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Manchester Man Killed In Monday Accident

Accident scene photos by Barry West.

Accident scene photos by Barry West.

Just after 5pm Monday afternoon 73 year-old Howard B Lambert, Jr of Manchester, TN was driving his 2004 Buick north bound on the Old Woodbury Highway in Coffee County just behind the new middle school. According to a report from Tennessee Highway Patrolman Donnie Clark, for an unknown reason, Lambert apparently veered off the right side of the road way and struck a utility pole at which time the vehicle came to rest.
wreck 11-24-14 ALambert died as a result of the injuries he received in the accident.
Along with the Tennessee Highway Patrol the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and Coffee County EMS responded to the accident scene.

Area Man Arrested On Robbery Charges

Courtney Lamont Somerville intake photo.

Courtney Lamont Somerville intake photo.

A Winchester resident has been charged with aggravated armed robbery in Tullahoma and faces similar charges in Winchester.
Courtney Lamont Somerville, 30, of Eighth Avenue Winchester was arrested Saturday by Winchester Police. Tullahoma Investigator Rana Pawlowski then served him with the arrest warrants from Coffee County. Somerville was arrested by Winchester Police on the Tullahoma charges.
He is accused of robbing the United Food and Gas of Tullahoma on East Carroll Street on Oct. 12.
According to a store clerk, the robber entered the store wearing a black hoodie, a full face back mask and medical gloves. After entering he jumped over the counter and pulled a black gun and held it to the back of the clerk’s head. He then grabbed her arm and pushed her into the cash register and demanded she give him the money. He then grabbed a pack of cigarettes and jumped the counter and left.
According to a warrant obtain by Pawlowski, DNA, video and audio evidence were collected by investigators that allegedly linked Somerville to the robbery.
Police are still investigating the robbery of a second convenience store and the East Carroll Liquor Store.
Somerville was charged with possession of a quantity of marijuana by Winchester Police. He faces the Franklin County Grand Jury on 3 robbery charges there.
According to authorities, Somerville has several robbery convictions out of west Tennessee.
He is being held the Coffee County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Busy Travel Weekend With Gas Prices Down

aaaWhen 41.3 million Americans load-up the family vehicle for a Thanksgiving road trip, they are likely to find the cheapest gasoline in five years.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.82 Sunday, 46 cents cheaper than the price on Thanksgiving Day 2013.
The majority (89%) of Americans will drive to their destination this Thanksgiving. Of the 41.3 million road trippers nationwide 973,710 are from Tennesseans.
The average round trip is forecast to be 549 miles this holiday weekend. Travelers expect to spend an average of $573, 31% of budgets will go toward gasoline expenses.
The low price in Manchester and Tullahoma is $2.49.

Earned Income Tax Credit Important To Rural Tennesseans

tax creditA tax credit helping many low-income working families keep more of their earnings is proving to be especially important in rural areas and small towns across Tennessee and the country, according to a new study by the Center for Rural Affairs. “The Earned Income Tax Credit was used by more people in rural and small-town, small-city areas than in big urban areas in the country,” says Jon Bailey, who conducted the nationwide analysis. The Earned Income Tax Credit has been touted as one of the most effective anti-poverty policy efforts. Bailey, the center’s rural policy director, says the higher use of the tax credit tracks right along with the other economic indicators that point to many rural families still struggling financially. Nationwide, the number of those who claim the credit is less than 19 percent in metropolitan areas, compared to more than 21 percent in rural areas and small towns and cities. Bailey predicts that divide will continue to widen. “Because the gap between rural areas and urban areas has been growing,” he explains. “So if that trend continues, I would suspect that more people are going to need to use the Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s going to be even more important.” Bailey says the increasing importance of the Earned Income Tax Credit to working families should send a message to federal policymakers to strongly consider proposals to expand its reach, making more people eligible.

Thank You First Responders

first responders 6A few weeks ago, those of us at Thunder Radio asked for your help in honoring our local First Responders in and around Coffee County. Your submissions honoring the First Responder Heroes in your life have been received and will be heard on air throughout this week on Thunder Radio. Plus, to see your First Responders honored all you have to do is watch the all new Thunder TV News video online at Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings, share joy with those you love, and honor those who protect the safety we enjoy every day. From those of us at Thunder Radio, thank you to all of our First Responders in and around Coffee County. While we could never thank you enough, we hope that you know how much you are and will always be appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving, from Thunder Radio.

Two Coffee County Men to Face Multiple Theft Charges

grand juryCharges against two men for multiple thefts will be presented to the January term of the Coffee County Grand Jury.
According to a report by sheriff’s investigator James Sherrill, the men are facing charges of six counts of theft of property over $1,000.
On Nov. 18 a trailer was reported stolen from Noah Road. A deputy taking a report informed the investigator that the resident on Noah Road had security video of the theft of a trailer from the residence. Sherrill and Investigator Kerry Farrar went to the residence and viewed the video and made a copy of it for their files.
The investigators were able to get a description of the vehicle being used by the thieves and a description of the two men taking the trailer.
The officers then located the men at a residence in the Lakewood Park area. After talking with the officers, the men admitted to taking a 4-wheeler on Noah Road and agreed to show them where they had taken trailers and four wheelers.
The men advised that they had taken a four wheeler from a residence on Jack Davis Road. But it fell off of a trailer on Ferrells Loop Road and they place it behind a vacant mobile home and recovered it the next day.
One of the men admitted to taking a trailer from a residence in Cannon County.
The investigators then spent Friday, Nov. 14 traveling to locations in Murfreesboro and Nashville working with police from each city and recovered the stolen trailers, tools and 4-wheelers. The men had sold the items to several other individuals for a lesser value than what they were worth.
Investigators have recovered several tools and a compressor that have not been reported stolen.

