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Crime Local News

Hawkins men charged after altercation at funeral leads to shoot-out

April 25th, 2014 12:40 am by Jeff Bobo

Hawkins men charged after altercation at funeral leads to shoot-out

Jason Lee Derrick and Austin Randall Britt

CHURCH HILL — Police believe that a verbal altercation that occurred at a funeral earlier this week escalated into an alleged exchange of gunfire late Monday night that landed two Hawkins County men in jail.

Shortly before midnight Monday, the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a suspicious person at 1321 Old Union Road in Church Hill, but while en route deputies were informed of a complaint of shots fired from that address.

Austin Randall Britt, 18, 123 Woodland Lane, Church Hill, told Hawkins County Central Dispatch that he and Jason Lee Derrick, 40, same address, were being shot at by Mark Richards from 1321 Old Union Road.

When deputies arrived at that residence, however, witnesses there said Derrick had fired first.

Nathaniel McCloud told HCSO Detective Marc Bass that he was there working on his car when he heard a voice he recognized as Derrick yelling from a wooded area near the residence stating that he was going to kill McCloud.

Then the gunshots were allegedly fired from the wooded area, at which time McCloud sent his wife up to the house to get help.

McCloud's cousin Mark Richards came out with two guns and returned fire.

Derrick and Britt then reportedly fled on foot to the nearby Woodland Lane Trailer Park where they were both apprehended.

A female resident at the mobile home park told Bass that Derrick pointed what looked like a small black pistol at her and threatened to kill her.

Derrick then allegedly forced his way into the woman's mobile home and was found by deputies hiding in the closet of the back bedroom.

"Jason admitted that he was at Mark Richards' residence looking for a fight, but did not have a gun and (didn't) shoot at them," Bass stated in his report.

Deputies didn't recover a gun from Derrick or Britt, nor did they find any spent shells in the area where their shooting would have taken place. They did, however, find a bottle of vodka, two cups, and some clothing belonging to Derrick.

Derrick and Britt were also found to be intoxicated, but the HCSO could find no evidence they had fired on the occupants of 1321 Old Union Road. Deputies confiscated two firearms from Richards, but no charges were filed against anyone at his residence.

Derrick was charged with especially aggravated burglary for allegedly forcing his way into the mobile home. That's a Class B felony punishable by 8-12 years.

Derrick was also charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly providing alcohol to Britt.

Britt was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and underage consumption of alcohol.

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