Mt. Carmel Mayor Chris Jones was transported to Holston Valley Hospital after police found him in the breezeway of his motel room with a laceration to the neck.
According to the Kingsport Police Department’s report, when police asked Jones about the nature of his injury, “he stated that he fell on a knife.”
On the evening of April 27, KPD Officer Aaron Goddard and several other officers responded to a reported stabbing at room 282 at the Americourt motel, which is located at 1900 American Way in Kingsport.
Within his report, Goddard noted that he was initially notified by Central Dispatch that Jones had told the motel security officer, who had called 911, that he had “fallen on a knife.”
“I arrived and located Chris laying on his right side in the breezeway near the doorway of room 282,” reads Goddard’s report. “I observed Chris with a shirt wrapped around his neck. I observed Chris to have dried blood on his chest, abdomen, and on his shorts. I also observed Chris had a fairly wide laceration on his left elbow. I observed blood to be partially coagulated and not freely bleeding. I asked Chris who had done this and he stated that he fell on a knife. I asked Chris where he was cut. Chris pulled the shirt away from his neck and I observed a laceration from near the bottom of Chris’s left ear downward around the side of his neck and toward his chest.”
Goddard then questioned Amber Hale, who told police that when asked how she knew Jones, “she had been living with Chris in room 282 for approximately four weeks but was not on the lease.”
The report further states that Jones identified Hale as his girlfriend.
Jones officially has an address on Hemlock Street in Mount Carmel, although he has reportedly been evicted from that residence.
According to the report, Americourt security officer Kenny Hinson told police that he had gone to room 282 for a noise complaint.
The security officer, “stated he knocked on the door and initially did not get an answer. Kenny stated that when Amber answered the door, she hesitated to let him in. When Kenny got into the room he could see Chris was injured and called 911. Chris and Amber at some point exited room 282 and the door shut and locked behind them.”
Indicted on theft over $250,000 Readers may remember that Jones had a brush with the law earlier this year, when he was arrested on Feb. 10 on a Hawkins County grand jury sealed indictment warrant on one count of theft over $250,000.
Theft Over $250,000 is a Class A Felony punishable by 15-25 years in prison if found guilty.
The charges stem from allegations that Jones, 48, stole more than $300,000 from his elderly grandmother’s estate in West Virginia prior to her death in 2016.
During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that between November 2014 and January 2016, Jones allegedly stole the money from his grandmother and her estate by writing checks from her account to himself for false reimbursements.
Jones has stated in published reports that it was his grandmother’s wishes, before her death in 2016, that he have the money, and that while she did, in fact have a will, because she had essentially given him certain money prior to her death, that it did not have to be so stated in the will.
Although the alleged crime happened in West Virginia, Tennessee has jurisdiction because at least some of the money that was taken ended up in a bank in Hawkins County, Third District Attorney General Dan Armstrong said.
Jones spent 12 days in jail and was released on Feb. 21 after making his $100,000 bail.
Jones has been noticeably absent from the town’s monthly BMA meetings since January.
Because he has not been convicted of the aforementioned charge, and he has not been charged with any malfeasance within the municipal government, the BMA currently does not have the authority to remove him from office.
Jones is set to appear before Judge John Duggar in Sneedville on July 1 to announce if he will proceed to his trial that is scheduled for July 29 in Hawkins County Criminal Court in Rogersville.