Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Complaint leads to DUI, drug possession arrests

Around 6:50 p.m. December 28, 2016, Whitley County E911 received a complaint that a white Ford pickup truck had wrecked into a ditch along Lot Mud Creek Road. While Deputy James Tabor was responding, the truck exited the ditch and was reportedly traveling in the direction of Doc Siler Rd.

While on Doc. Siler Rd., Dep. Tabor spotted a white Ford pickup wrecked into a ditch. Dep. Tabor made contact with the driver, who showed signs of intoxication. The driver provided a false name and was later determined to be Michael R. Lawson, 26, of Lot Mud Creek Rd.

Records indicated that a bench warrant had been issued for Lawson. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, second and third-degree possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, giving an officer a false name, driving on expired tags and failure to maintain insurance.

Ashley M. Douglas, 24, a passenger in the truck, was arrested and charged with public intoxication, second and third-degree possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence.

Arrest made in elder abuse investigation

On December 27, 2016, Whitley County EMS transported a 77-year-old man from his Craig Road residence to Baptist Health Corbin. Blood tests did not indicate the presence of his prescription medication in his system. Family of the man, eventually determined to be a victim, told doctors that a caregiver lived with the victim and was responsible for giving the victim his medication. Doctors contacted Whitley Co. E911 and requested law enforcement retrieve the victim’s medication from the home and investigate the matter.

K-9 Deputy Brian Hensley went to the Craig Road residence and made contact with the reported caregiver, 59-year-old Jessie Collins. Dep. Hensley retrieved some medication and was told by Collins that the victim had refused to take his medication. Dep. Hensley delivered the medication to the hospital and spoke to the victim’s family. They expressed concern about his health and believed medication was missing, including his pain medication. Due to the victim’s condition at the time, Dep. Hensley was not able to speak with him.

The next day, Dec. 28, Dep. Hensley was dispatched to the same Craig Rd. residence after Collins called 911 with a prowler complaint. When Dep. Hensley arrived, Collins appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Collins complained the victim’s family had been harassing her. Dep. Hensley checked a building near the residence and noticed it had been broken into and ransacked.

Dep. Hensley contacted the victim’s family and asked them to retrieve the property before it could be stolen. While the family was present, the victim’s son asked Collins where his father’s Loratabs were. Collins first stated that doctors at a Lexington hospital did not send the medication back with the victim.

Dep. Hensley then asked Collins about her medication. She provided Dep. Hensley with two pill bottles and named two medications. When Dep. Hensley opened the bottles, he found mixed medication. Collins first stated that her sister had given her the medication. Dep. Hensley counted out 65 Loratabs and stated that he would determine if the medication had come from the sister. Collins then stated that the victim had placed the Loratabs in the bottle. In her purse, Dep. Hensley located half of what’s believed to be Percocet, 11 and a half pills believed to be Diazepam’s and three Dexamethason.

Collins was arrested for knowingly abuse/neglect of an adult by another person, theft of a controlled substance, two counts of first-degree possession of a controlled substance, third-degree possession of controlled substance and illegal possession of a legend drug. Dep. Hensley is continuing the investigation due to the break in of the building and possible items taken from it located in Ms. Collins purse.

Dep. Hensley was that the victim is in the care of his family and doing better now that he is receiving the proper medication.


Clean audit issued for sheriff’s department

The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department is pleased to report that there were no negative comments within the department’s state audit report for the year ended December 31, 2015. The audit report was released by Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon on Dec. 15, 2016.

This administration has never received a negative comment related to the collection or spending of tax dollars since assuming office in 2011l

3 wrecks cause I-75 traffic disruptions

Around 8:30 a.m. December 22, 2016, Sergeant Todd Shelley responded to a single vehicle wreck near southbound I-75 mile point 7. Deputy Cody Harrell was also en route when a second single vehicle wreck occurred at the same location. The two vehicles did not collide but crashed within feet of each other at different times.wreck111

The first wreck occurred when a man from Perry County, Kentucky lost control of his 2016 Ford Explorer. The SUV rolled and landed on its top. The driver, an adult female and two teenage females were transported by Whitley County EMS to Jellico Community Hospital. As of 5:30 p.m., the driver and two teenagers had been discharged from the hospital; the adult female passenger was transported by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The second wreck occurred when a woman from Michigan lost control of her vehicle near the site of the first wreck. Her vehicle also overturned and the only other occupant was a pet dog. She declined transport to the hospital.

wreck11Due to the wrecks, southbound traffic was brought to a halt, causing standstill conditions that extended North of Williamsburg. During that time, a tractor trailer hauling coffee from Ohio to Tennessee overturned between the initial wreck location and Williamsburg. Kentucky State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement investigated that incident.

Access to southbound I-75 from Williamsburg was blocked for a time to prevent further congestion. Approximately three hours after the first wreck, one lane of I-75 was open and access to I-75 was restored. Around 6:10 p.m., one lane of I-75 was closed so the overturn commercial vehicle could be removed from the site.







Golden Alert Cancelled

The Golden Alert issued on December 16, 2016 for Timothy Allen Warren has been cancelled. Warren was located and is reported to be okay. The sheriff’s department appreciates everybody’s assistance in helping share news of the Golden Alert and Warren’s photo.