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Penny Whitehouse Turns Herself In - Charged with 11 Counts of Animal Cruelty PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Penny Whitehouse

Fifty-four-year-old Penny Whitehouse turned herself in at the Macon County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday, February 11, after local authorities discovered ten horse carcasses and one dead donkey on the 20+ acre, Taurus Farm Road property she formerly inhabited. 

According to Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons, Macon County Animal Control Officer Corey Lawrence was contacted by a family that was walking the property, which is currently for sale. While touring the grounds, the family reported that they discovered dead horses laying everywhere.

Lawrence found that there was no food or hay located on the property, and a UT Extension agent confirmed that the animals suffered from neglect and malnutrition.

“A warrant was issued for Miss Whitehouse’s arrest for 11 counts of animal cruelty,” Sheriff Gammons stated. “She turned herself in Wednesday night around 9 p.m.”

During their investigation, detectives discovered that Whitehouse had also been charged with animal cruelty in Michigan and Indiana and is prohibited from owning animals in both states.

“Miss Whitehouse presents herself as an animal rescue operator,” said the sheriff. “She is suspected to have been living in Rutherford County, where we believe she was starting up another ‘animal rescue’ operation.” 

Whitehouse made bail (set at $11,000) and is scheduled to appear in Macon County General Sessions Court on February 25, 2015 at 9 a.m.

Authorities are currently working to get the bodies of the eleven deceased animals properly disposed of.

Sheriff Gammons warns those who are thinking about placing an animal in a rescue center to do their research.

“Look into these places, ask local authorities about them and check out the conditions to make sure they’re legit,” he stated. 

Lafayette Man Arrested in Lebanon Murder PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Michael Wayne York

A Lafayette man has been arrested in Lebanon, Tennessee, in connection with the death of a co-worker.

According to Interim Chief Michael VanHook, Lebanon Police detectives have charged 31-year-old Michael Wayne York, of Lafayette, with criminal homicide and especially aggravated robbery in the death of his co-worker 36-year-old Brian Christopher Petroff.

The press release states that on February 7, 2015, Petroff was found shot to death in his car at the intersection of Winter Drive and McCowan Drive in Lebanon, after officers responded to a 911 call around midnight. Both the victim and the offender were last seen leaving work together at Steve and Sons Door Company, where they were employed, in the late hours of February 6th.

Vanhook stated that the two men’s place of employment was close to where the incident occurred.

High Speed Chase Ends on Union Camp PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nathan Wayne Carver

THP Trooper Johnny Rodgers was involved in a high speed car chase that began on Wednesday night, February 4, after he turned onto the Red Boiling Springs Road at Macon Bank and Trust main branch and got behind the man, he later arrested.

According to Trooper Rodgers, 22-year-old Nathan Wayne Carver, of Lafayette, was driving east on Highway 52 and he turned right onto the RBS Road. Rodgers was also on 52, coming the other way, and he turned left onto RBS Road. “I got behind Carver and he started gaining speed,” said Trooper Rodgers. “Once I realized he was driving over the posted speed limit, I attempted to catch up to Carver.”

At this point they had reached Union Camp Road. “Carver turned right onto Union Camp Road at a high rate of speed, 60 mph plus already,” continued the Trooper. “At this time, I engaged my lights and siren to attempt to stop Carver for speeding. He failed to stop and continued at a high rate of speed.”
Nathan Carver then turned right on Dark Hollow Road and Trooper Rodgers realized he was in pursuit and the suspect wasn’t going to stop.

“Carver followed Dark Hollow to the intersection of Shrum Hollow Road,” said Rodgers. “He turned left onto Shrum Hollow and while he was on this roadway he was swerving his car back and forth in the gravel to try and create enough dust in hopes of he would lose me. He followed Shrum Hollow back to Union Camp and turned right there. He followed Union Camp to Sycamore Valley and turned right on that road. While on Sycamore Valley Road, Carver ran off the roadway on the right side and almost crashed. However, he was able to get the vehicle back onto Sycamore Valley Road and continued south at a high rate of speed.”

(The pursuit was continued due to no traffic. “We passed three cars in total while in pursuit and no one was injured.”)

Rodgers said that sparks were coming from under the car he was chasing but the vehicle continued on traveling into Trousdale County until they came to Big Creek Road. The suspect turned left onto Big Creek, which he followed until he came to the junction of Little Creek in Smith County. “We followed Little Creek to the junction of State Route 80 in Pleasant Shade,” said Trooper Rodgers. “Carver turned left onto SR 80, traveling north back toward Macon County. Trooper Cody Ballard was coming to assist  and he was on SR 52 in Macon County. The Macon County Sheriffs Office was also in route to assist. At this point, Trooper Ballard and I requested approval to use spike strips thru dispatch, which was approved. Ballard and I decided that he would deploy the strips at the intersection of State Route 80 and Union Camp Road if he continued his current course.”

Trooper Ballard positioned himself at that intersection to deploy the strips. Carver did continue on SR 80 while Trooper Rodgers was still in pursuit. “His speeds were slowing down to approximately 40 to 50 mph at this time,” noted Rodgers.

Once Carver reached the junction of Union Camp and SR 80 Trooper Ballard did deploy the spike strips and they were successful, deflating three of the four tires. “Carver still refused to surrender and turned onto Union Camp Road traveling westbound back toward Lafayette,” added Rodgers. “Carver’s vehicle was almost undriveable at this time and his speeds were down to 20 or 30 mph. But he was still refusing to stop his car.”

