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80 Years Ago

Archives 7-28-99


Woman Dies In Thursday Wreck
Local Man Survives Lightning Shock
Breeding Convicted In Bank Robbery Case
Car Taken At Local Gas Station
Sheriff's Dept. Recovers Stolen Truck
Break-In Reported At Halfacre Mill

Woman Dies In Thursday Wreck

An Alpine woman was killed and two of her four children with her were seriously injured in a one-car crash on Highway 52 around 12:50 p.m. Thursday, July 22.

According to reports, Katrina Gail Potter, 28, of Alpine, was driving a 1989 Chevrolet Corsica east on Highway 52 when, just past Bolestown Road, the car left the road, struck two trees, rolled over and then came to rest on its wheels.

Eight year-old Jessica Potter, a left rear seat passenger, reportedly got out of the car and went for help.

Mrs. Potter was dead at the scene when emergency personnel arrived. Brittney N. Potter, 10, a front seat passenger, and Brandy R. Potter, 7, a right rear seat passenger, were transported via LifeForce to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Brittney was still in Erlanger Hospital at press time. Jessica and 6 year-old Garrett Potter sustained apparently minor injuries in the crash.

THP James Sells investigated the incident with assistance from THP Jimmy King and THP Sgt. Jim Beaty.

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Local Man Survives Lightning Shock

A local man survived an electric shock after lightning struck a metal gate last Saturday.

According to family members, Casey Jay Looper, 21, of West McCormick Road, had went to check on one of his cows that was calving that had gotten down in a nearby pond around 3:45 p.m. He helped the calf to be born and headed back to the house.

As he was coming into the house, he saw his wife driving out in the pasture, apparently looking for him. He started back out to tell her he was back. As he put his hand on a metal gate to go through, lightning apparently struck the fence. Looper was knocked backwards, landing unconscious on the ground.

His wife, Victoria, returned and found him not breathing.

A neighbor, Dian Davis, came to help and administered CPR while Victoria called 911. Another neighbor, Rick Waring, arrived on the scene moments later and discovered a heartbeat. Ambulance personnel arrived and transported him to Livingston Regional Hospital where he was revived.

Mr. Looper was released later Saturday evening and is reportedly doing fine. He was wearing rubber boots at the time of the incident, which may have benefited in keeping the shock from being more severe.

The family expressed thanks to Dian Davis, Rick Waring, Jack McCormick, and the Overton County EMS and Livingston Regional Hospital personnel.

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Breeding Convicted In Bank Robbery Case
By Robert Forsman

Jerry W. Breeding, 48, was convicted of aggravated robbery by an Overton County Jury in Criminal Court last week, Judge Leon Burns presiding. The jury issued an $18,000 fine against Breeding.

The five woman, seven man jury deliberated approximately two and a half hours before returning with their verdict. Breeding was charged in connection with the theft of more than $17,000 from the Rickman Union Bank May 3, 1996.

According to testimony, two white males wearing stocking masks entered the bank shortly before noon. One man held a gun on the tellers while the other stuffed money into a sack. The two then fled the scene in a car.

During the trial, photographs of a 1991 Mercury Cougar matching the description of the getaway vehicle were introduced into evidence. According to testimony, the vehicle belonged to Breeding's girlfriend.

Several witnesses testified they saw Breeding driving the vehicle in the vicinity of the bank on the day of the robbery. The witnesses also testified that a male passenger was in the vehicle with Breeding.

According to testimony, one week after the robbery, Breeding passed a $10 bill, which was described as part of the "bait money", at a service station in Gainesboro, not far from Breeding's residence.

According to the employee who received the $10 bill, he turned it over to the owner of the station after Breeding left. The owner called an FBI agent who confirmed that the serial number matched one of the bills from the bait money. The $10 bill and an enlarged copy of the bill were introduced into evidence.

An FBI agent described bait money as bills with recorded serial numbers to later identify stolen money in case of robbery. The agent testified that he knew who was with Breeding on the day of the robbery, but he didn't have enough evidence to file charges.

During the two day long trial, the prosecuting attorney, Assistant District Attorney Owen Burnett, called 14 witnesses to the stand. No testimony or evidence pertaining to Breeding's 1980 conviction and prison sentence for bank robbery in Putnam County was allowed.

