Decapitation threat, jailer attack earn Hawkins man more than 400 days in jail

Jeff Bobo • Mar 18, 2017 at 1:51 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man who allegedly threatened to decapitate an elderly man with a machete last month and then attacked a jail officer three days later, was sentenced Monday to serve a little more than 400 days of actual jail time.

Johnathan Blake Skeens, 27, 309 Western Heights Drive, Rogersville, was charged with aggravated assault on Feb. 12 after reportedly threatening to cut off the head of 74-year-old Carl Edward Johnson with a machete.

Johnson told Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Michael Lipe that Skeens came to his home on the evening of Feb. 12 and threatened to cut his throat and behead him with a machete.

“Carl stated that he (Skeens) drew the machete back and swung it at him, but stopped before it hit him,” Lipe stated in his report. “Carl advised that he left the residence because he was in fear for his life. Carl also advised that (Skeens) has threatened to burn his house down.”

Skeens was arrested at the residence later that night and charged with aggravated assault, a Class C felony.

On Feb. 15, Skeens reportedly attacked jail Officer Justin Cantrell, exclaiming he would “teach him some respect.”

According to a Hawkins County Jail report, three jailers including Cantrell, John Biggins and Linda Brockwell were beginning an inmate check when Skeens became “loud and disrespectful” toward Cantrell.

Cantrell sated in his report that Skeens was “making threats saying he was going to get me. Inmate Skeens said he would teach me some respect.”

Skeens then reportedly cursed at Cantrell and dared Cantrell to fight him.

When Cantrell told Skeens to “lock down,” Skeens reportedly took a swing at him, but the punch was intercepted by Biggins.

Skeens was placed in handcuffs following a struggle and was subsequently charged with another count of aggravated assault as well as resisting arrest.

On Monday, Skeens was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in jail in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor assault in the case of the machete threat. The plea was approved by the victim.

He was also ordered to pay $378 in fines and fees and will be eligible for early release after serving 75 percent of that sentence.

Skeens was also sentenced Monday to 180 days in jail with a 75 percent release eligibility, and ordered to pay $2,789 in fines and fees in exchange for guilty pleas to misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest in connection with the jail attack.

Both sentences are to be served consecutively.

Read more about Johnathan Blake Skeens: 

Struggle over knives spurs couple's arrest

Rogersville man accused of beating grandmother indicted

Rogersville man accused of beating grandmother takes plea



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