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Fugitives' arrests ease Unicoi County sheriff's mind

Brad Hicks, Johnson City Press • Dec 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris said he was relieved when he received the call Tuesday evening notifying him of the arrests of Keith Lee Whitling and Melissa Ann Jewel.

Whitling, 42, and his girlfriend Jewel, 37, both of 566 Calvin Phillips Drive, Johnson City, were arrested in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday. Harris said the two had been fugitives from justice, stemming from a drug transaction occurring nearly a month ago in Unicoi County.

In November, investigators with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department arrested Jewel and two others for their alleged involvement in a drug transaction. While officials were preparing to arrest Whitling, Harris said Whitling began complaining of severe chest pains and shortness of breath. He was taken by ambulance from the scene to Johnson City Medical Center. However, Whitling’s stay was short, Harris said, as he fled from the hospital while the officer watching him was away.

Read the full story on the Johnson City Press site.

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