The Lawrence County Sheriff’s department has a word of advice for criminals: If you come to Lawrence County to commit crimes, expect to be caught. And if you run from deputies, there’s an excellent chance they will chase you.
That’s what happened Monday morning when a drug suspect with a long history of meth charges wouldn’t stop for officers.
The woman, later identified as Jessica Lyn Fear, drove recklessly down a Summertown Road, then into a cornfield.
Deputies sealed off the field and called in the THP chopper to look for the female suspect.
According to Sheriff John Myers, “the deputy did exactly what she is supposed to do.”
Once deputies got the car back to the road, they searched it and found drug paraphernalia consistent with meth use.
“There was a lot of drug paraphernalia and stuff consistent with a user,” Myers said.
According to Myers, Fear’s passenger, Richard Daniel Starling surrendered in the middle of the field.
Body camera footage shows the dramatic takedown and arrest. Starling is charged with resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.
“Meth is our biggest problem, and anytime we can get some of it off the road it is a good day.,” Sheriff Myers said.
Fear took off running. The sheriff told News 2 he was concerned that she might overdose in the field.
Myers says his message to criminals is simple: if you run, his officers will chase you.
“If you run we will chase you if we think you are involved in some type of criminal activity other than a traffic citation,” he explained.
According to sheriff Myers, Fear is the fifth person in the last 30 days to lead his officers on a dangerous chase like this one.
“We will chase you, so don’t run — just give up,” he said.
Myers told News 2 that many factors are considered before his officers give chase.
“Much of it depends on the reason for the stop, road conditions, where we are at and the time of day,” Myers said. “It’s a judgment call. Our deputies are trained — they each have mandated training each year on defensive driving. They know how to drive their vehicles. So they know what they are doing, but it comes down to a decision they have to make right then and there.”
Myers says his department plans to always use caution, but chances are good if you run from Lawrence Co. deputies, they will chase you for a criminal offense.
As of this writing, the driver, Jessica Fear is still at-large. The sheriff says she is facing a multitude of charges from Lawrence County and probation violation warrants out of Maury County.
In August of 2018, Fear was charged in connection with smuggling meth into the Maury County Jail. Sheriff Bucky Rowland told News 2, she and another prisoner mixed the meth into honey buns and served them to female prisoners for a birthday party. Many of those prisoners were unaware the treats were laced with drugs.
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