Breeding's attorney, Kelly Williams, called two witnesses to the stand. Breeding didn't testify.

According to one defense witness, who lived on a primary access road leading from Breeding's Gainesboro residence to Rickman, he didn't see Breeding going to or coming from Rickman on the day of the robbery.

According to the second witness, after hearing about the robbery on a scanner, he drove by Breeding's residence, where he saw Breeding working on a car.

A prosecution witness testified that Breeding told him he had robbed the Rickman bank. The witness also testified that Breeding said he had paid a defense witness to say he saw Breeding working on a car at the time of the robbery.

Another prosecution witness testified that Breeding said the bank in Rickman was a "pushover" and he was planning to rob it again.

While out on bond for charges connected to the May 3, 1996 bank robbery, Breeding was arrested and charged with bank robbery following the July 20, 1998 robbery of the Union Bank in Rickman. Lonnie Arlis Greenwood was also arrested and charged with bank robbery.

According to reports, after two men wearing stocking masks robbed the bank at gunpoint, Greg Phillips, the captain of the Overton County Sheriff's Department during the Loftis administration, captured Breeding and Greenwood following a high-speed chase that ended when the getaway car turned onto a dead-end road.

Several days after their arrest, Breeding and Greenwood escaped from the Overton County Jail. The two were captured in Jackson County the following day.

Breeding is scheduled to appear in Federal Court August 3 for trial on the July 1998 bank robbery.

Breeding is scheduled to appear in Overton County Criminal Court October 4 for sentencing on his conviction last week.

After his trial, Breeding was transported to Putnam County Jail, then to Davidson County, where he is being held in federal custody.

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Car Taken At Local Gas Station

A woman's car was taken when she stopped at the Raceway in Livingston around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 21.

According to reports, Billie L. Melton, 30, parked her white four-door 1996 Nissan Maxima at the gas pump. After pumping gas into her car, she went inside Raceway.

A young white male wearing a cap and shorts allegedly got in the car and drove off going west on West Main Street. Melton told police she believed the suspect was on the telephone as she was pumping gas.

The car was found around noon the following day in the Poplar Springs Community on the edge of Jackson County, according to Capt. Tim Emerton of the Livingston Police Department who is investigating the case. The car had damage to the left front fender and wheel when found.

The Livingston Police Dept. does have a suspect, who is also reportedly a suspect in thefts in Putnam County. The suspect has not been brought in at press time.

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Sheriff's Dept. Recovers Stolen Truck

A truck was reported stolen from a log yard in Rickman last week.

A blue 1990 GMC Sierra pickup belonging to Rick Walker and Jerry Dale was reported missing on Thursday, July 22. The truck was allegedly taken between 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 21 and 6 a.m. that morning.

The truck was recovered by the Overton County Sheriff's Department around 9 p.m. that night. The truck was found parked in a field near Duncans Chapel Church. A witness told the investigating officer, Sgt. Robert Garrett, that a door was heard shutting loudly around 5:30 a.m. that morning and that a mid-size dark colored truck appeared to be pulling out from Duncans Chapel Church.

The steering column was broken in the recovered truck and the stereo was missing from the dash.

The case is still under investigation.

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Break-In Reported At Halfacre Mill

A break-in was reported at Halfacre Mill on Campground Road Friday, July 16.

According to reports, workers at the mill came in to work and found the door to the office trailer open. Upon arriving at the scene, Deputy Greg Etheredge of the Overton County Sheriff's Department found that the door had been forced open. It appeared to Dep. Etheredge that the intruder had went through both the front and rear offices.

Reported missing were a Sharp plain paper copier, a Brother fax machine, a 5-inch screen television, a Cobra citizen's band radio, a microwave, a clip board size canvas bag, and loose coins in the amount of $20. Estimated total value of the missing items was more than $2,500.

The theft apparently occurred between 3 p.m. Thursday, July 15 and 6:50 p.m. Friday, July 16.

Dep. Etheredge was assisted in the investigation by Livings-ton Police Chief Roger Phillips and LPD Capt. Tim Emerton as well as other members of the Overton County Sheriff's Dept.

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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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