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Showing 6 articles from January 27, 2012.


Mr. Lea, 81, passes Jan. 27

Mr. Thomas C. Tommy Lea, 81, of Lebanon died Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, at the University Medical Center. Born Aug. 7, 1930, he was the son of the late Robert Harry Lea Sr. and Ione Haley Lea.

A 1948 graduate of Lebanon High School where he played football, baseball and basketball, Mr. Lea attended Tennessee Tech University where he played baseball.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, he was a former member of the Jaycees and the Lebanon Lions Club. He owned and operated American Plumbing and Electric, Leas Gas Company and was co-founder of the Hunters Point Golf Course. An avid sports fan, he was one of the founding coaches of Babe Ruth Baseball in Lebanon.

Mr. Lea was a member of First Baptist Church for 67 years, he served as a deacon and was a member of the choir for 49 years. He was presented the Lifetime Christian Service Award at First Baptist in 2005. He took an active part in the weekly sing-a-long at Elm Croft where he had made his home the past several years and was a charter member of the West Haven Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Gwyndolen Love Robison Lea; brother Harry Lea Jr. Survivors include: three children: Debbie (Wayne) Seger, Sandra Trager and Bob Lea; five grandchildren: Austin and Kimbel Lea, David and Lindsey Trager and Haley Seger.

Services were conducted Sunday afternoon, Jan. 29, 2012, at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Don McElroy and Rev. Jonathon Richerson officiating.

Honorary pallbearers: Bill Bentley, Rev. Bob Evans, Dr. Morris Ferguson, Jim Lancaster, Jerry Triplett, Carroll Whitener, Clayton Lewis and Bobby Johnson. Active pallbearers: David Trager, Austin Lea, Buzz Crockett, Jim Robison, Joel Barnes, Jeff Ford.

Private interment was held Monday, Jan. 30 at Wilson County Memorial Gardens.

The family requests in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Gideons International or Joseph Storehouse.

Lebanon's Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, was in charge of arrangements.


General News

Accidental 911 call leads to pot bust on Hill Street

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
Narcotics Detectives with the Lebanon Police Department carried out a search warrant at 414 Hill Street in Lebanon, on Friday, Jan. 20, discovering one pound of what was believed to be marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said they received a 911 open line that day and officers were dispatched to the location. Bowen explained an open line call is when they receive a 911 call but nothing is said. We have to follow up on that, Bowen said.

Upon arriving at the residence, officers reportedly noted a strong smell associated with marijuana smoke. While making contact with the residents, assuring there was no emergency Bowen said the odor of marijuana smoke was very prevalent. Drug paraphernalia was reportedly in plain view of the officers, who then notified Narcotics Detectives.

Detectives then obtained and carried out the search warrant of the residence, reportedly finding one pound of what was believed to be marijuana, a 9mm handgun, several items of paraphernalia, including baggies, scales, rolling papers, grinder and bongs, as well as over $900 in cash.

The information and evidence we have will be presented to the grand jury and we are looking for indictments against two individuals that live at the residence, Bowen said.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

Ruling shouldn't impact 'Wooded Rapist' convictions

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling stating it is illegal for law enforcement to track an individual with Global Positioning System, or G.P.S. units, should not affect any convictions against the Wooded Rapist, according to Tom Swink, assistant district attorney with the 15th Judicial District Attorneys Office.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision (United States v. Jones), regarding the governments use of G.P.S. tracking in criminal investigations should have no effect on the Burdick case, Swink said.

On Monday, Jan. 23, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that law enforcement must first obtain a warrant before tracking an individual by installing a G.P.S. unit to that individuals vehicle.

In 2008, Robert Jason Burdick was accused of committing at least 13 acts of rape in 14 years in Davidson, Williamson and Wilson Counties since 1994. He was convicted on charges in Davidson and Williamson, sentencing him to up to 112 years in prison

Authorities attached a G.P.S. unit to Burdicks vehicle days before he was arrested on May 1, 2008, for fear that he may commit further crimes. A 16-year-old female, who was assaulted in Wilson County in February 2008, was believed to have been Burdicks final victim.

The charges in Wilson County were retired due to the fact that Burdicks sentence exceeds his life expectancy. Swink, who worked on the case nearly four years ago, said no evidence was obtained through the use of G.P.S. on Burdicks vehicle.

Swink explained that authorities used the G.P.S. in this case to track Burdicks movements and prevent another possible rape while they awaited DNA results from evidence that had already been collected.

In Burdicks case, the police had already collected the evidence which was used later to convict him before they used G.P.S. equipment on his vehicle, Swink noted.

Burdicks attorney, Carrie Gasaway, argued during trial that Burdicks constitutional rights were violated. She recently told Nashville news media the Supreme Court ruling most likely would not be enough to overturn his convictions.

Because the remedy for a constitutional violation in a criminal case is suppression of the evidence obtained as a result, and because no evidence was gleaned from the G.P.S. tracking, there would be nothing to suppress, leaving Burdicks convictions intact, Swink explained.

