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Criminal court cases moving through process

The following information contains the most recent updates to criminal charges that occurred in Johnson County, as well as crimes involving current or previous residents of Johnson County.
Michael Craig Allen of Mountain City was charged with the shooting death of Sandra Lee Moffett on April 22, 2010. Moffett was found with a gunshot wound to her head. At the time of her death, Moffett was employed as a correctional officer at nearby Northeast Correctional Complex. Allen, charged with first-degree murder, first appeared in court on June 9, 2010. His case has been continued, and Allen’s next court appearance is scheduled for November 8, 2011.
Amanda Cristin Stout was charged with criminal homicide in the murder of Freddie Burns Hays. Hays’ body was found on October 22, 2009. Stout was arrested and bond was set at $500,000. She remains out on bail. Stout initially appeared in court on September 29, 2010. Her case has been continued and Stout is due to appear in court on November 3, 2011.
David A. Billings of Mountain City was charged with vehicular homicide and reckless aggravate assault after a fatal wreck that occurred in Gray, Tennessee. Tanya K. Martin was driving southbound when her vehicle was struck by Billings. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. Billings was held in the Washington County Detention Center until his bond was posted. His case was bound over to Criminal Court, and Billings appeared in court on August 18, 2011. He is due in Washington County court again on November 8, 2011.
Jennifer Smith moved from Mountain City to Cookeville, Tennessee approximately one year before her remains were discovered in her home that was destroyed by fire in January of 2010. Smith was 54 years old. Stephen Dewayne Baker and Kari Diane Speck, reportedly neighbors of Smith, were arrested and charged with her murder. Both Baker and Speck were charged with first degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, arson and tampering with evidence. According to a representative with the court system in Putnam County, Tennessee, Baker was found guilty of first-degree murder. This charge carries an automatic life sentence. Additionally, Baker received 12 years for aggravated robbery and six years for arson. Speck testified against Baker and plead guilty to second degree murder. She received a 30-year sentence.
Billy Luther Jones of Johnson County was accused of scamming several people beginning in 2005, reportedly selling land that he did not own. Seven individuals approached the district attorney’s office with claims that Jones had also borrowed money he had not paid back and additionally owed money for unpaid property rentals. Jones was first indicted on February 24, 2010. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested Jones two days later, charging him with five counts of felony theft. Two of the counts were over $60,000, and three counts over $10,000. Jones first appeared in court on June 21, 2010. His case has been continued and Jones is due to appear in court again on October 7, 2011.

According to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Kristin Helm, an open and ongoing investigation is currently underway regarding possible missing funds from the Johnson County Mayor’s office. “We are working a case at the District Attorney’s request with the state comptroller’s office about possible missing money from the county mayor’s office,” said Helm.

TBI would not substantiate claims of another unrelated investigation being conducted concerning possible missing money related to the county’s transfer station.

No charges have been filed nor arrests made in either case, and according to Matthew Roark, Assistant District Attorney for this area, authorities cannot release information until that time. If and when an investigation makes its way through the Grand Jury and an indictment is handed down, the matter becomes public knowledge.

County Mayor Larry Potter told The Tomahawk that “until there is something concrete” from TBI that no names or details can be made public. He did indicate that he hopes for a speedy conclusion to the matter.

The Tomahawk will bring our readers more information as it becomes available.