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Recovered from slashed neck, Mount Carmel mayor now charged with domestic assault

Jeff Bobo • May 29, 2020 at 1:03 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — After sitting through a two-hour Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday evening, Mayor Chris Jones went home and allegedly became involved in an argument with his girlfriend, which resulted in his arrest for domestic assault.

Around 9:30 p.m., the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic assault complaint at Jones’ residence at 337 Hemlock St. 

Jones’ live-in girlfriend, Amber Page Hale, 31, reportedly told HCSO Deputy Dustin Winter that the two had gotten into an argument over her removing the TV from his room.

“That is when, according to the victim, the suspect shoved her to the ground,” Winter stated in his report. “... The victim stated she was afraid of the suspect as well.”

Jones reportedly stated that no assault had taken place, although Winter stated that he observed abrasions on Hale’s elbow.

Out on bond from theft charge

Jones, 49, had been free on a $100,000 bond stemming from his indictment in February by a Hawkins County grand jury for theft over $250,000, stemming from allegations that Jones embezzled more than $394,000 from his elderly grandmother in West Virginia in the year before she passed away in 2016.

As of Friday, Jones was being held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending arraignment Monday in Sessions Court. His trial date on the theft charge is currently set for July 29 in Hawkins County Criminal Court.

In March 2019, Third Judicial District Chancellor Doug Jenkins ruled that a $571,000 civil court judgment from West Virginia against Jones related to the alleged theft is valid in Tennessee and can be collected by the plaintiffs: Jones’ mother and two uncles.

Neck slashed at Kingsport motel

On April 27 around 12:30 p.m., the Kingsport Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at Room 282 of the Americourt Motel at 1900 American Way, in which Jones reportedly suffered a laceration from near the bottom of his left ear, down around the side of his neck, and toward his chest.

Jones told the KPD he had fallen on a knife; however, Officer Anthony Goddard stated in his report that Hale was a suspect.

Following his indictment in February, Jones hadn’t been attending BMA meetings until earlier this month, when he presided over a budget workshop. Then he attended Thursday’s regular monthly BMA meeting, which ended at 8:30 p.m.

Jones was elected mayor in 2016 and served the previous two years as an alderman. Jones was also a longtime Mount Carmel police officer, detective and fire chief until 2013, when he was fired by former Mayor Larry Frost amid allegations he had stolen pills that were in a jacket that was turned over to the police department after being found at the City Park.

No criminal charges resulted from that allegation.

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