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Gate City woman accused of falsely reporting stabbing to cover up son's involvement in burglaries

October 21st, 2013 6:55 pm by Wes Bunch

Gate City woman accused of falsely reporting stabbing to cover up son's involvement in burglaries

GATE CITY — Charges are pending against a Southwest Virginia woman who Scott County authorities said falsely reported last week she was stabbed during a home invasion in an effort to cover up alleged burglaries her son and his friend carried out in their neighborhood.

 Scott County Sheriff John Puckett said Karen Elliott, no age given, Reed Hollow Road, Gate City, will likely be charged in the coming days for falsely reporting on Oct. 16 that she was stabbed three times in her home by an unidentified intruder.

 Elliott concocted the tale, Puckett said, to throw Scott County investigators off the trail of two burglaries that her son — Cody Hensley, 18, of Gate City — and his friend — Dakota Dorton, 19, of Dungannon — had allegedly carried out.

Both Hensley and Dorton were arrested by the Kingsport Police Department on Monday at Cloud Apartments in Kingsport. They are currently awaiting extradition back to Scott County on charges of malicious wounding, robbery and conspiracy, Puckett said.

Those charges stem from home invasions on Reed Hollow Road in Gate City the two allegedly participated in on Oct. 10 and Oct. 14.

Puckett said the 60-year-old victim of the first break-in had to be taken to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport for treatment after having his “head split open” by the suspects. The victim told police that someone entered his home before hitting him and taking his wallet and watch.

 The same night, Puckett said Elliott called Scott County E-911 and told authorities she heard what she thought was a moaning sound coming from her neighbor’s house located roughly 100 yards away.

During the Oct. 14 burglary, Puckett said the two made off with money and several World War II-era firearms and knives, among other items, after entering that residence when no one was home.

Two days after that incident, Puckett said Elliott called E-911 to report that she had been stabbed by an unidentified man who snuck into her house. Elliott told authorities the intruder hit her in the face before dragging her downstairs and holding her at knifepoint in her basement.

 Elliott’s call reportedly led to an hours-long search that night for the possible suspect by at least six officers from three different law enforcement agencies.

The alleged attack reported by Elliott was initially handled by the Gate City Police Department before being turned over to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit.

Puckett said authorities became suspicious of Elliott’s accounting of events after noticing several inconsistencies in her story and receiving new information connected to the Reed Hollow break-ins.

 Following further investigation and questioning, Puckett said Elliott admitted two days after calling 911 that she made up the assault allegations to cover up her son’s involvement in the Oct. 10 and 14 incidents.

 Puckett said additional interviews, coupled with several tips, led to arrest warrants being obtained for Hensley and Dorton.

Puckett said the investigation is ongoing.

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