Suspect accused in TRW Automotive bomb threat has plea date set for Friday

Jeff Bobo • Apr 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The former TRW Automotive employee accused of calling in a bogus bomb threat last year at the Rogersville plant is on Friday’s Hawkins County Criminal Court docket for a plea.

Brandon Tyler Powers, 23, 534 Church Lane, Church Hill, was indicted Monday by the Hawkins County grand jury on one count of Class C felony filing a false report.

The Aug. 22, 2012, bogus bomb threat reportedly cost TRW about $1 million dollars in lost production after the plant was evacuated for a four-hour search.

Shortly before 2 a.m. that day, Rogersville police, firefighters and Hawkins County EMS were dispatched to the TRW plant located at 7500 Highway 11-W in response to a bomb threat received at the plant’s security guard shack.

TRW security guard Kristin Richards told police that at 1:38 a.m. she received a call in the guard shack from a male with a “husky voice” who said, “This is a bomb threat and you need to get everybody out of the building by 2:30 a.m.”

The building was immediately evacuated, and police were notified.

The Morristown Police Department also responded to the plant with a bomb-sniffing dog and conducted a search with police and firefighters, but no bomb was located.

The investigation later revealed that the bomb threat originated from inside the plant.

Three TRW employees reportedly gave police statements that a person told them Powers had called in the bomb threat “to get out of work and to go home.”

Rogersville Police Department Detective Charlie Gibson wrote in the arrest warrant, “The witnesses also stated they heard Brandon Tyler Powers talking on a cell phone in the bathroom stating ‘they have busted me’ and ‘come pick me up from work.’”

The bomb threat was made from a company phone outside the cafeteria in the plant.

Gibson added, “They told me he just didn’t want to work, and he was always trying to figure out an excuse to get out of work or get off work.”

Powers has been free on $500 bond since late August.

Other indictments handed down by the grand jury Monday included:

• Larry Don Epps, 64, 450 Hickory Cove Road, Rogersville, for felony filing a false report and public intoxication.

• Charles Crawford, 63, 3137 Beech Creek Road, Rogersville, for felony filing a false report.

• Wesley Eugene Stewart, 22, 122 Humphrey Lane, Johnson City, for assault.

• Crystal G. Webb, 41, 223 N. Hawkins St., Rogersville, for theft over $1,000 and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

• Darrell Harrison, 38, 1133 Longs Bed Road, Rogersville, for two counts of aggravated assault.

• James Harold Widner, 55, 2030 Walter Driver, Bulls Gap, for possession of a firearm by convicted felon, simple possession of Schedule IV narcotics and simple possession of Schedule II,

• Jordan Patrick Gilliam, 22, 570 Mooresburg Springs Road, Mooresburg, for felony evading arrest, violation of light law and driving left of center.

• Deborah Ann Hall, 46, 501 Bynum Street, Rogersville, for possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of the seat belt law.

• Zachary Alex Markham, 24, 316 Cedar Valley Road, Rogersville, for burglary and theft over $1,000.

• Raymond Jarvis Miracle, 30, Surgoinsville, for two counts of violation of the sex offender registry.

• Jordan Reed Russell, 27, 151 Hill Top Loop, Rogersville, two counts of burglary, for two counts of theft over $500 and theft under $500.

• Joshua M. Sorah, 31, 112 Goan Drive, Rogersville, for theft over $1,000.

• Stephanie Denise Bateman, 35, 131 Dogwood Lane, Lot 2, Whitesburg, for two counts of forgery.

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