Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

November 13, 2009

Woman not guilty in flashlight assault

A Sparta woman contended all along she was simply defending herself from an invader who walked uninvited into the mobile home she shared with her boyfriend at the time. This week a Cumberland County jury agreed.

Krystal LouAnn Harrison, 24, of White County, who formerly lived in Cumberland County in a residence behind the County Line Bar off Hwy. 70 W, was facing up to 25 years in prison but walked out of the courtroom a free woman.

"I have had this hanging over me for a year," Harrison said a few days after the trial. "Now I can start to get my life back."

Harrision was arrested Dec. 8 of last year on the charge of felony aggravated assault, accused of clubbing Dixie Ashburn, 51, of Sparta, over the head with a mag flashlight.

She contended all along that she did not club anyone; that she only defended herself from an intruder.

The fight centered around the attention of a man — the victim's ex-husband and the defendant's live-in boyfriend at the time.

Ashburn testified that she had been married to Tony Ashburn, owner of the County Line Bar, for 22 years and although they had divorced, they were on friendly terms, sharing holidays together and sometimes visiting.

Harrison went to work at the bar as a manager but a relationship developed and, according to Harrison, she was asked to stay at home and take care of domestic things while Tony Ashburn worked at the bar.

The relationship was such that the boyfriend bought Harrison a Lexus car.

In October Dixie Ashburn took her ex-husband to Cookeville General Hospital where he underwent out-patient surgery and returned home that night. While at the hospital, Harrison called to check on his condition, and for the first time, testimony showed, talked to Dixie Ashburn in a very brief conversation.

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