Trooper Rodgers decided to try and get in front of Carver’s car and force him to stop. “I did get in front of him and used my vehicle to try and force him to stop. He still refushed to stop and passed me on the left traveling in the wrong lane of traffic. Macon County Sheriffs Office Deputies Joseph Woodard and Elliott Sandifer were traveling eastbound to assist and Carver forced them off the roadway almost hitting them head on.”

Shortly after that, all the rubber on Carver’s tires came off and he was on the bare rims. Sparks were going everywhere and he finally came to a stop around the 7000 block of Union Camp Road.

“I excited my vehicle and approached Nathan Wayne Carver’s car on the driver’s side, ordered him to exit the vehicle, with my weapon drawn, and he refused,” said Trooper Rodgers. “I opened the driver’s side door and used physical force to remove Carver from the vehicle. Macon County Sheriffs Office Deputies, including Sandifer, Woodard, Freeman and Ashley Tharp, and also MCSO detective Darrell Taylor, had arrived at this point and secured the two passengers whose names were Devon McCall and Carver’s wife, Stephanie.”

Trooper Rodgers said that during the interview with Carver, it was discovered that he was under the influence of drugs. “Macon County EMS was dispatched to the scene for Stephanie Carver, who was hyperventilating. She was treated at the scene and released.”

Statements from the two passengers were obtained and they were released.

“Carver was arrested and transported to the Macon County Justice Center,” said Trooper Rodgers. “I charged him with DUI, 4 counts of felony reckless endangerment with a weapon, driving on a revoked license (2nd offense), possession of a legend drug, resisting arrest, reckless driving, felony evading in a vehicle, speeding, 2 stop sign violations, improper passing in a no passing zone.”

Nathan Wayne Carver has other warrants in Macon and Smith County for felony and misdemeanor charges.

Carver’s bond is set at $15,950. Court dates are set for February 11 and March 4.

“I would like to thank the Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Trousdale County Sheriff’s Office, who were notified that they might be coming into their county and were ready to assist if they were needed,” said Rodgers.

Syringes, Heroine & Hallucinogens... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, February 3, 2015


On Tuesday evening, January 27, 2015, Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons pulled over a bus covered in graffiti, traveling on Highway 52, after an employee at Sunshine Market reported that a passenger had entered the store asking where the liquor store was. The employee also reported that the man made her feel ‘nervous.’

The bus had Illinois and Nebraska license plates, and was pulled over on Franklin Avenue in the City of Lafayette.

Officers from the Lafayette Police Department, along with Macon County Sheriff’s Department deputies Tim Freeman and Joseph Woodard also responded to the scene.

According to Sheriff Gammons, the driver acted peculiar and nervous as he spoke to him. After running the bus tags, the sheriff was informed a warrant was out for his arrest in the state of Idaho for marijuana possession.

“We learned that the state of Idaho would not extradite him back,” Sheriff Gammons stated.

After receiving permission to search the bus, K-9 handler Michael Veatch and K-9 Gordy were called to the scene.

“Gordy made a hit on a suitcase and officers discovered syringes, a substance believed to be heroine and hallucinogenic mushrooms inside as well as several pieces of drug paraphernalia,” Sheriff Gammons remarked. “The drugs were sent off to a lab to be analyzed and tested.”

The drugs belonged to Mitchell Allen Peterson, of Wisconsin, who was immediately arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule I drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Peterson’s bond is set at $1,500 and he is scheduled to appear in Macon County General Sessions Court on February 4, 2015.

A second passenger in the bus, Justin L. Fuller, of Pennsylvania, was also arrested for disorderly conduct by deputies after he became aggressive towards officers and refused to provide his name or any identification. 

Fuller is being held on a $500 bond and will also appear in court on February 4.

The four remaining passengers (from Colorado, Wisconsin, Idaho and Pennsylvania) were released.

“I’d like to thank officers Derrick Gann and Josh McClard of the Lafayette Police Department and our deputies for the job they diid in this case,” said Sheriff Gammons.

Counterfeit Money Operation Uncovered PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, February 3, 2015


The Lafayette Police Department executed a search warrant, after they had established enough information involving counterfeit bills showing up in Lafayette, at 131 Hillsdale Circle and arrested a man who had a counterfeit operation in his home. 

“We had established enough information to search the home of 43-year-old Issac Lee Vaughn,” said Lt. Jason Roberts, “and when we entered his residence everything was in plain view. We seized over $2,000 of counterfeit U.S. currency bills, a computer, and a printer that was used to manufacture these bills.”
Lt. Roberts had already been in contact with the Secret Service, because this is a federal offense and after he received a statement from Mr. Vaughn he was charged with criminal simulation and criminal responsibility conduct. His bond for these charges is $25,000.

The Lafayette Police Department began this investigation and the case started expanding out in other directions and counterfeit money distributed in Wilson and Sumner Counties are linked back to Macon County. “We were assisted by the Macon County Sheriffs Office and the Drug Task Force,” said Roberts. 

 “There is still an ongoing investigation and we will keep the public informed,” said Roberts. “There is still alot of counterfeir bills in circulation, so please continue to take precautions.”

Issac Lee Vaughn also faces several drug charges.

LPD Chief Stacy Gann added, “I would like to thank the Macon County Sheriffs Office and the Drug Task Force for their work and involvement in this case. Anytime the departments work together this is the outcome we hope to achieve. This is the biggest counterfeit money case our department has ever worked.”

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