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80 Years Ago

Archives 07-20-2005



County Bluegrass Festival brings fans to the square
Putnam woman arrested for TennCare fraud
Cookeville man sentenced for Duncker murder



County Bluegrass Festival brings fans to the square

Beth Underwood/OCN staff
Bluegrass fans filled the Overton County Courthouse Square on Saturday, July 16 to enjoy the festivities of the Overton County Bluegrass Festival. The festival featured performers in bluegrass and gospel music on the stage on the east side of the square, while vendors sold merchandise and food on the north and west sides.




Putnam woman arrested for TennCare fraud

A Putnam County woman is charged with making false statements and submitting false documentation to get TennCare medical benefits.

Cynthia Huff, 46, of Cookeville, was arrested Friday, July 15 by Office of Inspector General (OIG) special agents and charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of services.

The charges allege that between April of 2000 and August of 2002 Huff made false statements and submitted false documentation to get on TennCare. The theft charges relate to money that TennCare paid for healthcare services that she received as a result of fraud.

Huff's bond was set at $5,000. If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to 6 years in jail on the theft over $10,000 charge, and 2 years each on the TennCare fraud and theft over $500 charges.

District Attorney General William Gibson is prosecuting the case.

Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or by logging on to www.tennessee.gov/tenncare and follow the prompts that read "Report Fraud Now".



Cookeville man sentenced for Duncker murder

Herald-Citizen staff
with permission

Andrew Soimis, who said he moved to Cookeville to get "a fresh start in life," is now sentenced to 23 years in prison for the murder of a Michigan man who had also come here last year to get a new start.

Soimis, 34, who moved to Cookeville last year from Ohio, was convicted in Criminal Court in May of this year of second degree murder in the shooting death of Daniel Duncker.

Judge Leon Burns handed down the sentence Monday, July 11, giving Soimis almost the maximum (the crime carries a penalty of 15 to 25 years) for the murder of Duncker, who had lived next door to Soimis in a Buffalo Valley Road trailer park for a short time last year.

The body of Duncker was found at the Waterloo fishing hole in northern Putnam County in April of 2004. He had been shot in the head.

Soimis was arrested in the case after Duncker's roommate told police that he and Duncker had gone fishing with Soimis that evening and that Soimis took out a pistol and shot Duncker to death.

Duncker's roommate, Steve Hollars, told investigators and later testified in court that he and Duncker had stolen cocaine out of Soimis' trailer a few days before the fishing trip.

Duncker had moved here only about a month before that and was living with his sister and her boyfriend, Hollars, while working at a convenience store, prosecutors said.

In May of this year, Soimis was tried in Criminal Court for first degree murder. A jury deliberated for about two and a half hours before returning a verdict of guilty of second degree murder, apparently finding less premeditation in the case than is required for first degree murder.

In court July 11, Judge Burns took into consideration a background investigation report prepared by a state probation officer before sentencing Soimis.

That report says Soimis continues to maintain his innocence, telling the investigating officer, "I didn't do it." The report also says Soimis has a record in Ohio of aggravated robbery and aggravated trafficking, offenses that state prosecutors had already mentioned after the May trial.

The report also says that Soimis graduated from high school in Ohio in 1991 and attended Toledo University for a time.

Soimis was represented by Nashville attorneys Michie Gibson and T.J. Jones. He was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tony Craighead.

Soimis has been in the Putnam jail since his arrest, and will now be transferred to state prison.

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Overton County News
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