Wise County grand jury indicts 49

Mike Still • Jan 23, 2020 at 9:00 PM

WISE — Two state prison inmates accused of attempted capital murder, a Big Stone Gap man accused of nine sex offenses and a St. Paul woman charged with 12 counts of embezzlement are among the 49 people indicted Tuesday by a Wise County grand jury.

The jury handed down indictments on a range of charges including drug-related offenses, larceny, assault and battery of family members, strangulation, shoplifting, false application for public assistance, possession of firearms by convicted felons and possession of stolen property.

Christopher T. Neese, 27, and Robert W. Shiflett, 37, both inmates at Red Onion State prison, were each indicted on one count of attempted capital murder and possession of an illegal weapon by a prisoner.

Neese and Shiflett are accused of trying to kill fellow inmate Mark A. Syme on July 2, 2019 with weapons made from sharpened metal. The attempted murder charges carry a sentence of up to life, and the weapon charges carry a sentence of up to five years.

John Patton Hensley Head, 37, of Big Stone Gap, was indicted on four counts each of aggravated sexual battery and indecent liberties with a child under the age of 18 and one count of sexual object penetration of a child under 18. The charges stem from incidents in June and from September to November 2019.

Each of the battery charges against Head carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, while the indecent liberties charges carry a maximum sentence of five years. The penetration charge carries a maximum life sentence.

Hayley Brooke Fields, 33, of Big Stone Gap, was indicted on one count on child abuse and neglect in connection with a Sept. 22, 2019 incident. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Patricia Jo Mielke, 41, of St. Paul, faces a 12-count indictment on embezzlement of more than $6,000 from GPM Investments LLC between January and September 2019. Each charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Kingsport Times News Videos