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September 2014 Officers of the Month

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office congratulates September Officers of the Month, Nina Hummel and D’Brian Varnado.

On September 6th, Officer Varnado initiated a traffic stop for a traffic violation. The driver was operating a friend’s vehicle and did not have a driver’s license in possession. Officer Varnado found that his license had been revoeked for DUI in 2011. The suspect was taken into custody. Officer Hummel found a large amount of cash on the suspect and while inventorying the vehicle, found marijuana, an electronic scale, a glass smoking pipe, a plastic cup used to weight marijuana, a grinder, a large amount of plastic baggies, a small notebook with names and monetary values for each person, and brownies containing marijuana. The vehicle’s owner arrived on the scene and was taken into custody for driving while privilege suspended. Officer seized the vehicle and $595 in cash. The total amount of marijuana recovered weighed 169.3 grams and the brownies weighed 597.2 grams.

The driver was charged with manufacture, delivery, and sale of a schedule VI drug, driving on a revoked license for DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, no car insurance, and an equipment violation. The owner of the vehicle was issued a misdemeanor citation for driving on a suspended driver’s license.

Officer Hummel has been with the KCSO since April 2010. Officer Varnado has been with the KCSO since January 2012.

Officer Nina Hummel Officer D’Brian Varnado



Three in Custody Following East Knox County Shooting

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Knox County Sheriff's Office arrested three people in connection with a Saturday night shooting in East Knox County. Officers arrived at 5102 Carter Road around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night in response to reports of gunshots fired. Officers located 41-year-old Eric Stevens, who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the initial investigation, the shooting happened in the driveway of 5005 Brown Gap Road after a juvenile suspect initially contacted the victim (at the request of one of the other suspects) to meet under the false pretense of obtaining a tattoo. The suspects confronted Stevens and struck him in the head with a closed fist and with the handle of a handgun. Stevens was then shot twice. As the victim was running away, one suspect attempted to shoot the victim a third time, but the weapon malfunctioned. All suspects fled in a Chrysler Sebring convertible with some of Steven's property.

An investigation by detectives of KCSO's Major Crimes Unit and Special Investigations Unit produced descriptions of four suspects, including one juvenile, and the getaway vehicle. Officers located the Sebring just before 1:00 a.m. on Sunday and stopped it at 9905 South Northshore Drive. Three adults were taken into custody. A handgun was recovered from the Sebring by KCSO's Forensic Services Unit. The victim's stolen property was recovered in a wooded area adjacent to the Walbrook Studio Apartments.

Stevens required trauma treatment at UT Medical Center and is currently in stable condition. 21-year-old Tonia Fritz Chaney, 20-year-old Raymond Lee Pryor, and 21-year-old Arzell Artavie Harmon are being held in the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility. Chaney is charged with attempted first degree murder (facilitation/criminal responsibility), theft, and tampering with evidence with a total bond amount of $102,000. Pryor is charged with attempted first degree murder (facilitation/criminal responsibility), theft, and tampering with evidence with a total bond amount of $101, 000. Harmon is charged with attempted first degree murder, theft, and tampering with evidence with a total bond amount of $120,000.



Driver Found Shot Suffered from Self-inflicted Gunshot Wound

Friday, 17 October 2014
The Knox County Sheriff's Office has determined that the man found shot inside a crashed vehicle on Wednesday suffered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 32-year-old Sammy Pinion, Jr. was found shot in an orange 1992 Ford Ranger on Wednesday when officers responded to a single-vehicle crash on Miller Road at Andersonville Pike. He was transported to UT Medical Center.



Detention Facility and Jail Meet Mandatory Standards with Excellent Scores

Friday, 17 October 2014

A team from the American Correctional Association has spent the last three days touring and grading the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility and the Knox County Jail for accreditation. Friday morning at the close-out meeting they announced that the jail met all 46 mandatory standards.  This is the first time in the 35 year history of the jail that accreditation has been pursued.   Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones told the audit team how proud of the correctional division he is and how hard they work.  The jail has met the audit team’s expectation, but will not be accredited until the ACA Board of Commissioners meets in February.

The Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility also received a score of 100% by meeting all 60 of the mandatory requirements.  Some of those requirements include fire safety, health care, and the quality of life for staff and inmates.  Just one of the 323 non-mandatory standards was not met and that was the pay parity between correctional officers and patrol officers.

Nancy Dobbs, chairperson of the audit committee and team member, Charles Crosby, praised the staff at both facilities, citing how knowledgeable and helpful everyone was.  They also talked about the pride the staff has in their jobs.  Chief Rodney

Chief Biven and Sheriff Jones Sgt. Therese Wilson, Lt. Judy Lett, Charles Crosby KCJ

Bivens, who is Director of Corrections, called this one of his proudest days and commended the staff for working tirelessly to “make us better.”  “The ACA audit required us to do best practices from across the country,” he said.  He called getting the jail accredited a new stepping stone and that he would put KCSO correctional facilities against any in the United States.





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