Mayor With Numerous Knife Wounds Claims He 'Fell' On Knife
Kingsport, TN – A Tennessee mayor awaiting trial on a felony theft charge was found with cuts to his neck and arm outside a motel in April.
According to police, Mount Carmel Mayor Chris Jones, 48, claimed he suffered the injury after falling on a knife, WJHL reported.
The incident began at approximately 12:30 p.m. on April 27, when Kingsport police received a report of a stabbing at the Americourt motel on American Way.
When they arrived at the scene, they found Jones covered in blood, lying outside of room 282, WJHL reported.
He had a shirt wrapped around his neck in an effort to stop the bleeding from a gash that ran from just below his left ear towards his chest, police said.
The mayor also suffered a “fairly wide laceration” to his left elbow, according to court documents.
When investigators asked who had cut him, Jones claimed that he fell onto a knife, WJHL reported.
But as they were speaking with him, a woman emerged from another room and began walking towards them.
When questioned, the woman, identified as 31-year-old Amber Hale, said she had been living with the mayor for about a month.
Jones then told police that Hale was his girlfriend.
According to a hotel employee, Hale had answered the door of Jones’ room when he had gone up to check out a noise complaint prior to alerting police about the stabbing.
Hale and Jones left the room after the employee called 911, police said.
The mayor was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center for treatment of his wounds, WJHL reported.
Several hours later, Kingsport police were called back to the motel yet again due to the fact that Hale was not on the lease for Jones’ room and she refused to leave the premises.
Hale appeared unconcerned about the officers’ order that she vacate the room, and she even began applying lotion at one point, police said.
She was ultimately arrested for trespass.
Meanwhile, Jones is scheduled to appear in Hawkins County Criminal Court on July 29 for trial on a felony theft charge, the Times News reported.
According to court records, Jones allegedly embezzled over $394,000 from his grandmother over the course of one year prior to her death in 2016.
Jones also previously served as a Mount Carmel fire chief, detective and police officer until he was fired by then-Mayor Larry Frost in 2013 due to allegations that he stole pills from a jacket that someone found at a park and turned in to police.
The jacket was part of an undercover narcotics operation, the Times News reported.
Jones did not face any criminal charges in connection with the incident.
He was elected as a Mount Carmel alderman the following year, and took over the role of mayor in 2016.