- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015
Guard recruiter convicted in armory shooting that hurt 3

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A jury on Thursday convicted a Tennessee National Guard recruiter who opened fire inside an armory and wounded three people, rejecting his claim that he was trying to kill himself and started firing wildly when a soldier grabbed him from behind.

Authorities said Amos Patton was angry after he learned he was being removed from his job because a female soldier had accused him of sexual assault. He pulled a gun from a fanny pack and began shooting on Oct. 24, 2013, wounding three of his superiors.

Patton, 43, was found guilty of nine charges, including four counts of assault with a firearm with intent to commit murder. He faces at least 20 years in prison when he is sentenced May 28.

Patton, who didn’t testify, showed no reaction when the verdict was read.

The jury deliberated for slightly more than two hours.

On the day of the shooting, Lt. Col Hunter Belcher told Patton about an official recommendation to remove him from his job and reduce his rank from sergeant first class, according to testimony. The meeting came after an investigation of a sexual assault complaint, investigators have said.


11 weather-related deaths now confirmed in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - There are now 11 confirmed weather-related deaths in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency reported Thursday that four more people have died from hypothermia-related causes: a 64-year-old woman and 69-year-old man in Henry County, an 85-year-old man in Sequatchie County and a 44-year-old man in Roane County. The other two hypothermia cases involved a 48-year-old man in Shelby County and 63-year-old man in Hamilton County.

Four other victims were in traffic accidents: a 30-year-old man in Knox County; a 38-year-old Overton County woman; and a 34-year-old woman and her 10-year-old son in Williamson County.

A male dialysis patient who was unable to get to treatment died in Hickman County

Tennessee remains in a state of emergency, as more ice and snow is predicted for Friday following a winter storm that hit on Monday.

According to TEMA, just over 5,700 customers were without power Thursday afternoon, down from a high of 33,000 the day before.


3 bodies found inside house that burned in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities in Knoxville say three people have been found dead inside a home that burned.

The Knox County sheriff’s office said the victims were tentatively identified by family as 73-year-old James Ralph Overton; his 64-year-old wife, Edith Nell Overton; and their 47-year-old son, James “Derek” Overton.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/181Jok3https://bit.ly/181Jok3 ) said an investigation into the cause of the fire Thursday is continuing. Knoxville Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran said officials couldn’t determine whether the fire was weather-related.

The fire was reported about 6:30 a.m., and the bodies were discovered four hours later after a track hoe was brought in to remove threatening timbers.

John Overton said his brother, who was retired, and his wife had lived in the house for about 25 years and cared for their son, who was unable to walk.



Jeb Bush to headline Tennessee GOP fundraiser in May

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is headlining the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual fundraiser in May.

Chairman Chris Devaney said Thursday that the Statesmen’s Dinner speech by the likely presidential candidate reflects that Tennessee will play a key role in the 2016 nomination process.

Devaney called Tennessee a “good place to test a message” for presidential candidates because it will be among the early states holding primaries in 2016.

Bush has been aggressively raising money as he weighs a presidential bid. His last visits to Nashville included an appearance at Vanderbilt University in October and an education discussion in March.

Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee has been named the dinner chair for the May 30 event. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the speaker last year.

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