Officials pick up more dogs at site of brutal attack in Claiborne County
The woman who found the victim of a gruesome attack in Claiborne County said she never expected what she found when she was called to a home in New Tazewell in October.
A graphic narrative detailing gruesome discoveries are included in a report released by the Claiborne County Sheriff's Office that was filed after deputies responded to reports of a badly beaten elderly woman at a home in New Tazewell on October 10.
Deputies said on Oct. 10 they were called to a home on Snodgrass Rd. after a woman called 911 to report that she found 66-year-old Winona Ostrander suffering multiple bruises and lacerations. The woman claimed she was Ostrander's aunt.
The woman said a man, 43-year-old Craig Douglas Chapman Jr, called her from jail and asked her to check on Ostrander. She told WVLT News that Chapman and Ostrander were cousins who had lived together for seven years.
Investigators arrived on scene and said they discovered Ostrander had been brutally beaten. She was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. The complainant told WVLT News that Ostrander suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed in 2007 and impacted the left side of her body. She said Ostrander now has a broken femur, several fractured ribs and a broken finger. She said Ostrander was receiving breathing treatments after one of the fractured ribs punctured the lining of her lungs.
Detectives said they determined the victim had been assaulted by her caregiver, Chapman. Ostrander also told investigators that Chapman had pointed a gun at her several times and said Chapman had begun beating her two days prior to their arrival.
The Claiborne Co. Sheriff's Office said while investigating the scene, detectives discovered several deceased and severely mutilated dogs and cats in the home and on the property. The sheriff's office report said investigators found a cat disemboweled beside a tree, and also found a disemboweled dog lying on a slab of wood near the tree.
The report said investigators found another dog tied approximately seven feet off the ground to a tree branch with a large gash in its back, and a deceased cat was found in a plastic bag hanging on the tree.
According to the report, multiple gun shot holes were found in the porch and inside the home. The report stated investigators also found something written on a wall of the home that appeared to be written in blood.
Several living dogs and cats were rescued from the property and transported to the Claiborne County Animal Shelter. Investigators said while rescuing the living animals, they found a disemboweled kitten on a piece of cardboard. The animal shelter said the rescues "are doing very well" and have been treated for respiratory infections.
"Despite being infested with fleas and scared to death when they got here, they are very forgiving and trusting," a vet technician with the animal shelter said.
On Wednesday, October 16, shelter officials said all but one pet had been adopted. An adult dog named Linus was still waiting to find a permanent home. A spokesperson said while he is friendly with staff he's not as comfortable around children and men.
"We were hoping that we would be able to put him up for adoption next week, but the trauma has just been to much for him," the shelter said. Instead, the shelter said Linus is being fostered so he can acclimate to other people and, in particular, men. On Oct. 23, the shelter said Linus had transitioned to a foster home. The shelter also said three more dogs were picked up at the site of the brutal attack.
"We think that by getting him into...a foster environment that he will learn that not all men are bad."
Deputies said they had arrested Chapman the night before on charges of public intoxication and unlawful carrying of a weapon after investigators said they found him swinging a sword.
Investigators said Chapman faced additional charges of Aggravated Assault, Aggregated Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult, 5 counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals and Reckless Endangerment with a Deadly Weapon.