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Double stabbing in Mount Carmel attributed to dispute over meth lab proceeds

February 2nd, 2014 3:53 pm by Jeff Bobo

Double stabbing in Mount Carmel attributed to dispute over meth lab proceeds

Donald Eric Estes

MOUNT CARMEL — It took meth lab suspects more than two hours to call 911 Saturday night following a double box-cutter stabbing, and only after a woman attempted, and failed, to sew up a serious cut with a needle and thread.

The stabbing occurred in a residence at the Valley Village mobile home park, on Wolfe Lane just off of Carters Valley Road in Mount Carmel - at a residence where meth was allegedly being manufactured.

The stabbing suspect, Donald Eric Estes, 33, 1439 Wolfe Lane, Lot E-20, Mount Carmel, has been charged with two counts of attempted second degree murder, initiating meth manufacture, and resisting arrest.

Witnesses told police that Estes went to his neighbor’s trailer to receive a quantity of meth he’d been promised for his part in their alleged meth manufacturing operation. 

Estes reportedly  became enraged when he was told there was no meth for him there.

According to a report filed by MCPD Lt. Kevin Ewing, witnesses stated that Estes was arguing with Coy Allen McMurray, 37, when Michael Neil McCann, 39, stepped in between the two men.

At that point Estes, “pulled a folding box-cutter type knife from his pocket and began slicing and stabbing the two victims,” Ewing said.

Estes then fled the scene.

McCann was cut near his kidney and arm. McMurray suffered a more serious cut across his lower left abdomen, and reportedly had internal organs protruding from his wounds. 

Police and EMS were called around 11:43 p.m., but the actual stabbing reportedly occurred more than two hours earlier.

One of the witnesses, Tara Leigh Woods, 28, 1557 Greenfield Avenue, Kingsport, reportedly went to a Walgreens drug store and purchased sewing needles and thread, hydrogen peroxide, and gauze — with the intent of sewing up McMurray’s wound. Apparently she started sewing, realized that wasn’t going to work, and called 911 for an ambulance.

Shortly after responding to the residence where the stabbing occurred, several officers went next door and found Estes in his bedroom, where he was arrested following a brief scuffle. 

The box cutter was found on an ironing board near Estes’s bed.

“The investigation showed that Estes, both victims, and both witnesses had been involved in the used and production of meth at the residence where the stabbing occurred,” Ewing said. “Two ‘one pot’ methods, and a ‘gasser’ were recovered at the original scene. Documentation showed Estes had purchased psuedoephedrine on numerous occasions to assist in the manufacture of meth.”

Woods was charged with initiating meth manufacturing and tampering with evidence.

Timothy Birk Ratliff, 49, 1439 Wolfe Lane Lot 2-E, Mount Carmel, was charged with initiating meth manufacture, tampering with evidence, and maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are manufactured or sold.

Ewing added, “During the time between when the stabbings occurred and when the original 911 call was made, Ratliff and Woods removed evidence of the meth labs from inside the residence.”

Estes was being held in the Hawkins County Jail Sunday on $750,000 bond.

Ratliff and Woods were also in jail Sunday with a bond amount still to be set. All three will be arraigned Monday in Sessions Court.

McMurray and McCann both underwent surgery early Sunday morning the Holston Valley Medical Center and were each listed in good condition as of Sunday afternoon.

Meth related charges are pending against both McCann and McMurray.

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