Murder case delayed as court awaits evaluation results

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

An Elizabethton man charged with murder in connection with a stabbing death in January appeared in court on Tuesday, but his case was postponed pending the completion of a mental health evaluation.
Jacob Lee Buckles, 27, of 1005 Fairview St., Elizabethton, was arrested Jan. 7 and charged with second degree murder.
Tuesday marked Buckles’s third court appearance in Carter County General Sessions Court on the charge. When Buckles appeared in court on Jan. 15 his attorney Chad Cash requested a mental health evaluation be completed on his client.
During Tuesday’s appearance, Cash informed the court the evaluation had not yet been completed due to an issue with paperwork.
“Apparently we are going to need more time for that to happen,” Cash said, adding that both the defense and the District Attorney’s office agreed for the need for the evaluation to be completed.
Typically, the process of a mental health evaluation takes about 45 days for the evaluation to be completed and to give both the defense and state attorneys time to review the results.
Cash and Assistant District Attorney Todd Hull asked the court to reset the case to allow additional time for the evaluation on Buckles to be completed.
“We may need to ask for a special setting, or at least an afternoon setting,” Hull said.
Judge Keith Bowers Jr. granted the joint request for additional time and scheduled Buckles to return to court on May 10 to check on the status of the evaluation.
“The evaluation should be done in the next couple of weeks,” Cash said, adding once the results are reviewed the case could possibly be set for a preliminary hearing.
Officers charged Buckles with second degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Jeffery “Colt” Calloway, who died on Jan. 7 after police say he was stabbed in the chest with a sword by Buckles. Police also charged Roger Dale Morrison, 28, of 136 Jack Bradley Road, Elizabethton, with being an accessory after the fact to second degree murder in connection with Calloway’s death.
In January, Morrison waived his right to a preliminary hearing and had his charge bound over to a grand jury. Earlier this month, the grand jury returned an indictment against Morrison charging him with accessory after the fact to second degree murder. He is scheduled to appear in Carter County Criminal Court on March 28.
The incident happened around 7 p.m. on Jan. 7 at Calloway’s home at 124 Edgewater Road in the Valley Forge community. When officers arrived, they found Calloway lying on the floor just inside the front door of the home with what appeared to be one stab wound to his chest.
“Polly Calloway, Colt’s wife, reported that Jacob Buckles and Roger Morrison came to the home to collect a debt and an argument ensued,” Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said. “Polly reported that Jacob stabbed Colt in the chest with a sword.”
The woman told officers after Buckles stabbed her husband he and Morrison left their home and Morrison drove away in a rust-colored Ford Maverick. She told officers she thought the two men were headed to a home on Fairview Street in the Eastside community of Elizabethton.
Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department began searching the Eastside area for the vehicle described by Polly Calloway and found a Ford Maverick parked in the driveway at 1005 Fairview St.
As officers approached the home, both Buckles and Morrison came outside and were arrested without incident.
Lunceford said Buckles admitted to stabbing Jeffery Calloway during an interview with investigators.

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