Man charged with attempted murder in home invasion arraigned in court

Published 4:43 pm Monday, May 8, 2017

A Carter County man charged with attempted murder in connection with a home invasion incident last week appeared in court Monday morning, and the judge presiding over the case appointed an attorney to represent him.

Timothy Stapp, 44, of 128 Norman Joines Road, Elizabethton, appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Monday morning. Stapp faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, armed dangerous felonies, and carrying or possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Stapp filled out an application for a court-appointed attorney. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. reviewed the application with Stapp and asked the man if he owned any vehicles or property.

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“I lost everything I owned,” Stapp responded.

Bowers appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Stapp and allowed Public Defender Jeff Kelly to confer with Stapp in private.

When Kelly brought Stapp back before Bowers, he informed the court his client would waive his right to have a preliminary hearing within 10 days.

“This is a very serious matter,” Kelly said. “I need to send a lawyer and an investigator down to talk to him.”

Bowers scheduled Stapp to return to court on May 23 for a status update to see if either the District Attorney or the Public Defender had any requests or motions for the court regarding the case.

The charges against Stapp stem from an incident on the morning of Thursday, May 4, when Stapp allegedly forced his way into a home in the Stoney Creek Community.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office 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. The woman, Cynthia Cave, was able to escape the home and make it to a neighbor’s to call 911.

When officers arrived on the scene, they entered the garage and heard Stapp talking with the homeowner, Drew Cave.

“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,” CCSO Deputy Cody 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.