LAFOLLETTE — The death of a LaFollette man in an officer-involved shooting last month was apparently the result of suicide-by-cop, with the 8th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office announcing Friday that officers’ use of force was justified.
As District Attorney Jared Effler made the announcement that the officers involved “acted with appropriate restraint and compassion,” his office released new details about the July 25 incident, which occurred on Chapman Crest Drive.
At around 3 p.m. that afternoon, 911 dispatchers received a telephone call from 64-year-old Lloyd Michael Heatherly, who said, “Yes, this is 116 Chapman Crest Drive. I have just shot my wife and I’m fixin’ to shoot myself. Bye.”
Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies responded to the scene, where they found Heatherly outside the residence, armed and verbally urging officers to shoot.
The D.A.’s office said that officers made numerous pleas for Heatherly to drop his weapon, but he refused to do so. When Heatherly pointed his gun at officers who were attempting to release their police canine to subdue Heatherly, several officers fired shots simultaneously. Even though Heatherly was wounded by the initial volley of gunfire, he continued to reach for his weapon, and more shots were fired, the D.A.’s office said.
Heatherly later died.
Inside the home, officers found Heatherly’s wife, Rose Bud Heatherly, dead of a gunshot wound.
“The actions of the officers involved were objectively reasonable and completely justified under the extremely dangerous, volatile and unfortunate circumstances they encountered,” the D.A.’s office said.
Union County man sentenced to 95 years: A Maynardville man has been sentenced to 95 years in prison for raping a child.
Ricky Breeden, of Maynardville, was sentenced Monday by 8th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton to 95 years in prison.
Breeden was convicted by a Union County jury in June on three counts of rape of a child and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.
The case was investigated by Union County Sheriff's Office Detective Randy Summers. The Union County Children's Center, Children's Center of the Cumberlands, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Children's Services played roles in the investigation, as well.
The state was represented at trial by assistant district attorneys Tyler Hurst and Meredith Slemp.