Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Ditch detains a duo of accused burglars

Around 3:30 a.m. July 11, 2016, Deputy James Fox responded to a reported wreck along US Hwy 25 near Town and Country Motors, which is located in the Goldbug community.

Upon arrival, Dep. Fox made contact with two men. A van was stuck in a ditch between the car lot and the highway, and a pickup truck was off stopped ahead of the van.

Visible inside the van was a variety of tools, and the door to the car lot’s office building appeared to have been breached. The owner of the car lot identified the tools as having been stored in the office as property of the business. The truck was also identified as belonging to the car lot.

Ronald Wayne Richardson, 49, of Somerset was arrested and is charged with third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking of an automobile valued between $500 and $10,000, theft by unlawful taking from a building valued between $500 and $10,000 and possession of marijuana. Dep. Fox located the marijuana concealed in the driver seat area.

Donald Steve Phillips, 54, of Nancy, Kentucky, was arrested and is charged with third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking of an automobile valued between $500 and $10,000, theft by unlawful taking from a building valued between $500 and $10,000 and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license.

Richardson and Phillips were each lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Sergeant Kirk Mays and Williamsburg Police Department officers Mike Taylor and Tim Shelley assisted at the scene.

Whitley County man struck by train

Around 7 a.m. July 6, 2016, sheriff deputies were notified that a person had been struck by a train between the Sandy Flats and Saxton communities, approximately eight miles South of Williamsburg.

According to information gathered at the scene, a man was walking along the railroad tracks and failed to move far enough away to prevent being hit by the train.

Stephen C. Lawson, 51, of the Boston community was located over an approximately 60-feet-tall embankment. He was found wearing only socks.

Lawson was transported by Whitley County EMS to the Jellico Community Hospital. He was cited by sheriff deputies for third-degree criminal trespass and public intoxication.

Sergeant Todd Shelley, Sgt. Dave Lennon, Detective John Hill, Whitley Co. Emergency Management Director Danny Moses, South Whitley Volunteer Fire Department and the Williamsburg Fire Department responded.

Tip leads to arrest on multiple warrants

On July 4, 2016, Deputies John Hill and Cody Harrell went to the Woodbine community in an attempt to locate a wanted man.

The sheriff’s department received information that Kevin Dewayne Malone, 30, could be located at a Sutton Mill Road residence. Records indicated that Malone had warrants for his arrest stemming from Whitley and Knox County cases.

Malone was located inside the residence under a bed. He was taken into custody and lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.

A Knox County indictment warrant lists the following charges: second-degree burglary, violation of an emergency protection or domestic violence order and second-degree persistent felony offender (“PFO”).

A Whitley County indictment warrant lists the following charges: first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (meth), first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine), trafficking in marijuana (less than eight ounces) and second-degree persistent felony offender.

Records also showed an active arrest warrant for Malone on the charge of third-degree escape.

Wreck shuts down I-75

Around 11 a.m. July 1, 2016, sheriff deputies were dispatched to a single vehicle wreck between I-75’s mile points 12 and 13 near Williamsburg. Upon arrival, a black Pontiac was located on its top in the median.
The driver, Amanda R. Widener, 27, of Williamsburg was travelling northbound and swerved to avoid a tire that had come off of a commercial vehicle. Widener’s vehicle crossed the median, overturned and came to rest atop the cable barrier along the southbound side of I-75.
Widener was the vehicle’s only occupant. She was wearing a seatbelt and had to be extricated from the vehicle by members of the Williamsburg Fire Department and Goldbug Fire Department. Whitley County EMS and Kentucky Commercial Vehicle Enforcement also responded to the scene.
All four lanes of I-75 were shut down so Air Evac could land a helicopter on the interstate. Widener was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. As of 4 p.m. hospital staff reported that Widener was in stable condition.
Please join the sheriff’s department by keeping her in your thoughts or prayers. Also, the sheriff’s department appreciates everybody who helped spread the word about today’s closure and congestion of I-75.