Kidnapping indictment issued

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Chapel Hill man who briefly held a young census worker captive last summer was indicted by the grand jury Wednesday.

James T. "Tommy" Brewer, 61, of 3026 Hwy 270, was indicted on charges of aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and destruction of, or tampering with, government records.

According to the report made at the time by Marshall County Sheriff's Detective Bart Fagan, Brewer was visited by census worker Travis Ryder, 20, at about 5 p.m on June 9.

Brewer became "very aggressive" with Ryder, tearing up the census form and taking the keys to Ryder's vehicle, Fagan said.

Brewer told Ryder to follow him to his shop, adding, that Ryder "better not run," according to Fagan's report.

Once in the shop, Brewer took a propane torch and melted a coke can with it, asking Ryder "if he knew what this would do to his hand," Fagan's report shows.

The two men talked for about an hour, Fagan's report states. Then Brewer let Ryder go, "after telling him no more census workers should come to his house, as they might not leave."

Chapel Hill Police Chief Jackie King says the census worker was born there and that he went straight to the chief's home to report the incident. King called the Sheriff's Department.

Detective Fagan, Deputies Chad Bass and Jimmy Oliver, and Chapel Hill Police Officer Marion Kincaid took Brewer into custody, and transported him to the Sheriff's Office.

After Brewer was read his Miranda rights, according to Fagan's report, he agreed to talk with the detective.

"He told me almost the same story Mr. Ryder had given to me," Fagan wrote, "but he advised he did not threaten him. He was just trying to scare him because there had already been four other census workers there and he was tired of it."

Three Lewisburg residents were also indicted on Wednesday. They were:

* Robert V. Wheat, 54, Jennifer Lane. Drug paraphernalia and manufacture of methamphetamine.

* Sharon M. Edlin, 55, Hill Street. Sale and delivery of Lortabs and Xanax.

* Zachery Q. Baker, 21, Fairlane Drive. Possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

Indictment does not mean a person is guilty. That's determined by a trial, or by a guilty plea.