MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Circuit Judge Tammy Harrington conducted a Status Hearing on Friday, January 9, 2015, and the Court set April 30, 2015, as a date to hear Motions in the Larry Joe Wheelon and Randall Stacy Gunter cases on aggravated cruelty to animals charges. The Defendants are afforded the presumption of innocence until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of peers.
LARRY JOE WHEELON
RANDALL STACY GUNTER
On December 15, 2014, Blount County General Sessions Judge Robert Headrick conducted a Preliminary Hearing and found that Randall Stacy Gunter should be bound over to the Blount County Grand Jury on the charges set out in Count 8 of a December 2013 18 count indictment.
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Then on April 30, 2015, Judge Harrington will rule on all Motions, and set trial dates for Defendants Wheelon and Gunter.
In December 2013, the following persons were indicted: Larry Joe Wheelon, Randall Stacy Gunter, Brandon Lunsford and Blake Primm.
Mr. Lunsford was killed in an automobile accident in November 2014.
On December 15, 2014, Blount County General Sessions Judge Robert Headrick found that the State did not meet the burden of proof necessary to establish probable cause in the case against Mr. Blake Primm, and the charge against Mr. Primm was dismissed.
The cases began when Mr. Wheelon’s barn was raided on April 18, 2013.
It is not clear if the State expects to bring any charges against Wheelon stable hand Terry Hughes or not. Hughes was at the Wheelon Barn on April 18, 2013, when a search warrant was served and executed. He invoked his fifth amendment rights on December 15, 2014, when the District Attorney Matt Dunn attempted to question him at the Gunter and Primm Preliminary Hearings on December 15, 2014.
The trials, if any, of Larry Joe Wheelon and Randall Stacy Gunter will not take place before Summer 2015.