Because the men have not been charged with the thefts their names have not been released.

Husband Of Missing Teacher Charged With Trying To Drown His Girlfriend

Police-car-lightsThe former husband of a Bedford County teacher missing since February 2011 has been charged with trying to drown his girlfriend in Florida.
The Shelbyville Times-Gazette reports that Tyler Mook was on a boat with the girlfriend, his brother Andrew Mook and another woman in Palm City, Fla., on Oct. 4, Florida investigative reports indicate.
The reports indicate Tyler became enraged after his girlfriend asked him to slow down the boat. He is accused of throwing the woman off the boat, following her into the water and holding her under until Andrew came to her rescue.
Andrew and the other woman told investigators Tyler said he wanted to kill the girlfriend for “disrespecting” him in front of his family.
Tyler Mook remains in jail in Florida. He is considered a “person of interest” in the disappearance of his wife, Shelley, whose burned car was found near Murfreesboro after he met with him earlier on the day she disappeared.

Woman Charged With Being Drunk While Picking Up Her Children At School

Jail2A Shelbyville woman who was attempting to pick up her children this past Thursday at the Learning Way Elementary school was arrested. The principal said Veronica Myers Clayton appeared to be intoxicated and police were called to the school. A policeman made contact with the father of the children, Tyler Leverette, who was in the couple’s vehicle in the parking lot. The Shelbyville officer said he could smell a strong alcoholic beverage coming from her person. The officer said the woman had slurred speech, blood shot eyes and was having trouble standing on her own. Myers-Clayton had cuts on her face and said Leverette had hit her earlier in the day. Leverette said he had been at work and had not seen her all day.
The owner of the trailer park where the couple lives stated to police that he had seen Myers-Clayton drunk earlier in the day and watched her fall into a trailer and stumble several times. Myers-Clayton was placed under arrest.
The children were released to Leverette.
Once arriving at the Bedford County jail Myers was asked if she had anything on her that should not be taken into the facility and she said no. A corrections officer searched Myers and found 28 Hydrocodone pills in her pants and was charged with introduction of contraband along with public intoxication.

Historical Society Now Open On Saturdays

coffee county court houseCoffee County Historical Society, located in the historic courthouse on the square in Manchester, is now open on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 1:00 for the convenience of its members and visitors who work during the week. The office remains open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 to 1:00 as well.
The Historical Society has been in operation since 1969 and during that time has published quite a number of books on the history of the county as well as marriage records going back to 1853, and transcribed census records for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880, which are for sale at very reasonable prices (with a 20% discount to members). Their library also contains cemetery records, publications on the history of Tennessee and numerous other counties, several cabinets of family genealogy files, published family history books, past volumes of local newspapers from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and many other publications of interest to local residents. Many unusual old photos are also available.
Visitors are welcome to drop by the office and peruse these items any Wednesday, Friday or Saturday morning, and a knowledgeable volunteer is available to assist with research or questions. For more information, call the Historical Society office at 931-728-0145 or e-mail

Human Remains Found Are Those Of Leo Paul George Massicotte III

Leo Paul George Massicotte III

Leo Paul George Massicotte III

On July 5th, 2011, Manchester Police Department took a preliminary investigative report on a missing person, Leo Paul George Massicotte III.  Mr. Massicotte was last seen on July 3rd exiting a vehicle and walking in the direction of A.E.D.C. property towards the Hillsboro area.
Investigator Ray “Butch” Stewart was assigned the case and began searching for Mr. Massicotte. Manchester Police, along with surrounding agencies performed a search on A.E.D.C. property. That search did not result in locating any evidence. Several interviews were performed by Inv. Stewart and other members of the Manchester Police Department. When all leads and interviews were exhausted, outside resources were utilized, in cooperation with inv. Stewart and were also unsuccessful. Investigator Jason Kennedy, (with M.P.D. at the time) was assigned to assist Inv. Stewart with the case, and this past Spring, in another effort to locate Mr. Massicotte, performed a second search of the A.E.D.C. area. Cellular phone forensics identified the area of the search as the last place the cell phone Mr. Massicotte was carrying was active. After several days of exhaustive searches, Manchester Police, along with several other agencies, were unable to locate any evidence and/or remains.
On November 10th, 2014, Manchester Police was notified by Arnold Police (A.E.D.C.) of human remains found by hunters in the same general area of the past searches. The scene was secured and the investigation began to identify the remains and to search for any evidence related. Several agencies were involved in the investigation: Manchester Police C.I.D., Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Arnold Police, O.S.I., Air Force Investigations, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Tennessee Highway Patrol (C.I.R.T. team), Dr. Berryman along with M.T.S.U. Forensic Anthropology Search and Recovery Team and the State Medical Examiner’s Office.  The scene was processed and the remains were recovered and removed by the forensic team and medical examiner’s office.
During the initial investigation, DNA samples from the Massicotte family were sent to the University of Texas for a DNA profile in the event that remains were found and not identifiable. M.T.S.U. Forensic Anthropology Department was tasked with extracting the DNA from the remains. Both the University of Texas and M.T.S.U. agreed to compare information and determine if the remains located at A.E.D.C. were that of Leo Paul George Massicotte III. Based on the DNA profile and the DNA extracted from the remains, it is confirmed that these are the remains of Mr. Massicotte.
Based on the evidence from the scene, the remains and the investigation, there is no suspected foul play connected with Mr. Massicotte’s death. This missing person case is considered closed.
Manchester Police is remorseful for the Massicotte family, our thoughts and prayers will be with them during this difficult time.

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