,000 bond. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office Family Crisis Unit conducted a joint investigation with a special investigative unit of the Department of Children’s Services. She was arrested at her home in North Knox County Thursday morning after a Knox County grand jury issued the indictments.
Strip Mall Businesses Burglarized
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is investigating three business burglaries in an Oak Ridge Highway strip mall and a burglary in a nearby market. Officers responded Tuesday morning to 8917 Oak Ridge Highway where they found the doors to Little Nicky’s Pizza, Junk Drunk, and D&B Hotdog and Ice Cream had been busted in. The owner of Little Nicky’s said a handgun, cell phone and change from the register was missing. The owner of Junk Drunk said a desk had been forcibly opened, but nothing was missing from his store. The owner of the hotdog place said change from the cash register was missing.
Detectives believe the burglary of Lee’s Food Mart at 8929 Oak Ridge Highway also on Tuesday morning may be related. Officers responded to the business when an alarm went off. They found glass from the front door broken, but the door still locked. Video showed the suspect using a crowbar to break the glass and then pry open two cash registers. Money and cigarettes were missing from the store.
Jefferson County Man Charged with Kidnapping
A kidnapping victim was able to alert 911 on her cell phone as her kidnapper drove her and his 12 year old daughter around Knox County in his car. Officers with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office pulled the suspect over Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 at the intersection of National Drive and Governor John Sevier Highway.
According to the incident report, Sheena Cronan, 28, said she was involved in a physical altercation with her boyfriend John Matthew Bailey, 33, at their residence in Jefferson County. Bailey told her he would take her to work, but instead drove to Knoxville and refused to let her go after she told him she would report the incident. She stated she was in fear for her safety and was able to dial 911 and lay the phone inside the door panel with an open line. The KCSO Family Crisis Unit responded and arrested Bailey for kidnapping.
Bailey is being held in the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility with a $20,000 bond. He has a criminal history in Knox County of forgery and identity theft.