Woman charged with striking deputy with car bound over to Grand Jury

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Court News

A Carter County woman charged with striking a Sheriff’s Deputy with her car as she tried to escape arrest earlier this year has been bound over to a Grand Jury on those charges.
Shawna Lynn Ray, 27, of 106 Reeser Road, Johnson City, appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Monday where she was bound over to a Carter County Grand Jury on charges of aggravated assault, felony evading arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license.
Ray was originally scheduled to undergo a preliminary hearing in the case but through her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Jim Lonon, she reached an agreement with the District Attorney’s Office and agreed to wave her right to a preliminary hearing.
As part of that agreement, Ray will be transferred from the Carter County Detention Center to the Washington County Detention Center. Assistant District Attorney Mark Hill said Ray has a felony violation of probation charge pending in Washington County and the transfer would allow her to begin court proceedings in that case while the Carter County case goes through the Grand Jury process.
In January of this year, Ray pled guilty in Washington County to a charge of evading arrest with the risk of death and was sentenced to serve 5 years on probation with the Tennessee Department of Corrections’ Board of Probation and Parole in lieu of jail time. Ray now faces a charge of violating the terms of that probation due to picking up the new charges in Carter County.
As a condition of the agreement for Ray to waive her right to a preliminary hearing and be transferred to Washington County, Hill said the state has set certain restrictions on Ray should she be released from Washington County before the Carter County case is resolved.
“She still has children at Central Elementary and we are asking that she not pick them up herself,” Hill said. “That way the victim feels safe and so do the people at the school as well as the parents of children who were there when this incident happened.”
Also as a condition of the agreement, should Ray be released from Washington County, she will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor. General Sessions Court Judge Keith Bowers ruled that Ray is not to be within 10 miles of Central Elementary School and warned that the GPS ankle monitor would show if she violated that condition.
Bowers also enacted a curfew on Ray, ordering her to be at her home by 9 p.m. every evening and not to leave her home before 7 a.m. on any morning. If Ray obtains employment with a work schedule that would differ from those hours, Bowers said he would revisit the curfew issue.
In court, Ray told Bowers she did not think she would be released from Washington County before needing to return to Carter County, but said she would agree to those terms if she was.
Bowers ordered the case bound over to the Grand Jury and directed that Ray be transferred to Washington County to begin her court proceedings there.
The charges against Ray stem from an incident that happened around 2 p.m. on May 4 at Central Elementary School, located at 252 Taylortown Road, when CCSO Deputy Tracie Pierson, who serves as the School Resource Officer at Central, encountered Ray at the school.
Pierson spoke to Ray about her driving a car on a suspended driver’s license and Ray admitted to the officer she drove the car to the school and also admitted she knew her driver’s license was suspended, CCSO Sgt. Larry Vaughn said.
“Deputy Pierson said she was able to place a handcuff on Ms. Ray’s left wrist, but Ms. Ray used her right hand to start the car and put it in gear,” Vaughn said. “Deputy Pierson said that the vehicle began to move forward and she began to be dragged beside Ms. Ray’s vehicle and eventually was pinned between a parked car and Ms. Ray’s car.”
“According to witness statements, Deputy Pierson was dragged by Ms. Ray’s vehicle approximately 30 to 40 yards before Deputy Pierson fell away from Ms. Ray’s vehicle,” he added.
Witnesses said Ray fled from the parking lot at a high rate of speed.
With help from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson City Police Department and the Tennessee Constables Association, officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office located Ray and took her into custody in the Austin Springs area of Johnson City.
Pierson was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries and later released.

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