Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Armed robbery, theft arrest

Around 5:30 a.m. August 28, 2016, Deputy Brian Hensley responded to a suspicious person complaint near the High Top boat ramp parking area.

Dep. Hensley made contact with Isiah C. Canada, 29, of the Woodbine community. Canada initially claimed ownership of a vehicle that was determined to not belong to him. While continuing the investigation, Dep. Hensley was approached by a man who said he had been robbed at knife point.

The victim provided a physical description that matched Canada’s appearance. The victim also described items taken from him, including a cell phone, keys and his shoes. Fuses were also removed from the vehicle’s fuse box. Dep. Hensley found some of those items in Canada’s possession, including fuses.

As the investigation continued, a man told Dep. Hensley that his vehicle had been broken into and items were missing. One of the items was also determined to be in Canada’s possession. Also missing from the vehicle was the car’s battery, and a battery was located along the road.

Dep. Hensley was at the location for approximately four hours, and during that time a third person reported her vehicle had been broken into. Among the items missing were a cell phone and jewelry. Dep. Hensley found items matching the victim’s description in Canada’s possession.

Dep. Hensley also saw in the area a van with damage to the steering column consistent with attempted theft.

In Canada’s possession was a knife and a .25 caliber handgun.

Canada was arrested and is charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon, tampering with physical evidence, attempted theft by unlawful taking of an automobile, first-degree criminal mischief, receiving stolen property under $500, and theft by unlawful taking of auto parts.

At this time, four vehicles were known to have been damaged. However, more damage and thefts could have occurred. Anybody with information or who had property damaged or stolen at or near the High Top boat ramp between August 27 and August 28, 2016 is asked to contact Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017.

Dep. Hensley is continuing the investigation. He was assisted by Dep. Joe Prewitt and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Officer Tom Land.

Deputy talks armed teenager out of tree

After three hours, a tense situation involving an armed and reportedly suicidal 17-year-old female ended without injuries.

Around 7 p.m. Saturday, August 27, 2016, Whitley County E911 received information that a teenage girl had left a residence armed and intended to harm herself.

Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses and several Williamsburg Police Officers first found the female in a tree stand in the Savoy community.

Deputy James Fox arrived and was transferred command of the scene. The girl reportedly had a .32 caliber handgun and knives in her possession. Dep. Fox went to the girl and from the ground spoke to her for approximately two hours.

Risking his own safety, Dep. Fox stayed near the tree stand, built a rapport with the teenager and kept her calm. She eventually descended from the tree stand but had in her possession a large hunting-style knife. When she tried to return to the tree stand, Dep. Fox deployed his Taser, disarmed her and brought the incident to an end without injury to the teenager or any first responders. No firearm was found, but multiple knives and brass knuckles were located.

Sheriff Colan Harrell was at the scene and commends Dep. Fox for his calmness and compassion during the tense situation.

The sheriff’s department would also like to thank Williamsburg Police Department Sergeant Brandon White and officers David Rowe and Elijah Hunter; Kentucky State Police Sgt. Les Moses and Trooper Matt Ridner; Whitley Co. Emergency Management Director Danny Moses; members of Whitley County EMS; and Whitley Co. E911 dispatchers for their assistance.

“Barn Burner” extinguished

On August 20, 2016, an event involving underage drinking with an estimated 300 participants was broken up following tips to the sheriff’s department. Tips alleged that underage drinking was being allowed at a farm located off Cripple Creek Road. Deputy James Fox was patrolling along US Hwy 25 and observed a high amount of traffic heading in the direction of that location.

Dep. Fox requested the assistance of deputies Jonas Saunders, Brian Hensley and CSO Ray Salas. Dep. Fox contacted Kentucky State Police and received assistance from three State Troopers and Williamsburg Police Officer Cody Jeffries.

Upon arrival, officers encountered a crowd of approximately 300 persons. Many were underage, intoxicated and were from multiple counties.

In the crowd was Douglas Monroe Jones, 51, of Cripple Creek. Dep. Fox arrested Douglas Jones for counts of unlawful transaction with a minor and alcohol intoxication in a public place.

Dep. Hensley arrested 19-year-old Dustin White for alcohol intoxication in a public place and second-degree disorderly conduct after White refused to comply with law enforcement commands.

Jail records indicate State Trooper Jeremy Elliott arrested 22-year-old Tyler A. Jones for resisting arrest, second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing and alcohol intoxication in a public place.

No drugs were located. Those allowed to leave the location passed portable breath tests and field sobriety tests. Officers also had to contact parents of the minors. The sheriff’s department is continuing an investigation.

“Some of these kids at this self-described ‘Barn Burner’ were from as far away as Somerset. I hate to think of what may have happened if this party wasn’t interrupted. So many things could have gone bad and potentially ruined or ended a life. The department appreciates being made aware of this location’s reputation. Tips are very beneficial and we welcome them.” -Sheriff Colan J. Harrell

Wreck results in one death

The sheriff’s department regrets to confirm that one person has died as result of a July 31, 2016 wreck, which occurred at the intersection of Hwy 204 and US Hwy 25.

The sheriff’s department continued contact with University of Tennessee Medical Center and received notice around 6:30 p.m. August 4 that Russell Mays, born in 1982, of East Bernstadt, succumbed to injuries sustained during the wreck.

Seven people were injured in the wreck. Russell Mays was one of three people airlifted to the UT Medical Center for treatment.

Deputy Jonas Saunders is continuing the investigation.