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Dustup over dishes leads to gunfire, discovery of moonshine still

Jeff Bobo • May 2, 2016 at 6:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County deputies allegedly found a moonshine still in an outbuilding of a Beech Creek residence Saturday night after responding to a domestic dispute with shots fired.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday HCSO Deputy Mark Harrell responded to a domestic disturbance complaint involving a firearm at 200 Betnar Morelock Road, just off of Beech Creek Road in the far southern section of the county.

Witnesses stated that Guy Henderson Mendenhall, 68, of that address, had been in an altercation with his step-son, James Smallwood.

During a verbal altercation Mendenhall allegedly fired one shot toward Smallwood’s head.

“James stated Guy had been drinking, and became irate because the dishes were dirty and no one had washed them,” Harrell said. “The argument continued into the living room where Guy got a handgun from under the cushion on the couch and fired one shot by his (Smallwood’s) head, striking the front door.”

Smallwood stated the Mendenhall had a moonshine still in an out-building.

Mendenhall reportedly consented to a search, at which time deputies allegedly located a copper still commonly used to manufacture moonshine.

Although no moonshine was found at the residence, Harrell said the still was active.

Mendenhall had the mash warming and ready to begin cooking, Harrell noted. 

Deputies destroyed the still.

Mendenhall was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a handgun by an intoxicated person, and possession of a still.

Although the still possession and handgun charges are misdemeanors, aggravated assault is a Class C felony punishable by 3-6 years.

Mendenhall was held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending his arraignment Monday in Sessions Court.                           

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