Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
Leaf Burning Turns into Explosion Severely Burning Corryton Man
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded to an address in Corryton where a man burning leaves was severely burned when he poured gasoline on the already burning leaves. Fifty year old Barry Pierce of 6232 Renee Road was transported to U.T. Hospital with at least 60 percent of his body burned. Investigators on the scene said he will be forwarded to a burn unit possibly at Vanderbilt.
According to Sergeant Aaron Allen of the KCSO Fire/Arson Unit, Pierce had been cleaning leaves out of the gutter and put them in a barrel where he set them on fire. After they were lit, he poured more gasoline, and the vapors caused an explosion His father heard the loud noise, looked out the window, saw his son on fire and called 911. This happened shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Cold Case Unit has
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit has developed persons of interest in a 32 year old case. Investigators were able to develop the leads after identifying the murder victim in April of this year. He is Howard Hardin, who was 30 years old at the time of his disappearance. His skeletal remains were found in 1982 in an East Knox County field. A forensic examination revealed that Hardin had been shot in the head with a small caliber pistol.
Investigators say whoever committed the murder would have to have been familiar with the area where the body was found and to know that the only way to access the area was Arnold Lane. They have also submitted DNA to a private lab and are waiting on the results. Even with the new leads, investigators need the public’s help. They ask if anyone knows the associates of Hardin’s then girlfriend, Linda Cole, and or if they remember any of her friends who frequented the Magnolia Street area as well as the area off Clear Springs and Arnold Lane to contact the Cold Case Unit at 215-3705 or the KCSO at 215-2243.
Cole reported Hardin missing to the Knoxville Police Department when he failed to return to his Linden Avenue apartment on January 17, 1981. His remains were found almost a year later by the property owner.
South Knox County Pursuit Suspect Charged
The suspect involved in last night’s South Knox County pursuit has been charged. 26-year-old Christopher Shawn Forrester is being held in the Knox County Sheriff’s Detention Facility and is charged with alteration of distinguishing numbers, driving while privilege suspended, and evading arrest. He is also serving two prior warrants for escaping from a penal institution and aggravated assault. His total bond is $11,200.
Prior to his arrest last night, Forrester had outstanding warrants for aggravated assault and walking out of a treatment center called Center Point. A court order remanded Forrester from the Knox County Jail to Center Point, but he walked out of the facility before he was allowed. He was considered an escapee for failing to follow the court ordered treatment. Around 9 p.m. on Monday night, an officer recognized Forrester and the vehicle he was driving from a vehicle that had fled from officers on December 2nd. The officer also knew Forrester had outstanding warrants. The officer instructed Forrester to exit the vehicle after it stopped in front of Hialeah Apartments. Forrester instead fled in his vehicle and a pursuit ensued. He was stopped by spike strips on Cherokee Trail a short time later. He was taken into custody without incident. No one was injured. He was found to be driving on a suspended license and the vehicle’s VIN number had been altered.
Forrester has a criminal history in Knox County that includes vandalism, aggravated assault, and theft of property.
Suspect in Custody after Pursuit
A man wanted on an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault was taken into custody Monday night after a short pursuit. Christopher Forrester (no age available) was identified by a patrol officer on Chapman Highway around 9 p.m. The suspect refused to pull his car over and was stopped by spike strips on Cherokee Trail a short time later. He was taken into custody without incident. No one was injured. Charges are pending.
A court order Forrester remanded from the Knox County Jail to a treatment center called Center Point, but he walked out of the facility before he was allowed. He was considered an escapee for failing to follow the court ordered treatment.