Friday, July 6, 2018

Local man held on $1 million bond after attacking deputy's wife

Lawrenceburg Now
A Lawrence County man charged with numerous offenses is being held in lieu of a $1,000,000 bond after allegedly attacking the wife of a deputy Thursday.
The incident occurred at a home on Mannin Road in Leoma at around 5:30 p.m. Captain Adam Brewer with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department indicates that the victim had heard a noise outside of her home, stepped outside, and encountered a masked man. She reported that the man tackled her and began assaulting her. She attempted to go back into her house, at which point her attacker pulled a knife and held it to her throat.
The victim said that in the struggle she was able to get away, grab the knife, and stab him in the head. He regained control of the knife, then took her at knifepoint to her car where he began tying her hands to the headrest so that she could not move.
Brewer said that the man took the victim's purse and walked around the car. He stopped at the back of the car and began to rummage through the contents. Seeing a potential opportunity for escape, the victim was able to free herself, jump out of the car, and flee to a neighbor's house. The neighbor then placed a 911 call for help.
Once the victim had escaped, her attacker fled from the scene, taking her car. He was later identified by authorities as thirty-one year old Stephen Purcell, Jr.
Brewer said that just after the attack, Purcell placed a call to Giles County Dispatch claiming that he had witnessed the crime as he was driving along the roadway. Shortly afterward, he called Brewer on his cell phone, saying that they "needed to talk." He indicated that he wanted to meet with Brewer alone, without any other officers present.
Brewer said he met up with Purcell who proceeded to tell him a story of being abducted by two men. He told him that the men had taken him to the victim's house and forced him to commit the crime. Brewer said that the story made little sense, and that he felt certain at that point that Purcell had committed the assault.
Brewer said that while they were conducting the investigation, they located Purcell's vehicle in a wooded area near the victim's home where it had been concealed with brush.
As a result of the investigation, Purcell was incarcerated at the Lawrence County Detention Center on charges of attempted aggravated rape, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, theft of a motor vehicle, and attempted first degree murder.
Purcell had been arrested, then released from the jail just two days prior after a Lawrence County Grand Jury returned indictments on several charges in connection with an incident that occurred on Fall River Road.

In that case, he was charged with aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, auto burglary, and vandalism of $1,000 or less.

In addition, Purcell was arrested in August in a separate case that is still pending. District Attorney General Brent Cooper had requested that an investigation be opened through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation regarding an incident that had occurred on February 15, 2017.

During that incident, a woman alleged that she had met Purcell at his home on Old Jackson Highway. She alleged that when she entered the home, he held her against her will and sexually assaulted her.

Purcell is still facing charges in that case that include  four counts of aggravated rape, four counts of rape, one count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of domestic assault. He had been freed in that case on a $250,000 bond.



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