Two men from Madisonville and Gastonia, N.C., are facing charges of attempted first degree murder and reckless endangerment stemming from an incident earlier this month in the Harrison Hills community in Lenoir City. Three others were arrested on multiple counts of aggravated kidnapping.
Randal Scott Bledsoe, 39, Madisonville, attempted a “premeditated and intentional killing” of two males in the early morning hours of Dec. 6 in the 3600 block of Mountain View Road, according to a Loudon County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.
A man fled from a residence “where he was being imprisoned by force with the use of a handgun and physical violence,” Inv. Sgt. Charlie Cosner wrote in the report. The man ran across the street to a residence in the 3500 block of Mountain View Road, “where he was seeking help by beating on the door,” Cosner wrote.
As the resident of the home came to the porch where the man was standing, Michael Lee Goff, 38, Gastonia, N.C., pulled up in a truck and a passenger, identified by witnesses as Bledsoe, got out of the vehicle. Bledsoe then entered the yard approximately 20 feet from the residence, which was based on the recovery of shell casings, and fired two rounds from a handgun at the man, Cosner wrote in the report.
One bullet went through a banister on the porch, while another passed through a window and into the home, lodging in the wall. The resident then ran into his home when Bledsoe proceeded to fire two additional rounds, Cosner wrote.
The resident at the home reported that “the other victim showed up at his door and was beating on his door, was wanting in,” Cosner said in a followup interview. “Whenever he opened that door he was telling (the man) you need to leave, and about that time he saw two people approaching and they started shooting.”
The second round went through the outside wall and entered a room where the resident’s two children were, according to the report.
A third person was also in the home, Cosner said in the followup interview.
“At the time, it was used as a bedroom for the two little girls, and they were in there asleep,” he said.
Bledsoe and Goff fled the scene and were later caught.
Bledsoe was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder and three counts of reckless endangerment and held on $215,000 bond.
Goff was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder and reckless endangerment and held on $410,000 bond.
Six people kidnapped
Cosner said the shooting incident led police to a home across the street where Jeremy Wayne Patrick, 34, Kingston, “knowingly confined” six people — three males and three females — while in possession of a deadly weapon Dec. 5 at a residence in the 3600 block of Mountain View Road.
Patrick was at the residence along with Donette Lashell Hightower, 32, Lenoir City, and Cheyanna Anae Suddath, 23, Memphis, who are the other defendants in the case.
A physical altercation took place between Hightower and one of the female victims. The dispute began when the female stole clothing from Hightower, according to police.
During the dispute, Patrick began to assault one of the male victims, Cosner wrote.
“And when (the man) attempted to defend himself, Mr. Patrick pulled out a handgun and (the man) stopped fighting back and laid in the floor,” Cosner wrote in the report. “Mr. Patrick then gave the handgun to Ms. Suddath who displayed the handgun to prevent the other occupants of the residence from calling for assistance or attempting to intervene in the assaults” of the two victims.
“At the same time, Jeremy Patrick instructed Ms. Suddath and Ms. Hightower to collect the cell phones of the occupants so the assaults could continue,” Cosner wrote.
Cosner said he believes at some point in the series of events, Suddath laid the gun down, which is when the man escaped the home.
“Within a short period of him getting to the house, he (Bledsoe) started shooting at him, so that’s where the premeditation came in,” Cosner said.
Patrick was charged with six counts of aggravated kidnapping and held on $300,000 bond.
Patrick was also charged with contraband in a penal institution and manufacture/sell/delivery/resale of a Schedule II substance stemming from a Dec. 6 incident in the same community.
Dispatched to a call of a shot fired in the 3500 block of Mountain View Road, police learned that a red Ford Mustang left a residence in the area and was traveling toward Lenoir City High School. Stopping the vehicle in the school parking lot, police placed Patrick under arrest on a warrant issued by the U.S. Marshals Service.
During a search at Loudon County Jail, police found a plastic bag near Patrick’s crotch containing two other, separate bags with a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine, according to the arrest report. The bags weighed about 82 grams.
Hightower was charged with six counts of aggravated kidnapping and held on $300,000 bond.
Suddath was charged with six counts of aggravated kidnapping and held on $300,000 bond.
The case is still under investigation.
“It was probably within a couple inches of me working a murder,” Cosner said. “That’s how close the bullets came, within a couple of inches” of the resident.