Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
KCSO Arrests Registered Sex Offender
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office arrested a registered sex offender this week for being on school property and for being in possession of firearms. 74-year-old Wilbur Eugene Grodeman had been under investigation by the KCSO since he had been on the property of Gibbs High School on August 23, 2014. He submitted a classic vehicle in the car show sponsored by Gibbs High School band boosters.
During the investigation, KCSO detectives learned that Grodeman was in possession of several handguns and long guns that he was attempting to sell. (Grodeman is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.) An undercover KCSO detective made contact with Grodeman and purchased two firearms from him. A search warrant was then obtained and executed by the KCSO Sex Offender Enforcement Unit and Narcotics Unit at his home located at 8315 Strawberry Plains Pike around 3:00 p.m. on Monday. Handguns, long guns, and ammunition were found at the residence and seized.
Grodeman was convicted in May 1987 of rape and sexual bettery in Knox County. His victim in that case was a ten-year-old girl.
Grodeman is being held in the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility on a bond of $42,000. He is charged with violation of the sex offender registry law for being on the property of Gibbs High School when minors were present. He is also charged with four counts of unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
Tuesday Morning Fatality Victim Identified
The victim of Tuesday morning’s fatality on I-40 near the on-ramp from Watt Road has been identified. He is 48-year-old Donald Gene Lay, Jr. of Dalton, Georgia. The passenger in the Mirage he was driving was 31-year-old Wally Khaber of Dalton, Georgia. The driver of the flatbed tractor trailer was 30-year-old Justin Hutchison of Statham, Georgia.
West Knox County I-40 Fatality
One person was killed in a two-vehicle wreck Tuesday morning in West Knox County. According to the initial investigation, a 2002 Mitsubishi Mirage traveling eastbound on I-40slammed into the back of a flatbed tractor trailer that, along with other traffic, had stopped in the right-hand lane for a stalled vehicle. The crash happened around 6:30 a.m. just before the on-ramp from Watt Road.
The driver of the Mirage was pronounced dead on the scene by Rural Metro. The passenger in the Mirage was transported to UT Medical Center with serious injuries. The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured.
All were wearing seats at the time of the wreck. It is unknown at this time whether or not drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. Names will be released after relatives have been notified.
West Knox County Crash Sends One to Hospital
One woman is in the hospital following a head-on collision in West Knox County that happened this morning. According to the initial investigation, 18-year-old Madeline Paige Arden of Lenoir City was traveling eastbound on Hickory Creek Road around 10:15 this morning. Her 1996 Honda Accord crossed the center line and struck head-on a dump truck driven by 53-year-old Thomas Hall of Vonore. The dump truck was struck from behind by a Chevy Silverado towing a boat trailer driven by 56-year-old Terry Purdue of Knoxville.
Arden was transported by Rural Metro to UT Medical Center for life-threatening injuries. Neither Hall nor Purdue was injured.
All three drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Alcohol and drugs were not factors. The cause of the crash is under investigation.