Man arrested, accused of tying up, robbing army vet, others

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Authorities in Jefferson County have arrested one man and are on the look out for a suspected accomplice, after two elderly residents said they were robbed by a man and woman. The couple is suspected of robbing two others, as well, one in Campbell County and one in Giles County, Virginia.

50-year-old Josh Small was arrested in West Virginia and is awaiting extradition to Tennessee. There is a warrant still out for his suspected accomplice, 35-year-old Joni Johnson of Princeton, West Virginia.

According to a police report from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy responded the the house of 81-year-old Clyde Moore, an army veteran, on Fain Cemetery Road in Dandridge on June 29 for a reported robbery. Moore told the investigator that he was outside moving dirt when a small, black, neat looking car came to the house. A man and woman got out of the vehicle and went up to Moore. Moore described the man as wearing work clothes, with the woman being anywhere from 18 to 20 wearing ripped jeans.

Moore told investigators that the man had short hair and was clean cut. He told Moore that he was with a company that pressure washed residences and asked him if he would be interested in having his home pressure washed. The police report indicated that Moore told the couple he did not want his home pressure washed. He said he shook hands with the man, and the two went back to the car. Moore went back inside his home and sat on the recliner.

According to the report, within minutes, the couple knocked on his door and then entered without permission. The report stated that the man went over to Moore and hit him on both sides of the neck. The chair turned over with Moore in it.

The man, according to the report, told the woman, "If he moves, shoot to kill." He then told Moore, "You don't want to die, do you?"

The man went through the house, through drawers, closets and "etc," per the police report. The man brought weapons into the living room and laid them on the floor. He then asked Moore about his loose change in a coffee can, then took it to the woman.

Before the couple left, Moore told investigators they tied his wrists and feet up with duct tape. The man told the woman to grab Moore's cellphone, and as the couple left the house, Moore said the man told him, "You know your kinfolks is the cause of this. They're wanting your house."

The sheriff's office said that a .25 caliber pistol, cellphone, $300 in cash, $200 in quarters, and Moore's wallet along with his bank card and other items were taken. While he never saw the woman holding a gun, Moore told police he, "thought he was going to be shot," and that he "thought it was over."

On July 2, investigators responded to 72-year-old Ray Ledbetter's house on West Dumplin Valley Road, located about 10 minutes away from Moore's residence. for a reported robbery.

Ledbetter told authorities that, at about 8:30 a.m., he was standing inside his driveway after checking his mailbox when a vehicle, reportedly a black Chevrolet Malibu, pulled in and parked near the residence. A man and woman approached Ledbetter and asked him if he had anything to sell, at which point Ledbetter declined and asked them to leave.

According to the police report, the man then pointed a gun, possibly a .32 or .38 revolver, at Ledbetter and the couple ordered him to take them inside his house. The woman pulled out a similar gun as they followed Ledbetter inside the residence, the report continued.

Once inside the house, the victim told investigators he was taken into the living room and punched in the chest by the man, which knocked him backwards onto the sofa. The man then ripped the flat TV off the wall and tore the cables off the back of it before tying the victim's hands together, according to the report, "extremely tight." The man cut a cord off of a lamp and tied Ledbetter's feet together.

The woman kept her weapon trained on the victim and reportedly told him that she would "blow his brains out" if someone was in the house and he had not told them.

The man went through Ledbetter's bedroom and "ransacked" it. The report stated he went through the closet and dresser. He came out with the victim's brown leather jacket, stated he was taking it and told the 72-year-old man to get up. The man walked Ledbetter to a door leading to the home's basement, opened it, shoved Ledbetter down the stairs and slammed the door shut, per the police report.

Ledbetter told authorities he stayed in the basement until he heard the couple's vehicle start up and drive away. He managed to get his feet untied and left the basement through a backdoor. He walked up the stairs into the yard and walked to a nearby construction site down the road where he told one of the workers what happened. The cable was cut off his hands, and then someone called 911. Ledbetter walked back to his house and waited for investigators.

Ledbetter told investigators that the man appeared to be clean shaven and had a medium build. He said that the woman was "attractive" with blonde hair and a perm and slightly overweight. Property had been stolen, including two firearms. The vehicle they drove was described as being a solid black, late model in new condition without window tint and a TN license plate.