published Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Region digest

  • photo
    Jack Scroggins, 52, of Georgetown, Tenn. was charged with solicitation to commit first degree murder and booked into the Meigs County Jail without bond. (TBI)
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


'Hit man' case sent to grand jury

The Meigs County Sheriff's Office employee accused of trying to hire a "hit man" to kill his girlfriend's ex-husband was bound over to a grand jury Tuesday.

A charge of solicitation to commit first-degree murder against 52-year-old Jack L. "Jackie" Scroggins was heard by General Sessions Judge Jeffery Wicks, District Attorney General Russell Johnson said in a news release.

Wicks bound the case over to the Meigs County grand jury, which also could hear evidence against Scroggins' girlfriend, Lisa Cleary, the release said. The grand jury meets Nov. 28.

TBI Special Agent Jason Legg testified Monday that word of Scroggins' search for a hit man reached authorities in October. Johnson called for a TBI investigation that led to an undercover operation in a meeting at Scroggins' home on Oct. 19, where arrangements were made to kill Cleary's ex-husband for $15,000, the release said.

A second meeting took place Oct. 26 in the undercover agent's car at the Decatur Dollar General Store, where a $1,000 "down payment" was furnished by Scroggins along with $100 to buy a gun because Scroggins apparently was unable to provide one on his own, the release stated.


Museum opens Finster exhibit

The Tennessee State Museum in Nashville has opened a special exhibit featuring the work of the late folk artist Howard Finster.

"Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster" is among the 46,000 pieces of art he created before his death in 2001.

The exhibit includes "Elvis Presley as an Angel" and "Elvis."

The museum produced an original documentary film to accompany the exhibit that includes one of the last known interviews with Finster, a one-time tent revivalist.

The free exhibit runs through Jan. 15.

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