Wayne County Outlook …

Posted January 23, 2019 at 9:36 am

The purchase of a 20 acre parcel of property adjacent to Monticello-Wayne County Memorial Park was approved by the city council during its meeting Monday, January 14.

The cost of the property is $15,000 and that would be split between city and county government, which jointly operates the park.

Council member Allan Hopper made the motion to move ahead with the purchase, and it was approved unanimously.

The action was taken following about a half hour executive session by the council, where a real estate matter and two personnel matters were discussed. No action was taken during the executive session.

The meeting marked the first one for new mayor Tracie Sexton, as well as four members of the city council. Sexton made several appointments that were approved during the council session.

Her first order of business was officially appointing Joe Bybee as Monticello Police Chief.

Bybee had been acting police chief since the retirement of Ralph Miniard at the end of December, and he was selected to replace the long-time chief.

Sexton also reappointed City Attorney Gordon Germain to that position. She also made several appointments to various boards and committees.


A Wayne County man arrested after officials investigated a sexual assault complaint appeared in Wayne Circuit Court on Monday, January 7. Justin Hunley entered a plea of not guilty and was appointed a public defender during the arraignment.

Hunley has been charged with first degree sodomy, first degree unlawful imprisonment, second degree assault and theft by unlawful taking. He was taken into custody after a female victim told deputies she was held allegedly against her will for two days at a residence on Furnace Mountain Road in Wayne County.

After escaping, the woman received treatment for injuries at Wayne County Hospital. Hunley was arrested January 5 and lodged in the Wayne County Detention Center.

A preliminary hearing in the case was held on January 14.

He was being held without bond due to the seriousness of the case, according to court documents.


A preliminary hearing for a local man arrested on several drug charges was held in Wayne District Court on January 2. The case against William L. Lee has been waived to the grand jury.

A hearing was held before District Judge Scarlett Latham who found probable cause in the case.

Lee was arrested on December 1 after a search warrant was executed at a residence on Pearl Smith Road.

The search warrant was issued following an undercover investigation by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.

Lee was charged with trafficking in marijuana eight ounces to less than five pounds and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies seized more than eight ounces of marijuana, over $8,300 in cash, numerous handguns and rifles, security systems, a digital scale and numerous drug paraphernalia items during the search of the residence.


The two men arrested in connection with a rash of local burglaries made their initial appearance in Wayne District Court on January 7. John Haas and James Higdon were arraigned before District Judge Scarlett Latham and both entered pleas of not guilty.

The two men were arrested on January 1 and were charged with receiving stolen property over $10,000. The arrest came after the execution of a search warrant at an apartment on Ridgewood Avenue.

During the search, deputies found approximately 50 items that had been stolen in several burglary cases. They also recovered stolen identification cards, counterfeit currency, a small amount of drugs and information regarding the location of other stolen goods.

During the arraignment, public defenders were appointed for Haas and Higdon. A pretrial conference was held January 14 in Wayne District Court.