Macon County Chronicle

RBS Robbery Suspects Arrested

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RBS Police Officer Jesse Gentry arrested three men last week after a wild night that involved attempted robbery, evading arrest, and a stolen tractor that ended up heading straight for him, driverless, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 26.


The chain of events began when a call came in at 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday night, November 25, that the RBS Market was trying to be robbed. “The caller gave a discription of the vehicle, which was a green GMC pickup, and the names of the people allegedly involved,” said Officer Gentry. “They were Jeffery King, Jerry Kernell, and Lannie Kernell.”

“By the time I got there the truck was gone and was reported to be heading toward the old park on East Main,” Officer Gentry stated. “I went down 52 to the North Springs access road and did not make visual contact.”

Macon County units arrived to help in the search and Officer Gentry went back to the market to get more information and look at the video. “I identified Lannie and Jeffery on the video surveillance, so I contacted Assistant Chief Jimmy Morgan and Chief Terry Tuck,” continued Gentry. “Officer Morgan came out to assist in looking for the three suspects and after a short investigation we located the two Kernell men at a house on Langford Road at 11:13 p.m.”

“We brought the two subjects to the RBS Police Department to interview them and they informed us that when they got to the house on Langford Road, King had jumped out of the truck and ran off into the woods. King later stole a tractor on Gamaliel Road.”

After interviewing the two Kernell men, Officer Gentry had enough information to charge the 3 men with attempted robbery.

“We transported them to the Macon County Justice Center and I obtained warrants on all three suspects,” Gentry said, “I booked the Kernell men into jail at 1:39 a.m., Wednesday, November 26.”

At 2:26 a.m. a 911 call came in that a subject on a tractor, believed to be Jeffery King, was at Windle Lane and McClure Street in Red Boiling Springs. 

“Officer Jimmy Morgan went to look for him along with two county units,” remarked Gentry, “and I stayed at the Justice Center to finish my warrants. On my way back to Red Boiling Springs around 2:40 a.m. Kimball Hall, with the Macon County Sheriffs Office, found the tractor, with King driving it, on Hwy. 52 near Smalling Road. When I got to the bridge I could see them coming toward Lafayette and Kimball had his blue lights on trying to stop the tractor. I hit my blue lights and when they turned onto Smalling Road, I fell in behind Kimball.”

Gentry says that King was driving erratically, then he turned into a field and baled off the moving tractor. “The tractor kept going, turned a circle, headed straight for me, then it suddenly straightened up, hit a tree, and came to a stop.”

The two officers found Mr. King laying in the tall weeds. He resisted arrest, but after a short struggle they were able to get him into custody. “I smelled alcohol on Mr. King when I cuffed him,” said Officer Gentry, “and I transported him to booking at the Macon County Justice Center.”

Jeffery Wayne King, age 38, of Lafayette, has been charged with driving under the influence, evading arrest, aggravated assault, robbery, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, theft of property, vandalism over $1,000, failure to appear, and violation of probation. Bond is set at $57,500, however Mr. King has previous warrants and he is being held. General Sessions Court dates are scheduled for December 3 & December 17. Criminal Court date is set for January 26, 2015.

Lannie Christophe Kernell, age 39, of Red Boiling Springs, has been charged with robbery and driving on a suspended license. Bond is set at $1,000 & $500. A General Sessions Court date is scheduled for December 17.

Jerry Darrell Kernell, age 43, of Red Boiling Springs, has been charged with robbery. Bond is set at $1,800. A General Sessions Court date is scheduled for December 17.