Couple allegedly assaults stepparent over property dispute

Published 12:39 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

A Speedwell couple was indicted this week for the alleged aggravated assault by strangulation of their stepparent which occurred on Oct. 16 of this year. The Claiborne Grand Jury returned a true bill on David Michael Mayes, 48, and Michelle Mayes, 41, on the additional charges of aggravated assault and criminal trespassing.

According to the incident report, Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Skyler Kearny spoke briefly to the victim before she was transported to a Lafollette hospital for various injuries. The day after the alleged incident, Kearny was able to take her full statement.

Kearny stated in the report that the victim said she had discovered her stepdaughter and stepson-in-law on a piece of vacated property owned by her.

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The victim told the couple they had to leave, according to the incident report.

“(The victim) stated that, at this time, both defendants pulled her from her van, and began to strike her in the head and body with their fists. (The victim) said she was brought to the ground, where the defendants continued to strike her in the head and body with their fists and feet. (The victim) stated that Michelle (Mayes) then placed both hands around the neck area of (the victim) while stating ‘I’m going to kill you, you b*tch,’” states the report, in part.

At that point, the incident report states the victim passed out.

Upon examination, the victim was found to be suffering from an assortment of bruises and cuts to the face, the back of the head and the arm area. Her rotator cuff was torn and she was diagnosed, according to the incident report, with a possible broken arm.

On the date of the statement, the victim was scheduled to undergo surgery for the torn rotator cuff.

In an unrelated incident, the grand jury indicted Leonard Vanover, 35, on one count of aggravated assault by strangulation during an incident allegedly occurring on Oct. 24.

A true bill was returned on Joe Albert Laws, 85, on two counts of aggravated sexual battery during events allegedly occurring from Feb. 1 to Feb. 28, 2016. The true bill states that Laws knowingly engaged in sexual contact with a juvenile less than 13 years of age.

Michael Treadway, 61, was indicted on one count of reckless aggravated assault allegedly occurring during an event on Aug. 22. According to the true bill, Treadway recklessly caused bodily injury to his victim by the use of a vehicle, considered a deadly weapon.

The grand jury indicted Eric Alex Lemons, 45, on one count of vehicular assault during an event allegedly occurring on March 19, 2016. According to the true bill, Lemons operated a motor vehicle while allegedly under the influence of an intoxicant, drug or controlled substance.

A true bill was returned on Tosha Helton, 31, on two counts of forgery and one count of theft under $1,000 during incidents allegedly occurring on July 26. Helton was also indicted by the grand jury on one count of failure to appear.

Steven James Turbeville, 36, was indicted on one count each of possession of more than 300 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to sell, driving on a suspended license and violation of the seat belt law during an incident allegedly occurring on Nov. 8.

An indictment does not indicate guilt. It does indicate that the grand jury found enough evidence to warrant turning the case over for trial.