2 18-Year-Olds Have Charges Bound To Grand Jury In Home Invasion

Thursday, January 10, 2013
Anthony Watkins
Anthony Watkins

Charges against two 18-year-olds were bound to the Grand Jury after a 76-year-old man told of being the victim of a home invasion in East Chattanooga.

General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom left the bond for Nakia McMillan, Jr., at $200,000 and for Anthony Watkins at $175,000.

Det. Wilbert McLean testified that Watkins is a validated member of The Cutthroats and McMillan is associated with the gang.

Richard Benford said he was fixing breakfast at his residence on Fairleigh Street when the doorbell rang about 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 16. He said after he opened both doors, he found McMillan and Watkins standing in front of him. He said a third individual put a silver revolver to his head and ordered him back inside and on the floor.

He said he was asked about guns and money and he told them he did not have any. He said, with his head covered while lying on the floor, he could hear 4-5 people running around his house searching for valuables.

Mr. Benford said he could hear them removing his flatscreen TVs from the walls.

He said after 35 minutes to an hour, the robbers spotted police outside. They ran out the back door after one shouted, "Po Po," he said.

Mr. Benford said he had opened the door because his nephew, Ronald Jones, had just left and he thought he had forgotten something and come back. He said it was the nephew, who lives just down the street, who had dialed 911.

During the incident, he said his cellphone was taken and his coffee table was broken. He said three of his four flatscreen TVs were taken off the walls, but all were still in the house, including a couple propped against the kitchen door.

Det. McLean said McMillan claimed that police started chasing him as he was walking down the street listening to music in the rain.

He said Watkins initially denied being involved, but later admitted being part of the robbery squad. He said he did not know the names of two others involved, including the gunman.

Mr. Benford said he had seen the group that robbed him before "walking up and down the street. They stay behind me."

The mother of Watkins said he is active in his church. She said she had heard of The Cutthroats, but did not believe her son was involved with the gang. She said he is from another part of town, but has a cousin in that neighborhood.

Neither individual has a prior criminal record.

Carl Huskins was the prosecutor.   

Defense attorneys are Rich Heinsman and Chris Jones.

Nakia McMillan, Jr.
Nakia McMillan, Jr.

Alexander Says Senate-Passed Bill Will Help Fight Zika, Keep Government, National Parks Open

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday voted for legislation that will provide $1.1 billion to combat the spread of the Zika virus, keep government and national parks open and fund Pell grants for college students. The bill will keep the government open through  Dec. 9 . Senator Alexander said, “Senate Democrats deserve no praise today for finally relenting and allowing ... (click for more)

Uses For Discarded Glass To Be One Of Focuses Of Green/Spaces City Recycling Grant

Finding possible uses for discarded glass will be one of the focuses for Green/Spaces under a $40,000 grant from the city related to recycling. Justin Holland, city public works director, said glass is "the most challenging" aspect in recycling at this time due to the lack of markets for recycled glass. Green/Spaces is "to launch an expansive educational marketing campaign ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 2.0 Embarrassment

Let’s pretend you are coming to a new and exciting world. You are on the jolly good ship “Mayflower” when some Miles Standish-type of a guy (he was the Pilgrim’s first cop) calls you into is presence and says, “Within two hours we are expected to stand on Plymouth Rock. Please come up with ten primary goals we should have in our public schools.” I believe you could do it within ... (click for more)

Smart Running: Vradenburgh, Boyd Win Again

There’s a lesson to be learned for those young folks who choose cross country as their sport in the fall:  It’s impossible to win a race in the first mile, but you can surely lose one in that same space. As anyone with much running experience can verify, the fastest person doesn’t always win.  Running smart and using a tactical approach with planned pacing often produces ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Wins 7-AA After Beating Notre Dame

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles took care of business at home Tuesday night as they swept visiting Notre Dame by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-19 to claim first place in District 7-AA with a 10-0 district mark and 30-8 overall. Audrie Johnson had 11 kills while Kate Barry added 17 digs and 11 assists.  Nicole Terfloth finished with 18 digs and three aces for the winners ... (click for more)