A Tennessee man is behind bars in Bell County after allegedly making threats against a local pastor, church and school on his Facebook page.
According to a press release from the Bell County Sheriff’s Office, at 6:43 p.m. on Friday, Bell County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Dan Tuttle, in cooperation with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office, arrested David Brandon Luntsford, 36, of Harrogate.
This arrest came after a complaint was filed by Pastor William Boyd Bingham of Binghamtown Church and Gateway Christian School. Bingham told authorities that on Wednesday he was alerted about threats made against himself, the welfare of the children of the school, the church and its congregation. The alleged threats had reportedly been posted on social media. Additionally, there were reports of alleged threats made against President Barrack Obama and Congress. Bingham contacted Bell County Sheriff Mitchell Williams, who in turn contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Tuttle to investigate the credibility of the threat.
The press release says the FBI contacted the Secret Service and with assistance by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office, made a home visit to Luntsford for questioning on Thursday. After the visit, the Secret Service determined that they would not press any federal charges against Luntsford, but stated he would be placed on a watch list to monitor his actions.
The press release further states that after speaking with the county attorney for the legality concerning the threats, Tuttle then contacted the Claiborne sheriff to assist in serving their fugitive from another state (Kentucky) warrant on Luntsford. A search warrant for Luntsford’s laptop, where the threats originated, was also served. Luntsford waived extradition rights and was brought back to Kentucky on two warrants — second-degree terroristic threatening, a class D felony, and harassing communications, a class B misdemeanor.
Luntsford is currently lodged in the Bell County Detention Center on a $25,000 cash bond.
Williams said his department is unwavering on any threats made toward any school in the county. He also wants to thank the community at large for numerous calls made to his office about this issue which brought more awareness and urgency to the response time.
Any future tips to 606-337-3102 will be kept confidential.
In other police news, a Saturday morning wreck sent two Middlesboro residents to the hospital.
According to a press release, Bell County Sheriff’s Deputy Robin Venable was dispatched to a wreck with injuries on KY 221 at 9:29 a.m. Once on scene, Venable discovered that Vickie Kay Carnes, had been traveling east on KY 221, past the 8-mile marker, in a white 1997 Mazda, when she lost control of the vehicle, spun off the road and flipped the vehicle over an embankment.
According to Venable, Carnes said she was looking around and heard her tires hitting the edge of the road, and her passenger Donnie Rutherford, yelled and said look out. Carnes said the events scared her and she jerked the wheel hard, started spinning and went off the roadway. Carnes reportedly did not remember anything else about the wreck.
The release says Rutherford stated Carnes was coming around the curve and hit the grass at the edge of the pavement, over-corrected and the car went into a spin.
Also dispatched to the scene was the Bell County Rescue Squad and Bell County Volunteer Fire Department. Both departments worked together to cut open the driver’s door and lift the car off of Carnes left arm — which was trapped by the weight of the car. Carnes and Rutherford were transported to Pineville Community Hospital and Carnes was then flown out to another hospital. The condition of the pair is currently unknown.
Venable is in charge of the investigation.