published Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

School threat nets man 16-year term — and more Chattanooga region news

School threat nets man 16-year term

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — The first terrorism charges filed by Shelbyville police have led to a lengthy prison sentence.

According to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Tyrone Watts, of Tullahoma, was handed 16 years in prison on Friday in a confrontation at his stepson's school. The 43-year-old Watts must serve 35 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Prosecutors said Watts was denied permission to check his stepson out of Thomas Magnet School in December because the custodial parent had not supplied a permission letter.

Investigators said Watts threatened to return to the school with an AK-47 rifle and kill everyone, then shoot himself.

Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell said it was "an enormous threat" that would not be tolerated.

Watts was convicted of attempted terrorism and disorderly conduct.


Gun rights case goes to grand jury

NASHVILLE — A Nashville judge has sent to a grand jury the case of a man who walked around downtown last month wearing a bullet-proof vest with an AR-15 on his back.

Leonard Embody was not charged with carrying the gun, which was unloaded. Instead, he was charged with possession of a silencer. Embody says he legally owns the silencer. In court on Tuesday, the judge would not allow him to introduce documents to that effect.

Embody acted as his own lawyer during the preliminary hearing, which lasted more than an hour. Embody tried to show that police did not have the right to stop and arrest him on July 29.

Judge Michael Mondelli disagreed, telling Embody the officer only needed a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.


Indicted pastor still ordained

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama pastor indicted in the gunshot killing of his wife and the wounding of his daughter remains an ordained United Methodist minister seven months after his arrest.

Church lawyer Terry McElheny says the Rev. Terry Greer no longer can preach or perform services as a United Methodist pastor.

Yet the attorney says Greer hasn't surrendered his preaching credentials and the church hasn't taken them from him. So he is still considered a pastor.

The 54-year-old Greer is being held without bond in the January killing of wife Lisa Greer and the wounding of their daughter.

Greer is on involuntary leave and isn't being paid, and his benefits have ended.

A defense attorney has said the shootings followed months of problems for Greer.

The pastor hasn't entered a plea.

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