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Gunman in 2017 shooting returned to Hawkins to answer kidnapping, burglary charges

Jeff Bobo • Jun 25, 2020 at 3:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The gunman who allegedly kidnapped a Mount Carmel woman three years ago and used her as bait to lure out a shooting victim in Bloomingdale was back in Hawkins County last week to answer several charges, including especially aggravated kidnapping.

Jarrett Cole “Shroom” Heitmann and codefendent Makayla Danielle Stilwell were added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 10 Most Wanted list following the June 19, 2017 kidnapping of a woman at a Bay Street residence in Mount Carmel and subsequent shooting of a man at a Kingsport residence early the next morning.

Both were arrested in New Orleans the following August.

Heitmann, 27, of Bristol, Tenn., pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to unrelated marijuana trafficking charges in exchange for a 10 year sentence.

This past Feb. 14, Heitmann pleaded guilty in Sullivan County Criminal Court to attempted second-degree murder and kidnapping in exchange for an eight year sentence which must be consecutive to the federal time.

On June 15, Heitmann appeared in Hawkins County Sessions Court, where he was arraigned on charges including especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated burglary, and two counts of aggravated assault pertaining to the alleged Mount Carmel kidnapping on June 19, 2017.

The top count, especially aggravated kidnapping, is a Class A felony punishable by up to 25 years.

During his arraignment, a preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 27, and Heitmann was then returned to the Sullivan County Jail. 

According to a report by Mount Carmel Police Department Detective Cody Bussell, the kidnapping victim stated she was watching TV around 10 p.m. on June 19, 2017 when a window shattered. She reportedly ran to a bathroom to protect another female resident, when “Shroom” (Heitmann) barged through the door and knocked her down.

Heitmann and Stilwell allegedly punched the victim multiple times and dragged her by the hair from the residence. They allegedly threw her into a car and took her to the home of the shooting victim on Bloomingdale Road, and used her to lure that person outside.

On Nov. 1, 2019, Stilwell, 25, was sentenced to five years in Sullivan County Criminal Court in exchange for guilty pleas to kidnapping and aggravated assault. Stilwell also has charges pending in Hawkins County, although she hasn’t yet been formally charged or arraigned.

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