Man who was subject of massive Rogersville manhunt sentenced to three years

Jeff Bobo • Feb 11, 2016 at 9:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man who became the subject of a massive two hour manhunt last May after he burgled a Rogersville residence while carrying a knife was sentenced last week the three years.

Phillip Paul McKinney, 30, of Rogersville, pleaded guilty last Friday in Hawkins County Criminal Court to charges including aggravated burglary, and three counts of aggravated assault.

On the morning of May 20, 2015 shortly after 8 a.m. Rogersville police received a complaint of a home invasion on Hillcrest Street by a knife wielding intruder later identified as McKinney.

Police said McKinney had no known connection to the residence except that he lived nearby at the time. McKinney admitted he was a “heavy drug user” and police speculated he was searching for drugs or cash.

McKinney hid in a wooded area behind Rogersville Middle School for two hours while four police agencies and a police helicopter searched for him.

Meanwhile three nearby schools were placed on lockdown.

Two hours later McKinney came out of the woods onto Hillcrest Street where he had apparently coordinated to meet three friend he’d called on his cell phone to come pick him up.

Police had a tight dragnet over the area, however, and they were spotted.

McKinney entered the vehicle with his three would-be rescuers, and the driver reportedly swerved at police, but the vehicle was stopped and the rescuers were arrested.

McKinney fled on foot again and was captured while trying to escape back into the woods.

In addition to the three year sentence McKinney was ordered to pay $1,657 in fines and fees.

One of McKinney’s would-be rescuers, Danny Ray Bledsoe, 32, 154 Cedar Hills Road, Rogersville, was sentenced to eight years last Friday, but most of that time had to do with an unrelated drug case.

Bledsoe pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in connection with the McKinney incident, as well as an unrelated count of delivery of Schedule II narcotics. In addition to the eight year sentenced he was fined $6,000.

Other guilty pleas heard last Friday in Hawkins County Criminal court include:

Deonte Tysheme Bristol, 20, 1334 E. Center Street, Kingsport, who was sentenced to three years and fined $4,200 for two counts of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, theft under $500 and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Caitlin Eve Pitts, 24, 508 Clinchfield Street, Kingsport, who was sentenced to two years and one day and fined $4,200 for two counts of attempted possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to deliver theft under $500 and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Steve Lynn "Stevie" Thacker, 47, 244 Shipley Road Lot 13, Church Hill, who was sentenced to seven years and fined $1,100 for aggravated assault, escape and evading arrest.

Ashley Renee Hileman, 27, 1176 Warrensburg Road, Whitesburg, who was sentenced to one year in jail followed by seven years on probation for possession of meth with intent to deliver.

Dillon Cole West, 28, of Church Hill, who was sentenced to four years and fined $2,250 for promotion of manufacturing meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and evading arrest.

• Jeffery Allen Ramsey, 43, 1197 Old Rt. 66, Rogersville, who was sentenced to six years and fined $3,600 for three counts of violation of the sex offender registry and deliver of Schedule II narcotics.