Celebration turns violent, results in domestic violence charges

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James Scott Neal was charged with two counts of domestic assault on Dec. 9 following an investigation by the Cannon County Sheriff's Department.
According to the incident report, Sgt. Greg Moore and Deputy Dylan Couch responded to a report of a domestic dispute at Neal's residence. Neal, his wife Francine and their son-in-law, Brian McCroskey, were celebrating McCroskey's getting a new job.

At some point Neal's mood went from happy and celebratory to very hostile and angry toward his wife and son-in-law, the report states. Neal got into an argument with his wife and McCroskey attempted to intervene. Neal allegedly punched McCroskey in the mouth.

Neal also allegedly pushed his wife with enough force to cause her to fall and land on a hard object. Neal then allegedly did further damage to different items and areas of the house and shoved his wife a second time.

Neal also allegedly fought with Moore and Couch when they asked him sit down while they were conducting interviews.

"In order to prevent the situation from escalating, Sgt. Moore and myself then had to use physical force and go hands on to take Mr. Neal to the ground after refusing to obey Sgt. Moore," Couch's report states. "Once we initiated restraint, the fight began. During the tussle, Mr. Neal's head made impact with the door frame. After placing him in an off-balance position, he continued being verbally and physically resistive, an arm bar take down was used. Mr. Neal impacted the ground in a prone position, and was still physically resistant. Cuffing and arm manipulation was used to secure his hands."

Neal is scheduled to appear in Cannon County General Sessions Court on Jan. 9 to address the charges.

• Randall Smotherman, Bradyville, was charged with public intoxication/disorderly conduct on Dec. 9 by Sgt. Greg Moore of the Cannon County Sheriff's Department.

Moore responded to Smotherman's residence in reference to a report of an intoxicated person. Upon arrival Moore found Smotherman sitting in a chair. Next to him was a 40-ounce can of beer which was almost empty. Smotherman had been released from the Cannon County Jail several days before the incident. His brother, Glenn, informed Moore that Randall had consumed four 40-ounce cans of beer.

Moore observed a broken fan on the floor. Family members advised Randall Smotherman had stomped on the fan. For his own safety, as well as those of others, he was taken into custody. His court date is set for Jan. 9.

• Courtne G. Elrod, Woodbury, was charged with possession of a handgun while under the influence and public intoxication on Dec. 5 by Deputy Cody Phillips of the Cannon County Sheriff's Dept. Deputies were dispatched out to a residence on Tenpenny Road in reference to a neighbor shooting for the past hour.

Upon arrival, deputies made contact with Elrod who was holding a gun in his hand. He refused to put the gun down telling deputies that there were people in the woods fixing to shoot him. Once deputies surveyed the scene and determined there were no such people, Elrod proceeded to drop his weapon.

Elrod claimed that two people came to the residence and jumped him after kicking in a side door. He also stated that he was not able to speak or move coherently because his sugar had been dropping and he was diabetic. Further tests suggested his blood sugar level was near normal.

Elrod was asked to write a statement but the statement didn't make sense and Elrod signed it with an obscenity toward the deputies. Elrod was arrested and with public intoxication and possession of a firearm while under the influence. His next court date is Jan. 2.

Other persons charged recently by local law enforcement include:

• A man the Cannon County Sheriff's Department has been seeking for months was taken into custody. Dustin Ray Rogers, Readyville, was served warrants on Nov. 30 on charges of felony evading, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and driving while license suspended.

The charges stem from an incident on Aug. 14, when Cannon County Sheriff's deputy Zachery Smith identified Rogers as the driver of a green Chevy Blazer. Rogers had allegedly fled the Cannon County Probation office while officers with the Woodbury Police Department were attempting to serve him with an arrest warrant. Smith attempted to stop Rogers on John Bragg Highway but he accelerated to speeds in excess of 105 mph, passing at least six other vehicles on the shoulder of the road and cutting in between vehicles at an unsafe distance. Rogers bond was set at $15,000 on these charges but he remains incarcerated at the Cannon County Jail.

• Robert Harris Smith Jr., Woodbury, was charged with DUI 4th offense, driving on a revoked or suspended license, possession of a Schedule VI drug (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia on Dec. 5 by Woodbury patrolman John House. Smith was appointed an attorney in Cannon County General Sessions Court on Dec. 12 and his case was continued until Feb. 13.

• Jordan Ward, Woodbury, was charged with theft under $500 by Patrolman John House of the Woodbury Police Department. Ward allegedly stole $180 in cash from AutoZone, according to the warrant. Bond was set at $500. He was scheduled to be in court Dec. 19.

• Kenneth Wayne O'Kelley, Lascassas, was charged with driving without a license on Nov. 22 by Woodbury patrolman Travis Turney.

• Marlin Christopher Prater, Woodbury, was charged with driving on a revoked license on Nov. 29 by Woodbury patrolman John House. His court date has been set for March 13.

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