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Macon Man Arrested for Child Rape & Incest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jessie Williams   
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

James Rhody, Jr.

Fifty-three-year-old James Rhody, Jr., of 1308 Hawkins Rd. in Macon County, was arrested on August 4, 2013 and charged with three counts of rape of a child under the age of 13 and one count of incest for committing alleged sexual acts on his male and female grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

According to Macon County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Bryon Satterfield, a complaint was filed in early August involving Rhody with the Department of Children’s Services, followed by several days of interviews and numerous forensic interviews.

Rhody’s occupation as a truck driver throughout Tennessee and beyond, has led authorities to believe that there may be more victims that have not yet come forward.

“We’re asking that anyone who may have been approached or assaulted at truck stops, motels, etc. by James Rhody, Jr., to please come forward and contact your local authorities,” Chief Deputy Satterfield stated.  

Rhody is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on August 28, 2013.

Three Wrecks on Hwy 10 Hill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The Highway 10 South hill was the scene of three more wrecks last week, a head on collision involving a truck & a car, a single vehicle rollover and another truck that hydroplaned, started spinning and landed in the ditch facing the opposite direction than his route of travel. County Mayor Shelvy Linville says the problem will soon be solved, thanks to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), who have finally funded the long-awaited, much anticipated 1.7 mile stretch of road from the top of the hill to Goose Creek, offering us relief with bids to be let in the spring of 2014.

On Thursday, August 8, the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the Highway 10 Hill where they observed a truck and a car that had slammed into each other head on.

Fifty-year-old Jimmy Tuck, of Lafayette, was operating a white Toyota Tacoma truck northbound when he tried to pass in the three lane section of State Route 10 coming up the hill. “When he attempting to pass another vehicle in the third lane he lost control, crossed the center line and hit a silver 2004 Chevy Impala head on. 43-year-old Patches Conley, of Lafayette, was the driver of the automobile,” said crash investigator THP Trooper Terry Seay.

Ms. Conley was pinned inside her car and rescue personnel took the necessary steps to remove her from the vehicle. The rainy weather conditions prevented air travel, so she was carried by the Macon County ambulance service to Vanderbilt Hospital, in Nashville, where she is still listed in critical condition.

Mr. Tuck was carried to Macon County General Hospital and was later transferred to Vanderbilt. He has been released. Tuck has been charged with due care, open container and seat belt law.

First responders: Macon County Sheriffs Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Macon County EMS, Macon County Rescue Squad, Lafayette Fire Department, and the Macon County Chronicle.

On Wednesday, August 7, Paula Webb, who was born in 1968, was driving a 2006 Toyota up the Highway 10 hill from her residence in Hartsville, when she also lost control on the rain slick roadway.

“She was coming up the hill, lost control, hit the rock embankment and rolled over,” said Deputy Kyle Petty of the Macon County Sheriffs Office. “She managed to crawl out by herself and declined an ambulance. However, she later requested to be checked out at the scene by the EMS.”

Officer Petty was the investigator.

Responders: Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Macon County Rescue Squad, and the Macon County Chronicle.

Albert Diphillipo also didn’t have any luck trying to drive up the hill late Friday afternoon, August 9 in his 2006 Dodge Ram 2500.

“The Lafayette man was coming up the Highway 10 hill and there was a car traveling in front of him,” said investigating officer, Deputy Derek Carlisle, of the Macon County Sheriffs Office. “He down shifted to go around the vehicle in the passing lane, but it had rained so much he hydroplaned, the truck began spinning around on him and he ended up in the ditch facing south.”

Deputy Carlisle said the vehicle was resting in the ditch when he arrived. The Macon EMS treated Diphillipo at the scene.

Those responding included the Macon County Sheriffs Office, Macon County EMS, Lafayette Police Department and the Macon County Chronicle.

