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Crime Local News

Morristown couple sentenced to 6-plus years for Lee home burglary

April 11th, 2014 11:21 pm by Wes Bunch

Morristown couple sentenced  to 6-plus years for Lee home burglary

JONESVILLE — A husband and wife convicted of stealing $6,000 in property from a Lee County home were ordered to serve multiple years in prison this week during an appearance in Lee County Circuit Court.

Ivy Lea Carpenter, 39, and Eddie Jack Knuckles, 32, both of Morristown, Tenn., were ordered to serve sentences of 6 years, 6 months and 5 years, 6 months, respectively, as a result of pleading guilty in February to charges of breaking and entering, grand larceny and conspiracy.

Knuckles also pleaded guilty to felony eluding of a police officer.

During Monday's hearing, Circuit Court Judge Tammy McElyea noted the co-defendants' criminal history when handing down her sentences.

Carpenter was already on supervised probation in Tennessee for eight burglary and larceny convictions, as well as two probation violations, when the October 2013 home invasion in Pennington Gap occurred.

Knuckles served a six-year prison sentence as a result of a 2006 conviction for aggravated assault.

Lee County Commonwealth's Attorney Shawn Hines said the couple stole an estimated $6,000 from a residence on John Audia Road in Pennington Gap.

Neighbors reported the pair after observing them exit their vehicle and peer through the windows of the residence.

Carpenter and Knuckles reportedly pried the doors of the home open before filling several plastic bags with items from inside.

The couple left the scene just before law enforcement arrived. Pennington Gap police attempted to pull over their 1990s model Trans Am, but Knuckles reportedly fled at a high rate of speed on Highway 421 toward Kentucky.

The suspects then abandoned the vehicle on a rural road before running into a nearby wooded area. Most of the items taken in the burglary were found in the vehicle.

After several hours of hiding, the two were located lying in a thicket and were arrested by authorities.

During Monday's hearing, Knuckles told the court that on the day of the break-in he and Carpenter consumed approximately 30 Fioricets, which is a barbiturate drug designed for sedation of the central nervous system.

Both Carpenter and Knuckles have similar charges pending in Scott County, Va.

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