Benson Fred “Freddie” Klepper, 26, 101 Colonial Hills Drive, Rogersville, was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court on several charges, including leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, simple possession of Suboxone, failure to exercise due care, and failure to show proof of insurance.
At about 2 a.m. Thursday morning, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Josh Byrd was dispatched to a complaint of a hit-and-run against a pedestrian on Gun Town Road.
Glenn Russell, 37, who also lives at 101 Colonial Hills Drive, Rogersville, allegedly told Byrd he was walking on Gun Town Road when a vehicle struck him.
Another witness reportedly stated that a white 1994 Buick LeSabre had exited the roadway, struck an embankment, and then crashed into the porch at 164 Gun Town Road.
The vehicle was later found abandoned at 124 Austin Mill Road.
The residents there stated that a man wearing a green T-shirt and jeans exited the driver’s side of the vehicle and fled into the woods.
Byrd interviewed Russell again at the emergency room of Holston Valley Medical Center. Russell’s cellphone had been found on the passenger’s side floor of the LeSabre.
Byrd said Russell’s injuries weren’t consistent with someone who was struck by a car, and upon confronting Russell with that observation and the cellphone, Russell allegedly admitted he was a passenger in the vehicle when it crashed.
Russell also allegedly identified the driver as Klepper.
Russell stated that when the vehicle hit the house on Gun Town Road, he exited because he was bleeding badly from his head.
Russell also stated that he is roommates with Klepper, and the house where the vehicle was abandoned is owned by Klepper.
When officers went to the residence they share on Colonial Hills Drive, Russell reportedly gave them permission to search for Klepper inside by stating, “If you think he’s in there go get him.”
Deputies reportedly found Klepper in bed with a blanket over his head, and an orange pill believed to be Suboxone on the bed next to him.
“While speaking to officers, Klepper made the statement that the witness inside the vehicle would not testify on him,” Byrd said. “Officers observed fresh lacerations on Klepper’s face and hands. Klepper also had marks on his face and chest area consistent with the result of someone involved in an automobile accident where the air bag had deployed.”
Klepper was released from the Hawkins County Jail shortly after noon Thursday and remains free on $3,250 bond.