ROGERSVILLE — Two Hawkins County brothers who also happen to be among Rogersville’s most prominent businessmen appeared in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Wednesday, by coincidence, on unrelated criminal charges.
Roger Dale Stewart, 60, 5281 Highway 11-W, Rogersville, waived a preliminary hearing on two counts of misdemeanor reckless endangerment to the Hawkins County grand jury before Sessions Judge J. Todd Ross.
He is charged as a result of a head-on collision that occurred on June 11, 2012, on Highway 11-W near the Trading Post and R&R Auto Sales, which he co-owns with his brother, Rick Allen Stewart, 56, 316 E. McKinney Ave., Rogersville.
Roger Stewart is accused of driving in the wrong lane on 11-W as a shortcut to get to the car lot when he hit another car head-on. A passenger in that vehicle, 84-year-old Thelma Hughes, died six weeks after the wreck, allegedly due to injuries from the wreck.
The attorney general’s office has said that the charges against Roger Stewart may be amended as a result of Hughes’ death, but that decision is now in the hands of the grand jury. Stewart was ordered to appear in Hawkins County Criminal Court on April 16, which is the next day the grand jury meets.
Following the accident, Roger Stewart was cited into court without being booked and has not been placed on bond.
Ross told Roger Stewart he can remain free with no bond needed pending the grand jury deliberations.
On Sept. 6, 2012, Rick Stewart was charged on 45 counts related to alleged improper record keeping at Rick’s Trading Post, 4785 Highway 11-W, Rogersville, and for not having a pawnbroker’s license.
Rick Stewart was scheduled for trial Wednesday, but his case was reset to March 20.
His attorney, William Phillips II, told Ross the extra time was needed to complete an application for judicial diversion, including a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation background check.
A judicial diversion is intended to give a first-time offender with a clean record a chance to have his or her record expunged by completing a term of probation.
Phillips said his client wants to be able to show he has a clean record for the purposes of negotiating with the attorney general’s office.
The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office alleges that Stewart wasn’t maintaining proper records of pawn shop transactions at Rick’s Trading Post, some of which allegedly involved the purchase and sale of stolen property.
Rick Stewart remains free on $25,000 bond.