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Woman uses Jesus as scapegoat

A woman reportedly on methamphetamine attempted to borrow a Tazewell police cruiser while the patrolman was busy handling the aftermath of a two-vehicle accident.

Amilia M. Dupree, 26, of Knoxville was arrested on Oct. 28 and booked into the Claiborne County Jail on one count each of the attempted theft of property over $10,000 and public intoxication.

Dupree allegedly told patrolman Jason Pabon that Jesus wanted her to take the vehicle “for her baby.” In his report, Pabon states that he asked Dupree if she had used any drugs.

“…the defendant stated that she had in fact used methamphetamine through the night,” states the report, in part.

The incident unfolded as Pabon was directing traffic along Hwy. 25E, nearby the Tazewell Motor Lodge. A female, later identified as Dupree, approached Pabon’s cruiser while he was engaged in conversation with the employees of the wrecker services. His cruiser was parked on the highway with its rear, blue directional lights flashing.

“The female first went to the passenger side and then went to the driver side of the patrol vehicle. (Dupree) then began to pull on the handle on the driver side of the patrol vehicle, attempting to gain entry to take the vehicle,” states the report.

Dupree was apprehended by Pabon and is currently in jail under a $25,000 secured bond.

The wreck that eventually led to Dupree’s arrest occurred shortly after midnight on Oct. 28. The incident involved a collision between a 2012 Jeep and a Schneider tractor-trailer, contracted by Walmart.

The preliminary investigation by Tazewell Police Chief Jeremy Myers concludes that the driver of the Jeep, Abigail Ferguson, 18, was traveling northbound.

According to an eye-witness, the Jeep crossed the center line, crashing into the semi driven by Benjamin Clark, 31,who was traveling southbound in the fast lane.

“The driver of the semi stated he swerved right to avoid a head on collision. The jeep struck the semi at the rear tandem axles and continued down the trailer to the rear tandem axles on the semi- trailer disabling the semi and trailer and sending them off the right side of the roadway approximately 20 feet,” reads Myers’ press release.

Ferguson was transported by Claiborne EMS to the Helipad, where LifeStar was waiting to transport her to the University of Tennessee (U.T.) Medical Center.

Myers said, during an interview held the following day, that Ferguson was treated for a broken leg and cuts, and released from the hospital.

“It’s miraculous that she is already home,” said Myers.

Crews worked until approximately 9:30 a.m. to move the tractor-trailer off the road, so the highway could be reopened.