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Followup on recent criminal court cases shows many still in process

The following information contains the most recent updates to criminal charges that occurred in Johnson County and crimes involving current or previous residents of Johnson County.
Michael Kevin Allen of Mountain City was charged in the vehicular death of Amy Dawn Head Tester. The accident occurred on April 1, 2006. Allen was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death, speeding, reckless driving, no seat belt, no insurance and two registration violations. After investigation, it was determined that Allen was the driver of the vehicle and not a passenger. Allen lost control of the vehicle and overturned. Tester was ejected from the car and pronounced dead on arrival. Allen was found guilty by a jury. He is currently serving an 11-year sentence.
Timothy Eugene “Peanut” Swift was charged with first degree murder in the death of Connie Lynn Wilson on March 25, 2009. Mr. Wilson died as a result of gunshot wounds. Swift was held in Johnson County jail for a short time when a large number of people came to the courthouse to post his $100,000 bond. At this time, Swift has not yet gone before the Grand Jury. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 21, 2010.
Brenda J. Buchanan was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault when her car crossed the center line on September 15, 2009, striking an ambulance and sending it over an embankment. The patient in the ambulance, Alicia McCoy, was killed immediately. The driver of the ambulance, Joseph R. Barlow, died as the result of his injuries three days later. Buchanan’s bond was posted and she was released from jail. Buchanan’s case has been heard by the Grand Jury, and she is scheduled to appear in criminal court for trial on July 12, 2010.
Jackie Darrell Dillon, a 43-year old male from Cotton Town, TN, was charged with criminal homicide for the murder of Marla Jo Grindstaff Abel. Abel had recently moved from Johnson County to Greenbrier, Tennessee. Officials were called to Abel’s home in response to a fire. The body of Abel was discovered after the fire was extinguished. Dillon was released from prison in May 2008, serving time for aggravated rape in Smyrna, Tennessee. Dillon served time for two armed robberies during the 1980’s. At this time, Dillon has been held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on July 16. According to a representative from Robertson County’s clerk of the court’s office, Dillon’s attorney is expected to ask for a settlement, similar to a plea bargain. However, Dillon could still go to trial.
Billy Luther Jones of Johnson County is facing five counts of felony theft. Jones was accused of scamming several people beginning in 2005. Jones has reportedly sold land that he did not own. Seven individuals claiming that Jones cheated them came forward and pressed criminal charges against him, claiming he sold them land that he actually did not own, borrowed money he did not pay back and additionally owes money for property rentals. This group approached the district attorney’s office to press charges against Jones. He was indicted on February 24, 2010. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested him two days later on February 26th. Jones was charged with five counts of felony theft. Two of the counts were over $60,000 and three were over $10,000. A civil suit judgment for a perjury charge has also been issued. Jones is currently being held on a $95,000 bond at the Johnson County jail. He is due to appear in criminal court on June 21, 2010.
Kevin Douglas Dickens was arrested on May 5, 2010 on charges relating to multiple scams, thefts and impersonations. Dickens was first arrested in September of 2009 when he was charged with stealing welding torches, oxygen and acetylene tanks. Using an alias, Dickens allegedly stopped at a residence at 2:00 am, woke up the resident and informed them his car had broken down. According to the report, shortly after he left in the same vehicle that was purportedly not working. The resident soon discovered $300 in cash was missing from his wallet. Dickens also was charged with attempting to sell livestock that did not belong to him. Dickens has been charged with involvement of other scams, along with taking money from people on the pretense he would deliver goods. Dickens is also charged with impersonating himself as Kevin Wilson, borrowing $2,190 from a man, claiming he had a sick baby and the child was in need of oxygen. Dickens has also been charged with other scams, including guns, tires, farm equipment and flat screen televisions. He was charged with two counts of criminal impersonation, two counts of theft of property over $500, two counts of possession of stolen property and one count of a worthless check. Dickens has a $35,000 bond and is currently being held in the Johnson County jail. Dickens is due to appear in criminal court on July 30, 2010.
Michael Craig Allen has been charged with the first degree murder in the shooting death of Sandra Lee Moffett on April 22, 2010. Moffett, of Shady Valley, was found with a gunshot wound to the head. She was pronounced dead at Johnson County Health Center. At the time of her death, Moffett served as a guard at Northeast Correctional Complex. Allen, a resident of Mountain City, was also found lying on the floor with an injury to his head. Airlifted to a nearby hospital, Allen was treated and released from the hospital. Allen is currently being held in the Johnson County jail on a $1 million bond. He is due to appear in court on June 9, 2010.
Jennifer Smith moved from Mountain City to Cookeville, TN approximately one year ago before her remains were discovered in her burnt-down home in January of 2010. Smith was 54 years old. She is believed to have been murdered before the fire was set to the home. Stephen Dewayne Baker and Kari Diane Speck, reportedly neighbors of Smith, have been arrested and charged with Smith’s murder. They are both charged with first degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, arson and tampering with evidence. Speck is due to appear in court in Putnam County, Tennessee on July 15, 2010. Baker is due in court on July 20.
Kelly Tester of Johnson County in facing multiple charges in connection with the production of methamphetamines. She has been charged in Boone, North Carolina, Unicoi County, as well as Johnson County. At this time, Tester remains in custody in Boone. While questioning Colleen Stevens and Adam Potter in connection with the methamphetamine production in Unicoi County, Johnson County’s sheriff’s department discovered products needed for the manufacturing of methamphetamines. Two children were living at the home and have been released to a family member. Colleen Stevens, 31, is currently being held in the Johnson County jail. The bond for Adam Lee Potter, 23, has been posted. Both Stevens and Potter are due to appear in court on June 21, 2010.