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Archives 06-22-2005

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Thunderstorm thrashes part of Overton County
Multi-million dollar suit filed against county
Unemployment rate up to 6.2% in Tennessee

 

 

Thunderstorm thrashes part of Overton County

photos by Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
A severe thunderstorm accompanied by hail and high winds rolled through part of Overton County on Tuesday evening, June 14. The Rickman area was hit particularly hard. A trailer sitting in a field off of West Wilmoth Road (above) was blown apart by the high winds. Debris from the trailer was scattered across the road and into the adjacent field. The trailer did not appear to be inhabited. Trees along West Wilmoth Road also showed signs of storm damage, with some large trees broken down.

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Multi-million dollar suit filed against county

An arrest of the wrong man has landed Overton County in a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed in White County on Wednesday, June 15.

Overton County, Overton County Sheriff's Department, Overton County Sheriff William "Bud" Swallows, an as yet unidentified Overton County deputy (referred to as John Doe 1), White County, White County Sheriff's Department, and as yet unidentified White County deputies or the sheriff (referred to as John Does 2-10, along with NewsChannel 5 Inc. and Meredith Corporation (the parent company of Nashville Channel 4) are all named as defendants in a civil action brought by White County residents Bradley S. Simpson and his wife, Candace Simpson.

The lawsuit alleges: "On or about February 20, 2005, in the early evening hours, (Bradley) Simpson was arrested, or in the alternative taken into custody against his will, at his home by the White County Sheriff's Department and/or John Does 2-10, pursuant to false information provided by Defendants Overton County, Sheriff Swallows, and/or John Doe 1, and Simpson was told by the arresting officer or deputies that he was under arrest for three counts of attempted murder. Simpson denied any involvement in any attempted murders or shootings, and expressed to the officers or deputies that he had no idea what they were talking about.

"Upon being arrested or taken into custody against his will, Simpson was placed in handcuffs by one or more of John Does 2-10, and was taken to a police vehicle where he was held for approximately one and one-half hours. During the time he was held in the police vehicle, one or more of John Does 2-10 searched Simpson's and Candace Simpson's home and vehicles and questioned Candace Simpson and one or more of their children regarding the location of a gun. Simpson and Candace Simpson told the officers or deputies that they did not own or possess a gun.

"Simpson was transported by one or more of John Does 2-10, White County, and White County Sheriff's Department to the White County Justice Center and placed in a holding cell at approximately 9:40 p.m.

"After some period of time, Overton County, Sheriff Swallows, and John Doe 1 went into Simpson's holding cell in White County where Simpson again denied any involvement in any attempted murders. Overton County, Sheriff Swallows, and/or John Doe 1 shackled Simpson and walked him out to an Overton County vehicle. Simpson was then transported by Overton County, Sheriff Swallows, and/or John Doe 1 from the White County Jail to Overton County Justice Center.

"Simpson expressed to Overton County, Sheriff Swallows, and/or John Doe 1 that he had previously been wrongfully arrested for armed robbery and specifically identified Brandon Simpson by name as the person who was eventually charged with the armed robbery.

"While at the Overton County Justice Center, Sheriff Swallows and/or John Doe 1 showed Simpson the mug shot of Brandon Simpson, and Simpson identified Brandon Simpson as the person with whom he was previously confused in regard to the armed robbery arrest.

The lawsuit further alleges: "Also while at the Overton County Justice Center, Sheriff Swallows telephoned one of the eyewitnesses to the three shootings and placed Simpson on the phone with the eyewitness. The eyewitness asked Simpson if he is the one who has a wife and children, to which Simpson replied that he is. The eyewitness thereafter said to Simpson that he had told the officers that there are two "Brad Simpsons" and to not arrest Simpson.

"Overton County, Sheriff Swallows, and/or John Doe 1 released Simpson in the early morning hours of February 21, 2005. Simpson had no involvement in any of the three shootings for which he was arrested and detained or taken and held in custody against his will. Furthermore, Simpson had no knowledge of the three shootings for which he was arrested and detained or taken and held in custody against his will until after he was arrested and detained or taken and held in custody against his will. In fact, subsequent to Simpson's release, a different person was arrested for the same alleged crimes for which Simpson was arrested and detained or taken and held in custody against his will.

The Simpsons are asking for compensatory damages in the amount of $3 million and punitive damages in the amount of $3 million against White County, White County Sheriff's Department, John Does 2-10, Overton County, Overton County Sheriff's Department, John Doe 1, and Sheriff Swallows for violation of their civil rights, defamation, intrusion into seclusion invasion of privacy, false arrest, false imprisonment, negligence and gross negligence, outrageous conduct, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium, plus legal fees and expenses and other damages permitted by law.

The suit also seeks an award to the maximum extent permitted by the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act for the negligence.

The civil action seeks $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Channel 4 and Channel 5 for defamation and false light invasion of privacy.

The suit alleges that Channel 4 broadcast a news report with a photograph of Bradley Simpson after he had been released by Overton County authorities, and the suit alleges that a newscast reported that he had been charged with three counts of attempted criminal homicide.

The suit alleges that Channel 5 also broadcast a news report with a photograph of Bradley Simpson after he had been released by Overton County authorities, and the suit alleges that a newscast stated that he had a criminal history.

The civil suit requests a 12-person jury trial.

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Unemployment rate up to 6.2% in Tennessee

Tennessee's unemployment rate for the month of May is 6.2%, up 0.4 percentage point from the seasonally adjusted April rate of 5.8%, according to Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development James Neeley.

The national unemployment rate for May is 5.1%, down slightly from the April rate of 5.2%.

"The household survey for May shows an unusual increase in unemployed youth entering the workforce," Commissioner Neeley said. "Some school systems across the state ended earlier this year, sending more teens looking for summer work in May."

The April-to-May figures show increases in leisure and hospitality jobs, up by 4,500. Construction jobs rose by 2,500 and manufacturing jobs rose 1,600.

Month-to-month seasonal decreases took place in government jobs, down 3,700.

Professional/scientific/technical services jobs decreased 2,500 and educational services jobs fell 1,300.

From May 2004 to May 2005, trade/transportation/utilities increased by 6,600, with retail trade contributing 4,400 of these jobs.

Jobs in health care/social assistance rose by 6,100. Jobs decreased in accommodation by 1,700, information by 1,400, and state government educational services by 1,100.

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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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