Florida police say Burns fugitive hanged himself in cell

Christopher Cox
Christopher Cox
Jaclyn Wall
Jaclyn Wall

Florida officials say a Dickson County fugitive apparently hanged himself in a jail cell Sunday. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reports 25-year-old Christopher Cox of Burns was found unresponsive in a one-person cell at the Stock Island Detention Center during a routine cell check. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Cox had been arrested Wednesday following a 14-hour armed standoff with police at a home in Marathon, Fla., and was being held on a federal firearms charge, awaiting extradition to Tennessee. He and his girlfriend are suspected of stealing guns and cash from her parents in Dickson County and had been on the run with her 6-year-old son for the last month. 23-year-old Jaclyn Wall and her son got out of the house at the start of the standoff during which Cox reportedly held a .45-caliber handgun to his head and threatened to kill himself. At one point Cox put the gun down and walked far enough away from it that police felt safe taking him into custody, according to a statement from Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Media Relations Director Becky Herrin. Herrin said a correction officer found Cox hanging in his cell Sunday. “Cox was housed in a single-person cell with no roommate. At 4:10 am this morning, corrections deputies performing a routine check of inmates found Cox hanging from the neck in his cell,” Herrin said. Herrin said deputies began performing CPR and Cox was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 5:08 am eastern time. Herrin said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the death. Dickson County authorities had tracked Cox and Wall to Florida through their cell phones and notified local authorities. Florida police went to a rental home on 50th Street in Marathon in the Florida Keys last Tuesday evening. Deputies removed Wall and her son from the home before Cox pulled out the pistol, pointed it at his head refusing to surrender and began a standoff that lasted until deputies rushed the home at 10:50 am Wednesday after seeing through a window that Cox had put the gun down and was standing near the front door. Police found $90,000 cash in the home, which they believe could be part of a larger amount stolen from Wall’s parents. Wall failed to show up for a custody hearing regarding her son in Dickson County and his biological father was granted emergency custody. The child had been reported missing since Sept. 22 by his father. Wall’s mother’s car was found abandoned at a hotel in Naples, Fla., and the couple told police they had been in Miami where they bought a truck and the handgun. Herrin said Cox told investigators he knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm but “people were after him and his girl.” Dickson County authorities said Cox and Wall had been staying at her parents’ home in Burns while the parents were on vacation and reported that Wall’s father’s truck and gun safe had been stolen in a late August burglary. Jewelry, guns and $200,000 were reportedly in the safe. The safe and guns were recovered Sept. 5 and Wall told Monroe County investigators they hid the jewelry outside her parents’ home. Because Cox had a previous felony conviction for theft, a warrant obtained by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Dickson County authorities had issued a warrant for Cox for violating a court order and a warrant was issued for Wall for custodial interference. Wall remained in custody in Florida Monday pending an extradition hearing. The 6-year-old has been reunited with his father.

Sheriff’s office offering free security seminar for churches

The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office is offering a free seminar on making churches more secure. The Proactive Approach to Security of Faith-Based Organizations seminar will be 8 am-5 pm Saturday, Nov. 5, at First Baptist Church in Dickson. The deadline to register is Friday. Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said the purpose of the seminar is to “teach the best ways to secure and prepare your organization for any urgent or emergency situation.” The program is facilitated by Johnny Welch, a retired instructor with the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. It will focus on making facilities safe without turning them into fortresses, forming security teams and plans, recognizing high-risk areas, emergency preparedness and security surveys. The seminar is usually $50 per participant but the fee is being waived because it is being hosted by the sheriff’s office but registration is required. First Baptist will provide lunch and the sheriff’s office will provide refreshments. Registration forms can be downloaded from dicksoncountysheriff.com and returned by email to safefaith@dicksoncounty.net. Forms also are available at the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Building at 140 County Jail Drive in Charlotte. For more information on the seminar for faith-based organizations, contact the sheriff’s office at 615-789-4130.

Dickson Habitat to dedicate 31st home 2 pm Sunday

Habitat for Humanity volunteers celebrate another build day on the 31st home in Dickson County. (photo courtesy Dickson Division Habitat for Humanity Facebook page)
Habitat for Humanity volunteers celebrate another build day on the 31st home in Dickson County. (photo courtesy Dickson Division Habitat for Humanity Facebook page)
Elisabeth Creech and her daughters are the current Habitat for Humanity partner family.
Elisabeth Creech and her daughters are the current Habitat for Humanity partner family.

