A Middlesboro couple could be facing the consequences of breaking the law across the state line. The Claiborne Grand Jury indicted the two last week on a total eight counts that, if convicted, could draw some serious jail time.
Billie Jo Settles, 36, and Dusty L. Overton, 42, led Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Josh Fields on a high-speed chase that netted the officer the discovery of stolen merchandise and an alleged attempt on his life — all because of a traffic stop violation.
In his incident report, Fields states he first noticed the black four-door car as it pulled from the driveway of who he would later learn was the victim in this case. Fields then witnessed the driver, Dusty Overton, fail to make a complete stop at the Tazewell intersection of King Road and Southern Lane.
Overton proceeded at a high rate of speed, again failing to make a complete stop at the intersection of King and Cave Springs Roads. The officer gave chase, initiating his lights and siren in an attempt to halt the vehicle.
Turning right onto Mulberry Road, the couple continued to lead a high speed chase. Overton eventually stopped the vehicle in the middle of the roadway, according to the report.
Fields says the driver complied with the request that he exit the car. While frisking Overton, the officer noticed Settles appearing to search for something along the floorboard, disregarding Fields’ earlier instructions to keep her hands raised.
The officer then noticed Settles pulling “something shiny” from the floor of the vehicle, which Fields states in his report was believed to be a weapon.
“After the defendant (Settles) failed to obey commands multiple times, (Fields) was forced to draw his sidearm, at which time (Settles) dropped the object in the floorboard under the seat. (Fields) removed (Settles) from the passenger side of the vehicle and discovered that the shiny object was in fact a silver Smith and Wesson small caliber revolver,” reads the report, in part.
The officer placed the two into custody and began a search of the vehicle that unearthed a host of items later determined to belong to the victim in this case.
Among the stolen items were revolvers, pellet guns, knives, a flat-screen television, a variety of vases, an assortment of jewelry and watches and a silver bowl containing pennies.
Fields states in his report that, upon later investigation, he discovered evidence pointing to forced entry of the front door of the victim’s residence.
Before transport to the Claiborne County Jail, Settles apparently confessed to carrying inside her bra a bottle of medication believed by authorities to be Clonazepam.
Under one true bill, both Settles and Overton were indicted with aggravated burglary and theft of property valued up to $60,000.
Additionally, Settles is indicted with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.
Overton is additionally charged with evading arrest and possession of burglary tools.
These incidents allegedly occurred on Aug. 21.
An indictment does not indicate guilt. It does indicate that the grand jury found enough evidence to warrant sending this case to trial.
Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.