A Hamilton County grand jury chose not to indict a 46-year-old school teacher arrested last year on 18 charges related to his holding a group of teens at gunpoint as they tried to leave a cemetery late at night.
Stacy Swallows, 46, will not face a criminal trial after the grand jury declined to indict him on any of the nine counts of aggravated assault and nine counts of false imprisonment.
The weekly grand jury report released Wednesday.
The Sequoyah High School teacher blocked the path of nine teens with his car while holding a rifle, late on the night of Sept. 4. as the group was leaving the Shipley Road Cemetery, near Swallows home.
Friends of Swallows testified on his behalf in a November General Sessions Court hearing. Tommy Iles told the court that the cemetery had been “trashed so many times by a bunch of punks,” according to newspaper archives.
Iles and others said Swallows was only trying to protect the private graveyard.
Judge Bob Moon said at the time that the group of teens ghost hunting in the cemetery weren’t doing anything illegal or trespassing. Moon said Swallows simply overreacted.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...