News release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
JOHNSON CITY – Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have obtained indictments for 10 individuals accused in connection to a contraband investigation at the Carter County Jail.
At the request of 1st District Attorney General Tony Clark, and with the cooperation and assistance of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, TBI Special Agents began investigating activity at the jail on September 29, 2014. During the course of the investigation, TBI Agents developed information that, on several occasions that month, Correctional Officer Kenneth Edward Turner, Jr. introduced contraband into the county jail. The investigation further revealed several inmates asked Turner to bring contraband, including illicit drugs, into the facility for them, to which Turner agreed and, on several occasions, accepted payment from individuals outside the jail for deliveries to the inmates.
On Monday, the Carter County Grand Jury returned indictments for Turner, charging the 23-year-old with three counts of Official Misconduct, and three counts of Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Facility. In addition, the Grand Jury returned indictments for the following nine individuals, charging each with one count of Introduction of Contraband into a Penal Facility.
• (Inmate) Adam Hannon, 27, Elizabethton
• (Inmate) Brandon Rutledge, 29, Johnson City
• Ashlee Elizabeth Rutledge, 28, Johnson City
• (Inmate) Jeremy Cole Hall, 24, Elizabethton
• Clara Rickisha Oliver-Hall, 26, Elizabethton
• (Inmate) David Tyler Livingston, 24, Elizabethton
• Tara Nichole Nidiffer, 28, Elizabethton
• (Inmate) Ralph Wayne Whitehead, 40, Hampton
• Bertie Nellie Hodge, 61, Hampton
Today, authorities booked these individuals into the Carter County Jail, with the exception of Whitehead, who is currently incarcerated in another facility. Kenneth Turner was released after posting a $30,000 bond. At the time of this release, Rutledge, Oliver-Hall, Nidiffer, and Hodge were each being held on $15,000 bond. The indicted inmates remain in the custody of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.