A homicide suspect appeared with a new attorney, a burglary defendant pled guilty to an information charging that offense and the numerous charges against a second man in unrelated incidents was continued in Criminal Court … again.

Thomas Mack Arnold, 50, is charged with first-degree murder in the September 2020 shooting death of Billy Ray Jones, 63, in Jones’ Christian Rd. home.

Arnold was represented by Assistant Public Defender Lara Dykes in a preliminary hearing held in November of that year but soon had to withdraw from representing Arnold.

A series of attempts to appoint a local attorney to represent Arnold was unsuccessful. The numerous potential witness list in the case has resulted in numerous conflicts of interest with Crossville area lawyers.

Last month the court system reached out to Shelbyville-based attorney Robert Marlow, a native of Cumberland County, to represent Arnold. After reviewing the case, Marlow accepted the appointment and made his first appearance with Arnold in court Nov. 23.

At that time, Criminal Court Judge Wesley Bray said it appeared the case was back on track for a late April trial date. He set Jan. 27 as a deadline date in the case for early motions and to set a date for the trial to begin.

Edward Phillip Sprout has a penchant for being accused of fleeing from police while driving on a revoked license, according to court records.

Currently, he has on the court docket four counts of evading arrest, felony possession of meth with intent, simple possession of meth and driving while license is revoked.

The oldest charge dates back to November 2017.

The problem with Sprout’s legal issues is the commission of offenses while out on bond, his absence from the jurisdiction for a period of time and the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in public court proceedings being shut down.

With at least one new charge of driving on a revoked license pending in General Sessions Court, Sprout was ordered picked up and held in jail until his next Criminal Court appearance.

The District Attorney’s Office also filed a motion to revoke Sprout’s bond. Hearings on that motion have been continued more than once and on Nov. 23 showed up on Judge Bray’s court docket.

Sprout’s attorney, Howard Upchurch, asked again that a bond be set pending the hearing to revoke the current bond. Assistant District Attorney Amanda Worley has opposed that motion.

On Nov. 23, Worley asked that Sprout be held without bond pending a full hearing on her motion to revoke. The prosecutor noted that Sprout had been released on bond with a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet and “continued to get new charges.”

Upchurch countered Sprout should not be held without bond because he has never had a hearing in General Sessions Court on the latest charge.

Bray noted that Judge Gary McKenzie had issued the temporary bond revocation and should be the judge to hear the motion to permanently revoke the bond.

“It is appropriate that Judge McKenzie hear the motion,” said Bray. He then continued the case to McKenzie’s next docket in Cumberland County which is Jan. 19.

Bray added that the two sides could contact McKenzie prior to Jan. 19 to have a bond hearing in another county or via a ZOOM conference.

In the only other case on the docket, Adam Shane Ricketts, 31, pled guilty to an information charging burglary in connection with an Oct. 22 incident. He received a two-year suspended sentence to be served on supervised probation with credit for 32 days served in jail since his arrest.

Ricketts was reportedly seen on a security camera video entering a storage building. Fine and court costs were waived and Ricketts is banned from contact with the victim.


Michael Moser may be reached at mmoser@crossville-chronicle.com

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