Deputy Randy Neal was dispatched to the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department on Jan. 5, 2010. Upon arrival he spoke with Angel S. Goforth of 135 Fair Oaks Drive, Woodbury, who stated that her landlord, Linda Smith, came in her house at 4 a.m. that day wanting Miss Goforth to pay her rent money, and woke her and her children up. Goforth also stated that she she tried to get her landlord to leave but that she would not.
Goforth said that Mrs. Smith was at her house for about 45 minutes before she left. When Smith left, Goforth said she slammed Miss Teresa Ring’s hand in the door. Ring also lives at the residence. Goforth said her rent was due on Jan. 5. and that she was going to pay her rent that day. She said her lease states the landlord has to give her 24 hours notice before she can do a home inspection.
Deputy Neal also took a statement from Ring, who said that Smith did come in her daughter’s house at 4 a.m. that day. She also said Smith shoved her against the wall and later slammed her hand in the door while she (Smith) was leaving.
Warrants were issued for Smith for simple assault and criminal trepass. Deputy Brandon Gullett went to 2819 McMinnville Hwy. to serve them. Upon arrival Gullett found Smith inside the residence watching TV. She came to the door and Gullett advised her that he had a warrant for her arrest. Gullett allowed Smith’s husband to transport her to the emergency room because Mrs. Smith stated she was having chest pains. He followed the Smiths through town and was going to follow them to the ER when their vehicle turned onto Alexander Drive, then into the sheriff’s department parking lot. Mrs. Smith was then escorted to booking where she was served with two warrants for criminal trespass and simple assault.
The following day, Jan. 6, Smith went to the sheriff’s department and spoke with Deputy Tommy Barker to seek a harassment warrant on Goforth. Smith told Barker she had served a 15-day eviction notice on Goforth earlier in the day and that Goforth started calling Smith and harassing her.
Smith was advised not to have any contact with Goforth, and Barker later spoke with Goforth and advised her not to have any contact with Smith, either directly or indirectly.
Simpson said that the only items taken that he could see were a Husgavarna chainsaw, Dewalt hand drill and a Dewalt jig-saw. The padlock was apparently cut off the door and could not be found.
As Bryson was attempting to locate the homeowners, the fire department ran out of water and had to wait on some to be delivered by another department. At that point Bryson was advised by one of the firefighters that when they arrived on the scene the home was fully engulfed and was almost gone.
Bryson then came in contact with Justin Higgins, who stated he was the son of the homeowners, who had been out of town on vacation since Jan. 2. Higgins said his sister Alishia lived in the home also but that she had gone to work in Murfreesboro. Higgins also stated that a person who works for his father had been staying in his camper on the property but when he arrived on the scene the worker and camper were gone.
Higgins also stated his father had a gun safe in the home and that it was cracked open. He was unsure if the safe opened due to fire or if someone had opened it.
Bryson spoke with Mooretown VFD Chief Michael George, who said he was unsure if the fire or water had caused the safe to come open.
Higgins reported there were approximately 26 items in the safe, and as soon as he could check it he would advise whether anything was missing. Higgins also stated that if the fire was accidental that it appeared it started in the office area of the home where they had a lot of electrical items plugged in. At that point Deputy Bryson left the scene.
Later that day Sheriff’s Investigator Vance Walker was in a meeting with Sheriff Billy Nichols when Jonathan Higgins called the sheriff’s department. Jonathan Higgins told Walker that when he went to the house he saw his father’s gun safe was open, but did not know if anything was missing.
Walker went to the scene along with Deputy Andy Bryson to meet Jonathan Higgins but upon arrival no one was there. The home was still smoldering and there were numerous fires still burning in the basement area. On the northeast side of the home was a wooden porch attached. Next to the porch inside the perimeter of the home was the gun safe. From what Walker observed, there were no visible pry marks on the door; however, the steel door and the sides of the safe were warped. Walker reported he could not see inside the safe. Deputy Andy Bryson photographed the scene and they left.
The victim stated her husband had beaten her up and that he was drunk. Upon encountering Vinson in the kitchen of the residence, Bryson asked him what happened and he stated, “we got into an argument, what else you want.”
Bryson performed a pat down of Vinson and discovered what he thought was a knife in his right front pocket. Vinson then grabbed Bryson’s wrist. Bryson tried to restrain Vinson against the door, and Vinson’s feet become entangled with a rug and he fell to the floor.
Bryson placed Vinson in handcuffs and Deputy Tommy Barker escorted him to a patrol unit. Bryson continued the investigation and the victim showed him blood droplets on the hall floor and wall. She started the couple had been arguing over money.
Apparently when the suspect realized they could not make entry into the residence they cut the lock off the back door and left. Wood stated that the suspect or suspects also cut the lock off the well house and took it with them. He said it appeared the only missing items were a gas can and the padlock.
Fann investigated and photographed the scene and found a large rock on the floorboard of the vehicle. It looked as if the rock was used to break the window. Fann looked around the business for tracks in the snow but did not locate any.
McMahan said he then found that a 1999 6-foot by 12 foot trailer, two welding tables, a clothes dryer and a jug of diesel fuel had been taken from the shed. McMahan showed Bryson where the trailer had been sitting and the tracks it left when it was removed from the shed. The equipment was valued at over $1,200.