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Notorious Hawkins criminal back in jail on robbery, kidnapping charges

Jeff Bobo • Aug 3, 2015 at 4:09 PM

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ROGERSVILLE — One of Hawkins County’s most notorious small time criminals may have just hit the big time, notching two Class A felony charges over the weekend for allegedly kidnapping, beating and robbing a 60-year-old man.

Brandon Eugene Frost, 29, 114 Skyview Drive, Rogersville, was arrested on charges of especially aggravated robbery and especially aggravated kidnapping Friday afternoon thanks to a surveillance camera at his victim’s bank which captured an image of Frost’s face when the scarf covering his face reportedly dropped down for a moment at an ATM machine.

Since 2005 Frost has been arrested at least 45 times on more than 70 charges. His longest stretch in jail was 242 days for aggravated assault in 2011.

On May 6 Frost was released on parole after serving 110 days of a 2 year sentence for burglary, theft, insurance fraud, filing a false report, and vandalism.

Class A felonies carry a potential penalty of 15-25 years in prison.

Sherman Benton, 60, who resides on Early Branch Road far south of Rogersville near the Beech Creek community reported to the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office that he had been beaten, kidnapped and robbed late Thursday night.

Benton told the HCSO that he arrived home around 11:45 p.m. Thursday, and was walking toward his residence after exiting his vehicle, when a male came up behind him, pushed him and struck him in the head with an unknown object, causing him to fall to the ground.

Benton said the attacker then tied his hands behind him, removed his wallet, cut his belt with a knife and demanded the code for his ATM card.

The attacker then blindfolded Benton and put him in the passenger side of Benton's truck.

The attacker drove Benton to his ATM, where he withdrew money.

Benton was then driven to another location. The attacker reportedly told Benton he was being left where he could be found.The attacker then parked the truck, and secured Benton’s neck to the seat headrest with cable ties.

Benton stated that after a few minutes he didn't hear anything and he got himself free, and drove a short distance and realized he was on Devil's Nose Road a few miles north of Rogersville. Benton then drove to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies observed a severe laceration on Benton's head which required medical treatment, and several cable ties on his arm which had caused bruising.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said that during the course of the investigation detectives David Lafollette and John Pruitt, as well as Detective Daniel Byington of the Church Hill Police Department, obtained security video from the bank where a transaction was made.

“(The detectives) observed a male who concealed his face with some type cloth mask, which fell down a moment and at the Food City in Church Hill where the subject attempted to use the victims card again,” Lawson stated. “There was numerous other attempts to use the victims ATM card.”

Frost was identified from the Church Hill surveillance footage.

“When Officers went to Mr. Frost residence to talk to him about this incident, they observed the victims bank card in plain view on a dresser and was able to recover some of the clothing and items used in the kidnapping and armed robbery of Sherman Benton in a dumpster beside his apartment,” Lawson added.

Lawson said Frost and Benton know of each other but they aren’t friends. Frost may have gotten the idea to rob Benton based information he acquired through a mutual acquaintance, Lawson added.

Aside from the robbery and kidnapping charge, Frost was also arrested on a parole violation. He was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and ordered held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond.

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