Constable charged with assault, official oppression to stand trial Jan 11

Published 11:59 am Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Carter County constable charged with aggravated assault and official oppression will stand trial on those charges in January.

In March, agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested Barney G. Brown, 75, of Roan Mountain, on an indictment charging him with one count each of aggravated assault and official oppression. Brown serves as one of two elected constables representing the county’s 2nd District, which includes the Roan Mountain and Tiger Valley precincts.

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Following his arrest, Brown was booked into the Carter County Detention Center but was later released after posting a $25,000 bond.

On Friday, Brown appeared in Carter County Criminal Court along with his attorney, Jim Bowman, before Judge Stacy Street. The case had been set for a plea deadline.

“We have been unsuccessful in resolving this matter and we are asking the court to set a trial date,” Bowman told Street.

Assistant District Attorney Janet Hardin informed the court the trial should only take one day to hear.

Street scheduled Brown to stand trial on Jan. 11, 2018, on the charges of aggravated assault and official oppression.

Under state law, aggravated assault is listed as a Class C or Class D felony, depending on the circumstances of the incident. Official oppression is designated a Class E felony. State law defines “official oppression” as “A public servant acting under color of office or employment commits an offense who: (1) Intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, stop, frisk, halt, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment or lien when the public servant knows the conduct is unlawful; or (2)  Intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity, when the public servant knows the conduct is unlawful.”

The charges against Brown stem from an investigation by the TBI and the Carter County Sheriff’s Office at the request of District Attorney General Tony Clark into an incident which allegedly occurred in December 2016.

“The investigation revealed that on December 2nd, Brown initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling along Highway 19E in Hampton,” the TBI said in a statement following Brown’s arrest. “During the traffic stop, Brown pulled a gun on the driver and unlawfully detained him.”

On March 13, TBI agents presented the results of their investigation to the Carter County Grand Jury, which handed down the indictment against Brown the same day.