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Hawkins County DUI suspect allegedly swallows pills during arrest

Jeff Bobo • Sep 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM

CHURCH HILL — A Hawkins County man arrested Saturday on DUI and drug charges in Church Hill will remain in jail at least until his December court date, which had already been set for earlier burglary and theft charges.

Jordon Royce Pumphrey, 22, 103 Heritage Drive, Rogersville, had been free on bond for charges of aggravated burglary and theft over $1,000. He’d been indicted on both counts already.

Saturday night shortly before 11 p.m., Church Hill Police Department Officer Will Mullins observed a maroon Cadillac Eldorado traveling 71 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 11-W near the Goshen Valley Road intersection.

Mullins stated in the arrest warrant that upon catching the vehicle he observed it to be weaving from lane to lane, at which time Mullins initiated a traffic stop.

Upon speaking to the driver, Pumphrey, Mullins said he observed Pumphrey to be “disoriented and confused.”

Pumphrey allegedly admitted to taking Lortab pills for pain and performed poorly on three field sobriety tests.

During the field sobriety tests, Mullins observed something in Pumphrey’s hand.

“When he was asked what he had, Jordon Pumphrey put the contents of his hand in his mouth, which I observed to be white pills,” Mullins stated in the warrant. “At this time Officer Daniel Byington, Detective Dustin Dean and myself physically restrained Mr. Pumphrey in an attempt to keep him from swallowing the substance.”

Eventually Pumphrey was subdued, although Mullins said he did swallow the pills, which he allegedly admitted to be four Xanax. Pumphrey had one more Xanax pill in his other hand, which was recovered by police, Mullins said.

Due to his state of intoxication and taking the additional pills, Pumphrey was taken to Hawkins County Memorial Hospital. Upon being released from the hospital he was charged with DUI third offense, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest and possession of Schedule IV narcotics.

Pumphrey was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and waived the charges to the grand jury. He was ordered by Judge David Brand to be held in the Hawkins County Jail pending a court appearance scheduled for Dec. 17.

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