The East Tennessee AMBER Alert issued for the Meigs County Sheriff’s Department has been canceled. Leland Thurman was located safe by law enforcement officials in Meigs County. For further information on his recovery, please contact the Meigs County Sheriff’s Department at 423-334-5268.
An East Tennessee AMBER Alert is being issued for the Meigs County Sheriff’s Department for 5 year-old Leland Merle Thurman. He is a white male, 3’0ft tall, weighing 42 lbs with blonde hair and was last seen wearing a black jacket and black shoes. He will be carrying a gray and red backpack. His guardian discovered him missing at 2:30 a.m. eastern time. A search by law enforcement in the area resulted in a witness seeing him walking at Mr. Zip’s Market on River Road in Decatur, Tennessee at 11:30 p.m. eastern. If you have seen Leland, please contact the Meigs County Sheriff’s Department at 423-334-5268 or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation overnight arrested a former state employee for identity theft trafficking after sending personal information of approximately 6,300 Nashville Metro School teachers and state employees to his personal email account.
Steven Hunter, 24, of Hermitage, was arrested last night and booked into the Davidson County Jail on a $10,000 bond. He has since posted bond and been released from jail. The Tennessee Department of Treasury hired Hunter in July of 2013 and discovered that Hunter emailed names, addresses and social security numbers from his state email account to his personal email account last week. After TBI seized his computer from his home, a forensic analysis of the computer showed that Hunter had researched selling social security numbers and read about individuals arrested for identity theft. TBI does not have any evidence that Hunter has disseminated any of the personal information he obtained.
NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Hickman County Sheriff’s Office have solved the 12-year-old murder of Centerville resident Jeffrey Ola and today made arrests in the case after the Hickman County grand jury handed down a murder indictments.
Ola’s wife at the time of his murder, Lisa Ann Ola who is now Lisa Ann Showalter, age 53, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was indicted on one count of first degree murder. Her son, Andrew Scott Waddell, 32, who was Ola’s stepson at the time of the murder, was indicted on one count of first degree murder. Showalter was arrested today at the Nashville airport and booked into the Hickman County Jail on $250,000 bond. Waddell is currently serving a 15-year sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections for an armed robbery conviction in 2003 and was served with the murder charge today. He is scheduled to complete his sentence in 2017 and Tennessee authorities have placed a hold on him to face the murder charge.
On January 6, 2001 at approximately 10:00 p.m., 35-year-old Jeffrey Ola was shot to death in his car in his driveway of his Centerville home. The victim reportedly left his residence at 9:30 p.m. and went to a Piggly Wiggly grocery store and then to a Sonic Drive-in restaurant and arrived home shortly before his murder. He was on his cell phone talking to his mother when he was shot several times. His mother heard him say he had been shot and was dying.
In May 2013, TBI and the Hickman County Sheriff’s office received new information about the case and revived the joint investigation which led investigators to conduct interviews and collect evidence in Oregon, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Mississippi.
“This case is an example of the persistence and perseverance of TBI agents and the Hickman County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement in Tennessee continues to investigate crimes no matter how long ago they occurred,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “I am confident this case will have a successful prosecution and justice will be served for the victim’s family.”
Hickman County Sheriff Randal Ward said of today’s arrests, “This is a case that has been on my mind since I took office in 2002 when I became Sheriff. Within the last few months, we received some new information and with the hard work of my deputies and TBI, we were able to come to this conclusion. My heart goes out to the Ola family and I hope this arrest brings them some closure.”
The 21st Judicial District Attorney General‘s Office is handling the prosecution of the case.
NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a former captain of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department for taking money collected by the department from registered sex offenders after she was indicted by the Bedford County grand jury this morning.
Rebecca Hord, 58, of Shelbyville, Tenn. was indicted on one count of theft over $10,000, four counts of forgery and one count of official misconduct. The 17th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office requested TBI investigate the missing funds in January of 2012 after an internal audit discovered the discrepancies. Hord would take the money sex offenders paid as registration fees and issue generic receipts, but the county records showed they were in arrears. In all, Hord took approximately $10,200. The Office of Comptroller of Treasury, Division of Investigations also investigated the theft. The 16th Judicial District Attorney General’s office has been assigned to oversee the prosecution of the case.
Hord was booked into the Bedford County Jail and released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to appear in court on December 20, 2013.
NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation today arrested a Gallatin woman after she was indicted by the Sumner County grand jury for stealing funds from the Gallatin Church of Christ daycare.
Donna Gregory, 53, was indicted on one count of theft of property between $10,000 and $60,000. Between 2011 and 2013, Gregory stole approximately $35,000. In the spring of 2011, Gregory was going through a personal financial hardship when she began to take cash she received from parents of the children attending the daycare and generated a computerized receipt. She would then identify the payment in the accounting system as previously deposited. This prevented the amount from showing up on a pending deposit list and kept others from noticing the missing funds. Gregory worked for the Gallatin Church of Christ daycare for 14 years.
Gregory was booked into the Sumner County jail on $5,000 bond.
MEMPHIS- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the murder of a Memphis cab driver whose body was found in Fayette County last week. Reward money is now being offered for information leading to an arrest in his murder.
Zewdneh Assemu, 43, was found beaten and stabbed to death by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office in a field near Highway 196 North the afternoon of Friday December 6, 2013. CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County, Inc. is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. In addition, Metro Cab and Yellow Cab are each offering a $1,000 reward for a total of $3,000. The cab Assemu was driving was also located near the scene along with some of his personal belongings. The victim was found after his wife reported him missing to police shortly after noon on Friday. The District Attorney General requested TBI investigate the murder.
Anyone with information is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463).