'Bad boys from way back'

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Marshall County's Grand Jury has indicted a mischievous trio familiar to Lewisburg police and who led lawmen on a high speed chase last fall, according to public records and observations from police.

Among those three Marshall County residents indicted this month for multiple driving offences are a Spring Hill man who faces forgery and theft charges, and a man with ties to Marshall County who's charged with evading arrest and reckless endangerment.

As for the trio in the chase: Jace Ellis Hargrove, 22, of Thompson's Station, was indicted on charges alleging evading arrest and three counts of reckless endangerment. Those charges arose when Hargrove was allegedly driving the truck that led Lewisburg police and sheriff's deputies from Marshall and Bedford counties during a high-speed chase on Sept. 26. Hargrove's passenger, David Mencer, 22, of Shelbyville, had already been indicted on theft charges. Hargrove, Mencer, and Jason Brian Hargrove, 26, of Lewisburg, are the ones Lewisburg Police Department Detective Scott Braden had previously described as "bad boys from way back."

The three are alleged to have been responsible for a string of burglaries this fall.

Now, like others named by the grand jury on Dec. 17 their cases are to be considered in Marshall County Circuit Court. Indictment does not mean they're guilty. That's determined by a judge, jury or the defendant's plea of guilty.

Also indicted two weeks are were the following defendants:

* Brian Driggers, 37, of Spring Hill, who calls himself a "self-employed horse trainer."

He's charged with obtaining and forging three checks, totaling $1,012, from Robert and Veeda Kielbasa on July 30 and 31. The Kielbasa's do business as Free Spirit Farm. Driggers is also charged with stealing a number of horse-related items from the farm.

* Erin Caroline Armour, also known as Erin LaCroix, 30, of South Ellington Pkwy, Lewisburg.

She is charged with a fourth offence of driving under the influence of an intoxicant, second offense of driving while her driver's license is revoked, speeding and violation of the implied consent law.

Lewisburg Police Officer Larry Hazelwood stopped Armour on July 20 when he charged here with driving 73 mph in a 55 mph zone on Hwy 50.

When he asked to see her license she told him, "I don't have one; they're revoked." One of her previous DUIs occurred in 2007, the others this year.

* Ray Edward Mealer, 37, who has two Lewisburg addresses on record, faces similar charges, but now he's accused of a sixth offense of DUI, the others having occurred in 1990, 1991, 1993, 2000, and 2007.

Lewisburg Police Officer Steve Sanders Jr. reportedly stopped Mealer on Aug. 17 when he issued a ticket to Mealer for speeding on Heil Avenue.

* Rannie Gene Rogers, 54, of South Ellington Parkway, is facing a fourth officense of DUI and a fifth alleging driving on a revoked license.

He is also charged with having no insurance, and violating the implied consent and registration laws.

The state has already declared Rogers "a habitual motor vehicle offender" and ordered him "not to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state."

Rogers' previous offences took place in 2001 and 2003, and he appears not to have been in trouble between those dates and Nov. 1 this year when Officer Sanders stopped his 1991 white Dodge van on Darnell Mealer Road. Rogers, who has been in jail since his arrest, was appointed a public defender because his affidavit of indigency indicates that he has no job and no assets other than the Dodge van, said to be worth $400, of which he still owes $200.