Although the charges in Wilson County were retired, prosecutors are able to bring the case back before the court at any time. There is a 15-year statute of limitations in the case and should any convictions be overturned, the local D.A.s office could try Burdick on the charges here.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at


General Sports

Central visits Lebanon tonight

The clock is winding down on Lebanons Campbell Brandon Gym as only three more nights of varsity basketball are scheduled in the building.

Tonights matchup with Wilson Central ought to be a good one. Girls action will tip at 6:30 p.m. Live radio coverage begins at 6:15 p.m. on WANT FM-98.9.

Both squads enter tonights contest on the heels of less than stellar performances earlier in the week. Coach Bud Brandons Central team comes in after 14-6 overall and 6-3 in District 9AAA after Tuesday nights home loss to Beech. The Lady Wildcats were outscored in the fourth quarter 14-1.

Autumn Hopkins led the scoring effort with nine points on three 3-pointers while seniors Sydney Vanlandingham and Taylor Peterson were held to four points apiece.

Lebanon stands 12-10 overall / 5-4 in the league after Hendersonville High swept the regular season series with a 72-59 win on Tuesday. HHS rained down 13 3-pointers on Lebanon and placed four players in double figures.

A pair of sophomore, Madison Sloan with 22 points for Lebanon and Kelsey Yarbrough with 13, led the Devilettes.

The boys game features two teams coming off stirring victories earlier in the week.Down 32-15 in the first half, Wilson Central rallied for a 43-39 home win over Beech. The Wildcats closed out the game on a 9-0 run

Post man Malcolm St. Louis led the Wildcats with 14 points as Central improved to 17-3 overall / 8-1 in District 9AAA. Tyler Soffiantino and Conner Brandon added nine points each.

Lebanon trailed by 11 at intermission only to come roaring back for a 56-54 win at Hendersonville. Steady Cameron High led LHS with 22 points while Jemel Officer scored nine points and Shaq Cragwall had eight. The Blue Devils upped their record to 8-13 overall / 3-6 in the league.

Wilson Central is an experienced and talented basketball team with four senior starters," said LHS coach Jim McDowell -- who was an assistant last season on the Wilson Central staff.

"They have a solid inside game with St. Louis at 6'6 and Soffiantino at 6'5. They have wings who can score from the outside in (Jacob) Williams and Brandon, and they also have one of the best players in our league in Dee Oldham who can score both inside and outside.

Coach Bond does a good job of throwing a lot of things at you defensively, which in turn forces you to prepare for a number of different looks."

Homecoming -- Lebanon will celebrate basketball homecoming tonight between games of the doubleheader.

CU women outlast Fisk 60-52

NASHVILLE -- Jessica Pace and Casie Cowan each scored 14 points to lead four double-figure scorers and Pace, Tamara Gonzalez and Samantha Harper each recorded double-digit rebounds in Cumberlands 60-52 victory over Fisk University Thursday night at Henderson A. Johnson Gymnasium.

The Lady Bulldogs (8-11) won their third straight game overall and fourth in the last five outings with balanced scoring and a 51-31 advantage on the glass.

Tasia Blue posted 11 points and Katie Smith had 10 points and nine boards in her first career start. Harper registered a career-best 12 caroms along with three assists and three steals, while Gonzalez grabbed 10 rebounds.

Monique Shelton and DeErin Rogan paced Fisk (3-13) with 15 points apiece and Rogan added seven boards.

The first half was full of runs by both teams, with Gonzalez and Blue both knocking down 3-pointers and CU scoring the first eight points of the game. But the home team answered with an 11-2 spurt led by five points from Shelton, who capped the stretch with an old-fashioned 3-point play.

The Bulldogs came right back with seven consecutive points, five from Pace and a trifecta by Courtney Atkinson. CU stretched the advantage to 27-16 with nine straight points later in the period, including a 3-pointer and two jumpers from Cowan and a layup by Smith on one of three first-half assists from Harper.Shelton and Tiffany Wynn both hit 3-pointers for Fisk and CU went to the break with a 30-23 lead.

In the second half another 7-0 run early in the period gave CU a 42-31 edge, as Blue hit a 3-pointer, Pace added a layup and Blue finished on the fast break. An 11-3 spurt by the Bulldogs later in the half that included Blues third 3-pointer of the game, buckets from Atkinson, Pace and Cowan and a pair of free throws by Smith pushed the advantage to 55-39 with 5:10 remaining.

Rogan was a one-man wrecking crew for Fisk late in the game, scoring nine straight points in the final 1:07 for the final tallies of the game.

Cumberland plays at Mid-Continent University on Saturday at 2 p.m. and returns home next Thursday to face Lyon College at 6 p.m.

WC wrestling earns spot in state duals

Wilson Centrals wrestling finished second in Thursdays Region 4AAA team dual tournament and will advance to the TSSAA Team State Tournament Feb. 3 and 4 at the Williamson County Expo Center in Franklin.

The Wildcats opened Thursdays meet with a 61-9 win over Coffee County, followed by a 64-13 victory over Seigel.

Central then lost a hotly-contested match in the finals to Blackman by a score of 37-36.

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