Two charged with first-degree murder in Hawkins County stabbing

Jeff Bobo • Aug 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Three people were indicted Monday by a Hawkins County grand jury in connection with the March 24 stabbing death and robbery of Jeffery Allen McNally, 47, at his home in a Carters Valley mobile home park.

William Steve Derrick, 36, 280 Dykes Road, Church Hill; and Larry Dale Dykes, 38, 1494 Christian Bend Road, Church Hill, were each indicted on one count of first-degree murder.

Tammy Michell Hyatt, 40, 1387 Clear Creek Road, Kingsport, was indicted on a charge of accessory after the fact, a Class E felony, for allegedly giving Derrick a ride after the murder took place.

McNally’s girlfriend, Cara Heck, testified in a preliminary hearing in April that she was present when Derrick stabbed McNally at their residence in the Carters Valley Crossing Mobile Home Park, 424 Carters Valley Road, Church Hill. Heck said Derrick and Dykes were attempting to rob McNally of about 58 morphine pills and $500 in cash.

Heck said she was awakened by the sounds of a fight, and when she got up she saw Derrick beating McNally.

She testified that McNally grabbed a knife from the kitchen counter, and Derrick took the knife away from McNally.

She said that during this time Dykes wasn’t fighting but was “telling Jeffery to give up his money and his pills.”

Heck testified that she saw Derrick stab McNally and then Derrick “jerked the phone out of the wall.”

“He (Derrick) told me I better not tell anybody,” Heck testified.

She said Derrick then left. All three suspects are set for arraignment in Hawkins County Circuit Court Friday.

Coincidentally, the woman accused of burning down McNally’s and Heck’s previous residence a month earlier at 350 Red Hill Road in Surgoinsville was also indicted Monday.

Judy Ann Bailey, 37, 127 Henderson St., Surgoinsville, was indicted Monday on charges of reckless burning, aggravated burglary, theft under $500 and tampering with evidence. The charges stemmed from the Feb. 5 fire that destroyed McNally’s and Heck’s residence which police say was set by Bailey.

Bailey was found by police a short time after the fire started allegedly carrying items that had been stolen from the house including a small black purse, a lighter and about $3 in change in a child’s piggy bank.

McNally and Heck told police that Bailey had been to the residence prior to the fire, apparently under the influence and asking for a person they didn’t know. McNally and Heck weren’t home when the fire started.

The Hawkins County grand jury handed down an unusually high number of indictments Monday. Among the more serious were:

•Ricky L. Laney, 39, 110 Thomas St., Kingsport, solicitation of a minor.

•Donald Wayne Caldwell, 78, 642 Longs Bend Road, Rogersville, two counts of aggravated sexual battery of a child.

•Russell Gary Beckwith, 30, 337 Hemlock St., Mount Carmel, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, three counts of aggravated assault, and felony reckless endangerment.

•Daniel Ross McClellan, 42, 323 Shepards Chapel Road, Rogersville, two counts of rape of a child under 13 and one other sex-related felony.

•Ronnie Edward “Cotton” Seals, 51, 198 Bray Road, Surgoinsville, three counts of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, two counts of possession of dihydrocodeinone with intent to deliver, possession of Alprazolam with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, maintaining a dwelling where controlled substances are sold, simple possession of dihydrocodeinone, simple possession of marijuana, simple possession of diazepam, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

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