COOKEVILLE – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury has resulted in the indictment of a former chief of an Overton County volunteer fire department.
At the request of then-13th District Attorney General Randall York, on May 8, 2014, the TBI began investigating a complaint of funds missing from the financial account of the Hardys Chapel Volunteer Fire Department in Cookeville. An audit of the department’s finances by the Comptroller’s office found a cash shortage of at least $37,496.11 from January 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014. The investigation revealed former Hardys Chapel Fire Chief Terry Lee Priest as the individual responsible for the theft.
On July 17th, the Overton County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging the 51-year-old with one count of Theft over $10,000. Today, Priest was arrested at his residence in Sparta and was transported to the Overton County Jail, where he was booked on a $40,000 bond.
NOTE: The following was a statement delivered by TBI Director Mark Gwyn during a news conference on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, to update members of the media on the ongoing Darrius Stewart investigation.
First and foremost, I’d like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Darrius Stewart.
We understand that for many in the Memphis community this is a difficult situation. As we continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this shooting and Stewart’s death, we understand the desire for transparency. Over the past few days, we’ve been in constant conversation with District Attorney General Amy Weirich’s office and we agree: At the appropriate time, key facts and details will be made available to the public.
In the meantime, we would ask for the public’s patience as we collect and evaluate evidence, conduct interviews, re-interview certain individuals, and piece together a full and complete set of events. When we finish our work, we will turn our findings over to General Weirich’s office for her further review and consideration.
At this time, we have yet to independently piece together a preliminary set of events on Stewart’s death. Certainly, we face some challenges with this investigation, as we started our work several days after the incident. However, we remain confident in our ability to investigate this incident with integrity, openness, and professionalism. We are grateful to the Memphis Police Department and General Weirich’s office for their support and cooperation.
As we move forward, if anyone has information that may help the investigation, we would urge them to call us at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
NASHVILLE – An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in a Lobelville teenager being indicted on a murder charge.
At the request of 21st District Attorney General Kim Helper, TBI Special Agents began investigating the fatal shooting of Sgt. 1st Class Michael Braden at the Perry County National Guard Armory on July 9, 2014. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that led to the arrest of Christopher Clark Farrar, who was 15 years old at the time. Investigators determined Farrar gained access to the Armory and fired several shots, one of which hit Sgt. Braden, 45, who later died at Perry County Medical Center. Farrar was taken into custody that night and was later charged with one count of Criminal Homicide.
At a June 12th transfer hearing, a Perry County Judge ordered Farrar, 16, to be transferred to adult court. On Monday, the Perry County Grand Jury indicted Farrar on one count of First Degree Murder. Today, Farrar was served with the indictment at the Williamson County Juvenile Center where he has been housed. He is being transferred to the Perry County Jail.
NASHVILLE – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested and charged a now former caseworker from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services accused of unlawful sexual contact with a woman at a home he was visiting this week as part of his routine work.
Earlier this week, at the request of 16th District Attorney General Jennings Jones, TBI Agents began investigating Eulice Handy. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that while on duty Tuesday as a DCS caseworker, Handy visited a residence in La Vergne to conduct an assessment of the living conditions. Investigators further determined Handy made contact with an adult female at the home, with whom he had sexual contact without her consent. Handy is no longer employed by the Department of Children’s Services.
Today, a TBI Agent arrested the 42-year-old Nashville man and charged him with one count of Sexual Battery. Authorities subsequently booked Handy into the Rutherford County Jail, where at the time of this release, he was being held on $25,000 bond.
COOKEVILLE – A joint investigation conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, the Investigative Division of the 9th District Attorney General and the Harriman Police Department has resulted in the arrest of a Ten Mile man charged with failure to register as a sex offender.
On June 25th, at the request of 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI Special Agents joined deputies with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office in investigating Richard Morris Feaster, Jr. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that Feaster was a convicted sex offender from Ohio who had established residency in Tennessee on or before August 12, 2014, but was not registered with the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.
Today, Feaster, 55, was arrested and charged with Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registry. He was booked into the Meigs County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of a program to achieve re-accreditation by verifying it meets professional standards.
Administered by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), the accreditation program requires agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support service.
As a part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session July 28, 2015, beginning at 4:00 p.m. CDT. The session will be conducted in the training rooms at TBI, located at 901 R.S. Gass Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37216.
Agency employees and the public are also invited to offer comments by calling 615-744-4051 on July 28, 2015, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. CDT. Comments will be taken by the Assessment Team. Telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards. A copy of the standards is available through TBI’s Professional Standards Unit in Nashville, (615) 744-4032.
Anyone wishing to submit written comments about the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s ability to meet the standards of accreditation is requested to send them to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, VA, 20155.
COOKEVILLE – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for a Cookeville couple accused of theft in connection to a business the husband helped lead.
On August 14, 2014, at the request of 13th District Attorney General Randall York, TBI Special Agents began investigating allegations of theft and equipment from Tennessee Master Restoration in Cookeville. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information which led to Darrell Partin, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, and his wife, Chanda, as the individuals responsible for the crime.
On Monday, the Putnam County Grand Jury returned indictments for the couple, charging Darrell, 42, with one count of Theft over $10,000 and charging Chanda, 35, with one count of Theft over $1,000. Today, both turned themselves into a TBI Agent at the Putnam County Jail, where each was subsequently booked on the charges and held on a $5,000 bond.