Court proceeding delayed for man charged in home invasion

Published 8:25 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

Arraignment for a Carter County man charged with attempted murder in connection with a home invasion was delayed Friday for security reasons.

On Thursday, deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Timothy Stapp, 44, of 128 Norman Joines Road, Elizabethton, and charged him with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, armed dangerous felonies, and carrying or possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Stapp had been set for arraignment in General Sessions Court on Friday, but after conferring with the District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office personnel, Judge Keith Bowers Jr. delayed the proceeding because Stapp is currently on suicide watch in the Carter County Detention Center. The court will review the situation on Monday and decide at that time if the arraignment can be held.

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The charges against Stapp stem from an incident at a home in the Stoney Creek Community around 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Deputies responded to a home on Mill Creek Road after a woman called 911 to report an armed subject forced his way into her home and was holding her husband hostage at gunpoint.

“Upon arrival Sgt. David Tranbarger, Deputy Tyler Johnson, and I made our way to the back of the house through the woods,” CCSO Deputy Cody James said in his report on the incident. “After we got to the house, we made entry through an open door in the garage after announcing three times that the Sheriff’s Office was there.”

When officers got inside the house, James said he heard the resident, Drew Cave, talking. Sgt. Tranbarger asked Cave if he needed medical assistance and Cave said he did not at that time.

“I then heard the suspect say he was going to make a phone call; then I heard him say he was going to either commit suicide or have the Sheriff’s Office kill him,” James said. “Once he got off the phone I heard four or five gunshots in the house, then Sgt. Tranbarger, Deputy Johnson, and I took cover behind a car in the garage.”

James said Cave ran out of the house into the garage as the gunshots were going off and he took Cave behind a truck for his safety. While checking Cave for injuries, James said he saw a man matching the description of the suspect walking in the driveway facing him with a gun raised.

According to court documents, two officers then fired shots at Stapp before he fled down an embankment.

“Once down the embankment (Stapp) was approached by another officer who fired a shot at him leading to his surrender,” CCSO Investigator Michael Bean said in the affidavit of complaint against Stapp.

Following his arrest investigators interviewed Stapp regarding the incident.

“The defendant (said) that he waited for the victim outside of his home for several hours during the early morning hours,” Bean said. “When the victim raised the garage door the defendant entered the garage and held him at gunpoint. He ordered the victim back into the residence where they began talking.”

According to Bean, Stapp admitted to shooting at Cave as he attempted to flee.

According to police reports, Cave’s wife, Cynthia Cave, was able to flee the house after Stapp entered and went to a neighbor’s home to call 911.