Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

September 20, 2013

Grand jury set for today

CROSSVILLE — Even as search warrants were being obtained and a small army of volunteers were conducting searches around the crime scene, a special session of the Cumberland County Grand Jury was being scheduled for today to hear evidence in the county's first quadruple homicide.

Four persons — three teenagers and a young female adult — were found shot to death last Thursday in their car parked on a cul de sac in an undeveloped subdivision off Renegade Parkway by a passerby on his way to work.

The victims were identified as Danielle "Rikki" Jacobson, age 22; her nephew, Domonic Davis, age 17; Steven Presley, age 17; and John Lajeunesse, age 16.

Taken into custody on a parole violation shortly after midnight on Friday morning was Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, of Woodbridge Rd. He was identified by TBI Director Mark Gwyn as being a suspect and is being held without bond in the Cumberland County Justice Center.

Sources close to the investigation have told the Chronicle that the panel will be convened Friday while Criminal Court Judge David Patterson is in the county holding arraignment in unrelated cases.

Patterson was also in Crossville Wednesday for a deadline docket and during a brief recess, was presented search warrants to be authorized by the judge by TBI Special Agent Dan Friel, Chief Sheriff's Investigator Casey Cox and Investigator Jerry Jackson.

Afterward, Friel was asked about the target of the search warrants and responded, "It is the TBI's policy that no comment be issued on any open TBI investigation." Neither Cox nor Jackson had comment.

Earlier in the week, personnel from the sheriff's department, Cumberland County Fire Department and Cumberland County Rescue Squad conducted a grid search of the wooded area around the crime scene in an area called Eagles Nest. There was no comment as to what was being sought and whether the search was successful.

While no one close to the investigation would speak on the record, reportedly those involved with the  probe are pleased with progress being made. For the first two days, state and local investigators worked around the clock and since that time have been logging long hours as they continue to run down leads and interview potential witnesses.

Once the grand jury convenes and hands down indictments, defendants are brought before a Criminal Court judge for arraignment at which time the judge will ask the person charged if he has an attorney, and if not, can afford one.

If the defendant is found indigent, a court-appointed attorney will be provided. Normally the Public Defender's Office represents indigent defendants, but there may be a conflict with the local defender's office in this case.

Whoever is indicted could face the death penalty, and Tennessee law requires that the defendant be represented by a death penalty certified attorney. The local public defender's office does not have a death penalty certified attorney on staff.

The Chronicle has been told that the only qualified practicing attorney in the area is former Crossville attorney Robert Marlow, who now practices law out of his Shelbyville office.

District Attorney General Randy York said it was too earlier to be thinking about whether the case would be a death penalty case or not.

"When the proper time arrives, we have a procedure in place that we go by which includes several steps that must be followed and criteria met before we make a decision on whether to prosecute a case as a death penalty case," York said.

"The circumstances of the crime certainly meet consideration for this being prosecuted as a death penalty case."

York added that the ultimate decision lies with him and his office.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Summer winding down in Tennessee

    July 25, 2014

  • Celebrating a year of writing our area's history

    Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_1806.jpg Celebrate Farmers Market Week Aug. 3-9

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ayers2.jpg County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal

    Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
    The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores

    A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

    July 24, 2014

  • Forgery charges net six months in jail

    A Crossville woman already on parole because of a felony theft conviction has pleaded guilty to two felony counts relating to forged checks and received a split sentence with six months to be serve in jail.

    July 24, 2014

  • Unfunded mandates a challenge for schools

    Director of Schools Donald Andrews has expressed local concerns regarding unfunded state mandates in education to Gov. Bill Haslam in an informal meeting between the governor and area administrators and teachers.

    July 24, 2014

  • IMG_3745.jpg Vote early to avoid delays

    Cumberland County Election Administrator Suzanne Smith is encouraging Cumberland County voters to take advantage of the early voting period, which continues through Aug. 2 at the Election Commission Office at 2 S. Main St.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • state park boat dock.jpg Showcase of driving tours set today at Cumberland Mountain

    Discover the hidden gems of The Promised Land and Pie in the Sky Trails during the showcase 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, at Cumberland Mountain State Park. This special event is free and open to the public.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • waterfest2013.jpg Get on the water this weekend

    Volunteers from the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association offer basic instruction for kayakers at the 2013 Waterfest. This year’s event is set for Saturday at Meadow Park Lake from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, with food, exhibits, kids games, live music and water activities, with TSRA instructors offering rides on canoes, kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. There will also be pontoon tours of Meadow Park Lake from 3 to 7 p.m., offering a chance to look for wildlife. The University of Tennessee Concrete Canoe Team will be demonstrating their craft, as well, at 2:30 p.m.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014