Argument over pot plants escalates into food fight, domestic assault

Jeff Bobo • Jun 27, 2014 at 4:19 PM

CHURCH HILL — An argument over marijuana plants escalated into food fight Wednesday evening, resulting domestic assault charges for a Hawkins County couple, and confiscation of seven small pot plants.

When HCSO Deputy Reba Matthews arrived on the scene she reportedly found barbecue sauce splattered on the walls and ceiling of the living room and kitchen.

Around 7 p.m. Wednesday Matthews was dispatched to a domestic dispute at 215 Jones Road Lot 2 off of Carters Valley Road just north of Church Hill.

Upon her arrival Matthews met Betty Sue Carter, 46, of that address who stated that she and her boyfriend had gotten into an altercation about his son allegedly growing marijuana on his property.

Carter claimed that her boyfriend, Alex James Arnold, 48, 218 Kincheloe Road Church Hill, had taken food from the refrigerator and thrown it at her, and also hit her in the face with the palm of his hand.

"Ms. Carter had bruising and redness on her right cheek and eye," Matthews stated in her report. "Food was thrown about the house and what appeared to be barbecue sauce was on the ceiling and walls in the kitchen and living room."

Arnold was located a short time later on Goshen Valley Road.

He reportedly stated he hadn't hit Carter, but he did push her away from him because she was "punching him in the back of the head, right arm, neck, side of the face, and throwing the food from the refrigerator at him."

"When he tried to leave he did break the latch on the front screen door by accident trying to get away from her," Matthews added. "Mr. Arnold did have redness and scratches on his face and neck, and a scratch also on the top part of his back. Mr. Arnold's clothing and hat were soiled

with food."

Arnold reportedly agreed to a search of his property and out-buildings, and seven marijuana plants were allegedly found.

Arnold was charged with domestic assault and simple possession of marijuana.

HCSO Chief Deputy Tony Allen said it was officer's discretion whether or not to charge Arnold with simple possession or felony manufacturing marijuana.

Due to the small size of the plants she opted to charge him with possession, Allen said.

Carter was charged with domestic assault.

Carter and Arnold were both released on bond Thursday evening, and both are scheduled for arraignment Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court.

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