Carter County man asked judge for emergency mental evaluation

Becky Campbell • Nov 20, 2017 at 6:28 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A Carter County man charged with attempted murder for allegedly holding a man at gunpoint and shooting at him asked a judge on Monday for an emergency mental evaluation.

Timothy David Stapp, 44, 128 Norman Joines Road, Elizabethton, appeared in Carter County Criminal Court for his arraignment after being indicted earlier this month on a string of charges related to him forcing his way into a man’s home.

Stapp was indicted on charges of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, use of a firearm during a felony and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon after the May 4 incident at a residence on Mill Creek Road.

According to court documents, Stapp gave a statement to Carter County sheriff’s investigators that he waited outside the reported victim’s house for several hours early the day of the incident, and when the man opened his garage door, Stapp went in and held the man at gunpoint. Court records indicate Stapp ordered the man back into the residence, where they began talking.

Officers were already on the way to the Mill Creek Road residence after the reported victim’s wife had fled from their home and went to a neighbor’s residence to call for help. When officers arrived, they heard the two men talking inside the residence, then they heard gunshots. About that same time, the man ran from the house into the garage, followed by Stapp. 

Two officers fired their service weapons at Stapp, but he wasn’t hit and was able to run down a bank, where he encountered a third deputy who also fired his gun at Stapp. The reported victim told officers that when Stapp realized deputies were outside, he made him go into a back bedroom, but he saw an opportunity to get away and started running down the hallway. That’s when Stapp allegedly fired four times as the other man ran away.

Stapp filled out an affidavit of indigency for a court-appointed attorney, which Judge Lisa Rice approved. He also wanted to ask her some questions. First he asked for a criminal behavior liaison and an emergency psychiatric evaluation. He also asked a question that Rice warned him could put his case in jeopardy.

“Why is the guy I went after still out of jail?” Stapp said just as Assistant Public Defender Wes Taylor joined him at the lectern. Stapp went on to make an allegation of misconduct on the victim’s part, but there was nothing in court records to substantiate his claim.

“You need to be careful what you say,” Rice told Stapp. “The district attorney is here. ... I’d suggest you filter those questions through your attorney.”

Stapp remained jailed on $70,000 bond. His next court appearance was scheduled for Feb. 2.

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