Press Release

Whitley County Sheriff Dept.

Suspect in stolen vehicle case dies from injuries sustained in wreck

The sheriff’s department regrets to confirm that a person accused of vehicle theft has died as result of injuries sustained while attempting to evade law enforcement.
On September 5, 2018, Deputies Brandon Prewitt and Jonas Saunders responded to a Highway 511 residence after a “side-by-side” off-road vehicle was reported stolen. While at the residence, the owner of the stolen vehicle received information that it may be located in the Hemlock area.
Dep. Prewitt attempted to locate the vehicle in the Hemlock area, and Williamsburg officer Greg Rhodes searched the nearby Ballard Ford East area. Constable Ron “Bubba” Bowling had been providing extra patrol at the Ballard Ford boat ramp and observed a vehicle matching the description of the stolen side-by-side. When Officer Rhodes spotted it, the driver accelerated, lost control, flipped approximately three times and came to rest eight to 10 feet over an embankment.
The operator, Scott Crawford, 40, of Oneida, Tennessee, was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries on Sept. 7, 2018.

Disturbance leads to pursuit, endangerment & firearm charges

Around 6:30 p.m. September 4, 2018, Deputy Brian Hensley responded to the Black Diamond Road area outside of Corbin relating to complaints of a disturbance with possible shots fired.
Dep. Hensley made contact with a black Chrysler 300, which matched the description of a vehicle involved in the initial complaint. Upon attempting to conduct a traffic stop, the sedan accelerated, reaching speeds of 80 to 90 miles-per-hour in 35 and 25-mph zones.
The pursuit lasted for approximately three miles before the sedan slid into a driveway. Dep. Hensley held the driver, Justin C. Adams, 28, of Corbin, at gunpoint until Adams was taken into custody without further incident. In view within the vehicle were bullets. Concealed under the steering column was a Ruger .380 pistol.
Upon further investigation, a female stated that Adams twice used his vehicle to block her ability to leave a location along Black Diamond Road. The victim stated that Adams fired shots at her vehicle, which was occupied by her and a small child.
Adams was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, with one count being wanton endangerment of a police officer. He was also charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, reckless driving, fourth-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon and driving with invalid registration plates.
Adams was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Members of the Corbin Police Department and Kentucky State Police assisted Dep. Hensley in the investigation.

Cemetery vandalism, public help requested

On May 22, 2018, Deputy Brandon Prewitt responded to the Rose Creek Cemetery in the Gatliff community after caretakers discovered approximately 25 to 30 grave markers were knocked over or broken sometime within the previous week.

Anybody with information about the crime is asked to please call Whitley County E911 at (606) 549-6017 and ask to speak to Dep. Prewitt.

It is with heavy hearts that the sheriff’s department reports this. All tips will be aggressively pursued and may remain anonymous.

Burglary Notice

The sheriff’s department reports that more than one burglary may have occurred around May 28, 2018 along US Hwy 25 between I-75 exits 15 in Williamsburg and 25 in Corbin.

The sheriff’s department asked on May 19 that anybody in the area who recently experienced a burglary please contact Whitley County E911 following arrests on I-75. In addition to the vehicle being stolen, it contained numerous household items believed to be stolen.

Around 8 p.m. May 23, a resident who lives along Hwy 25 near the Hwy 90 intersection called Whitley Co. E911 to report a burglary. She had been out of town and upon returning home discovered items missing. She was able to provide serial numbers for several items seized during the May 19 arrest.

The victim said other items seized from the car were not hers.

The persons arrested on May 19, Charles B. Smith and Hannah N. Roberts, both of Knoxville, now face additional charges of receiving stolen property and second degree criminal mischief.

Smith originally provided Dep. Hensley a false name. After his true identity was confirmed, Dep. Hensley learned Smith is wanted for arrest on Tennessee warrants for aggravated burglary and auto theft.

Anybody who believes they may be victims of burglary around May 19 may contact Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017. Before speaking to the investigating deputy, Dep. Hensley, they should have identifying information such as serial numbers or be prepared to describe in detail what item(s) may have been taken.

Continued public support requested in armed robbery investigation

Around 11 p.m. May 16, Deputy Jason Strunk responded to Save-a-Lot near the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. A store employee reported that while leaving the store, he was approached by two men wearing hoods, dark clothing and hunting masks. Both men were reportedly armed with shotguns.

The men took the employee’s bank bag containing cash and his cell phone. The two men drove away in the employee’s 2006 blue Dodge Dakota truck. The truck was recovered at the end of Keswick Hollow Road.

Dep. Strunk is continuing to investigate information he has received, and any additional information is requested and may remain anonymous. Anyone with information about suspicious activity around the store or along Keswick Hollow Road at or around the time of the crime is asked to contact Whitley County E911 at (606) 549-6017.