“It’s disturbing to hear of accidents still occurring on the Highway 10 South hill,” said County Mayor Shelvy Linville. “However, this problem will soon be solved. The project to rework that 1.7 mile stretch of highway from the top of the hill, south to Goose Creek has been fully funded by TDOT. Bids for construction are to be let in the spring of 2014 with work to begin shortly there after. I want to encourage the general public to be extremely cautious while navigating the hill until this project is completed.”

Rachel Tuck wins 2013 National American Miss Tennessee PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Rachel Tuck has won the 2013 National American Miss Tennessee at the stage pageant held Monday, July 29th in Nashville.

Macon Man Dies in Jackson Co. Wreck PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Fifty-six-year-old David Braswell, of the Leonard Community, was killed in a Jackson County wreck on Wednesday, July 31.

David Braswell was traveling northbound on Hwy. 151 in a 1995 Honda Civic when he passed another vehicle on a double yellow line, in a curve and struck a 2003 Macon County Highway Department gravel truck head on. The truck was driven by 59-year-old Gary Davis of Red Boiling Springs, who was not injured in the collision. The wreck occurred about one mile into Jackson County from the Macon County line.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

The crash investigators were Trooper Mark Mahan, Trooper Darrin Butler, Sgt. Tony Wilson and CIRT Sgt. Ashley Mercer.

David was born in Lafayette, Tenn., on August 8, 1956 the son of the late Donald Braswell and Mable Pauline Keith Braswell. He had worked for Con Way Southern Express Freight for 23 years. He was a member of the Leonard Church of Christ.

Funeral services were conducted on Saturday, August 3, at 2 p.m. from the chapel of Alexander Funeral Home with burial following in the Leonard Cemetery.

He is survived by son, Jonathan Braswell of Tompkinsville, Ky.; daughters, Layla Braswell of Tompkinsville, Ky., and Paige Braswell, of Lafayette; sister, Donna Braswell Russell of Cookeville; brother, Darrell and wife Mary Braswell of RBS; grandchildren, Angelique Huff, Zeke Braswell, Kaileigh Bowman, Gage Bowman, and Eli Braswell; nieces and nephews, Lacey Russell, Logan Russell, Halen Braswell and Landon Russell.

Blankenship Pleads to Vehicular Homicide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debbie Gregory   
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Christopher Blankenship

Christopher Blankenship plead guilty to vehicular homicide before Judge John Wootten on Wednesday, July 31. He was sentenced to eight years for the death of his 17-year-old girlfriend, Britni Hyso, who was a passenger on his motorcycle that he wrecked several miles outside of Lafayette on Friday, March 23, 2012. His sentence will be served at Turney Center, a state penitentiary in Only, Tennessee.

In the early spring of 2012, Britni Rose Hyson, of the Shiloh Community, was riding on a Yamaha motorcycle with her fiancé, 30-year-old Christopher Blankenship, when he lost control and ran off Shiloh Road. Sustaining fatal injuries, she was pronounced dead at 8:35 p.m. by Medical Investigator Randall Kirby.

Blankenship was charged with driving while license revoked, motor driver cycle helmet required, leaving the scene of an accident knowing death resulted, vehicular homicide driver intoxicated, aggravated vehicular homicide, and probation violation.

He was already on probation for a DUI when this accident happened. He was picked up on a violation of probation charge and sent to a correctional facility after his probation was revoked. According to the Clerk’s Office, he was brought back to the Macon County Jail on July 1st so he could meet with his attorneys. He was returned to Turney Center after his sentence last Wednesday. He is serving a three-year sentence for the probation violation, with a total of 11 years to be served altogether.

“Christopher Blankenship took responsibility for his actions that caused the death of Britni Hyso,” said Assistant District Attorney Justin Harris. “Without the hard work of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Macon County Sheriffs Office we may not have ever known how that crash occurred. But thanks to those officers it was shown that Mr. Blankenship was too intoxicated to be on our roadways and that intoxication caused the crash that killed Ms. Hyso. Hopefully with the close of this criminal case the families that have been affected by this tragedy can begin to heal.”

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