The Dickson Division of Habitat for Humanity is seeking volunteers to put the finishing touches on its 31st home in Dickson County before Sunday’s dedication ceremony. Division Director Jeff Bennett said volunteers are needed Saturday primarily for landscaping at the home on Melrose Drive. The division will dedicate the new home and hand over the keys to Elisabeth Creech and her two children at 2 pm Sunday. An Illinois native who moved to Tennessee and works for Asurion, Creech has taken homeownership classes and worked on the build site for the past three weekends alongside dozens of volunteers. A single mother, Creech qualified for a zero-interest mortgage through Habitat for Humanity. “Elisabeth has gone above and beyond in fulfilling the requirements of our Habitat program. During each build weekend, she was the first to arrive and the last to leave,” Bennett says in a statement. “Our future Habitat families serve as the host for each build day, welcoming our volunteers and sponsors. Elisabeth has been a stellar host and will be a wonderful homeowner. She is set to close on her home in December and will begin paying her 30-year mortgage shortly thereafter.” Anyone age 16 or older interested in being a volunteer Saturday at the home site can contact Bennett at 615-441-9967 or find a volunteer registration at habitatnashville.org for the Dickson division. Sunday’s dedication is open to the public. Sponsors for the 31st home build in Dickson County are Armstrong Hardwood Flooring, David and Martha Shepard, Dickson First United Methodist Church, Fellowship Sunday School Class of First Methodist, First Farmers and Merchants Bank, First Federal Bank, Greater Nashville Association of Realtors – Dickson Chapter, GrindersEdge, High Noon Rotary Club of Dickson, Middle Tennessee Lumber, Porcelain Industries, Shirley and Stuart Speyer Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, U.S. Bank and United Way of Dickson County. In addition to the sponsors, volunteers have participated from Dal-Tile, Creek Wood High School and its Junior ROTC, the Dickson Women’s Club, Steve’s Home Improvement, First Baptist Church, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College and other organizations. Habitat for Humanity was founded by the Dickson County Ministerial Fellowship in 1994 and operates as a division of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.

Father admits blowing pot smoke in infants’ faces

Dale Wayne Tuberville
Dale Wayne Tuberville

A Cumberland Furnace man is charged with child abuse after two children under the age of 2 tested positive for methamphetamine and he admitted blowing marijuana smoke in their faces. Dale Wayne Tuberville of Cunningham Road also faces charges of resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia, domestic assault, theft, introduction of contraband into a penal facility, criminal impersonation, robbery, probation violation and more. In an affidavit, Dickson County Sheriff’s Office Det. Brent Johnson says Tuberville and Morgan Molinaro’s children were removed from the home by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services June 3 due to drug use and domestic violence. The affidavit says both adults tested positive for meth and THC. It also says the children, a 20-month-old boy and an 8-month-old girl, tested positive for meth in their systems. The affidavit says Tuberville, who turns 30 Monday, admitted he had smoked marijuana and “blew the smoke in the kids’ faces” and both adults admitted using meth in the home. The Dickson County Grand Jury indicted Tuberville last week on two counts of abuse of a child under 8 years old, one count of domestic assault resulting in injury on May 21, resisting arrest or search and possession of drug paraphernalia at his July 20 arrest, evading arrest and criminal impersonation on May 28, theft of a 2000 Dodge Caravan on June 28 and evading arrest on May 27. According to online jail records, Tuberville faces a list of additional charges and is being held on a total bond of $85,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the latest charges in Dickson County Circuit Court Nov. 15. The theft and child abuse charges are class E felonies with a possible sentence of 1-6 years each while the rest of the latest charges are misdemeanors.

Over 3,400 ballots cast in first 4 days of early voting

More than 3,400 ballots have been cast during the first four days of early voting in Dickson County. Through Saturday, turnout has been on a record pace with lines reported at both polling locations in Dickson and Charlotte. Administrator of Elections Roxanne Hagewood reports 3,438 early and absentee ballots have been cast through Saturday. That total is almost 40 percent of the 14-day record for early voting in Dickson County of 8,711 ballots in November 2012. Early voting continues at the Dickson County Election Office in Charlotte only 8 am-4 pm today. Early voting resumes at Restoration Church and in Charlotte 8 am-4 pm Wednesday with another day of extended voting hours 10 am-8 pm Thursday. Early voting ends Nov. 3. The deadline to submit an application to vote absentee by mail is Nov. 1. Election day is Nov. 8. The Dickson County ballot includes the elections for President, U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th District and Tennessee House of Representatives for the 69th or 78th district. White Bluff, Burns, Vanleer and Slayden are holding municipal elections and Charlotte has a liquor-by-the-drink referendum. For more information on early or absentee voting, call the Dickson County Election Office at 615-671-1146.