UPDATE: TBI to investigate domestic assault case at home of mayor's advisor
UPDATE: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says that will investigate the domestic dispute case between Bobby Stone and wife, Lacie Stone, who serves as Mayor Berke's senior advisor.
District Attorney General Neal Pinkston made the request of the TBI.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga Chief of Police Fred Fletcher assisted Mayor Andy Berke’s senior advisor after a domestic violence incident that led to her husband’s arrest early Saturday morning. Bobby Stone, 54, is charged with domestic assault and malicious vandalism. Stone is accused of attacking his wife, 38-year-old Lacie Stone, after an argument in their home.
The argument began around 11:30 p.m., according to court documents obtained by Channel 3.
Chief Fred Fletcher said he and his wife had dinner with the Stones earlier on Friday evening along with two other couples.
“When I left their home, there was no indication that anything was wrong. About an hour after I left the home, I received a panicked phone call from Mrs. Stone stating Mr. Stone had hurt her,” Fletcher said in an email statement to Channel 3.
Fletcher said he told Lacie Stone to come to their home for safety and then called for officers to investigate.
An arrest affidavit, filed in Hamilton County General Sessions Court, states Bobby Stone admits to dragging his wife by the belt and throwing a rock into her car’s back window. Lacie Stone told Fletcher she “feared for her life” that night. Bobby Stone was hit in the forehead as he struggled to take his wife’s cell phone, according to the court record.
“I am glad she called me and was able to leave what she considered to be a dangerous situation,” Fletcher added.
Channel 3 has requested a copy of the incident report, taken by the responding officer. A spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department said it is not available, citing the ongoing investigation into the incident.
Mayor Andy Berke hired Lacie Stone to be communications director after his election in 2013. She was promoted to senior advisor three years later.
This summer will mark one year since the opening of the Hamilton County Chattanooga Family Justice Center, which offers free services to victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
“As an Administration we have been working hard to combat issues related to family violence and this is a reminder of why it is so important,” Berke said in an email to Channel 3 on Tuesday night.
Bobby Stone is due in court May 31 before Judge Lila Statom.
His attorney, Lee Davis, released a statement on his behalf Wednesday morning that said in part: "Mr. Stone answered the police questions truthfully and cooperated fully... Mr. Stone is not guilty of any criminal charge, but he fully acknowledges that he and his wife argued over private issues concerning their marriage."
Mr. Stone worked more than 25 years at Atomic Films, a local production company specializing in corporate and advertising videos.
Channel 3 generally does not report the names of domestic violence victims but did so in this case due to the role of the police chief in the investigation among other factors. Lacie Stone released a statement to Channel 3 on Wednesday to thank the community for its support.
"I appreciate the support from so many in our community who have dealt with issues of domestic assault and ask that people respect my privacy as as we attempt to work through this very personal and painful situation."
She went on to say, "My husband and I are attempting to work through the very unfortunate circumstances that occurred last Friday. I have cooperated with the police throughout the investigation, providing all requested information to a detective."
Saturday, January 20 2018 5:47 AM EST2018-01-20 10:47:05 GMT
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